Branching out with the Lute

I’ve been shaking the rust off the other lute pieces in my repertoire, to get familiar once more with how to play them. (I hadn’t touched any but the one for about six months, because I knew that level of focus was what it would take play “What if a day” even as well as I managed to.)

And now I’m realizing how wonderful it feels to play these other pieces on Rosalind as opposed to the old backpacker guitar. I can do barre chords on this instrument so much more comfortably, which opens up new possibilities and makes some tricky passages much easier to play. (And having played around with a full lute, with an even thicker neck, I’m pretty sure that’s how these passages WERE played, because you can’t get your thumb around the base of that neck and there’s a whole extra string in the way.)

And the prospect of letting someone else do the singing while I play is kind of appealing. This is an important part of my persona exploration and my A&S groove, and I need to share it more.

This music is glorious. And my lute guitar is SO sexy.

Advertisements

Studio Day: What If a Day

Image

It’s Saturday morning, and Rosalind and I are up to no good. #luteselfie

The Lute Piece

After K&Q Bardic on Saturday, one piece of fieldback I received was that my round one lute piece should have been more polished. It certainly should have. I knew that I would be somewhat discombobulated by the crowd, but I really hoped my intensive preparation would provide enough confidence for me to make it through with much less difficulty than I had.

For those who are curious…I recorded a practice session a little over a month ago and shared it privately with my Laurel. While I had not yet added the spoken words (which of course make it a bit more challenging), being recorded also makes me nervous (though clearly not remotely as much as a public audience). This is what the piece sounded like then.

K&Q Bardic Champions: Wins, Learns, & Changes

What if a day, or a month, or a yeare
Crown thy delights with a thousand sweet contentings?
Cannot a chance of a night or an howre
Crosse thy desires with as many sad tormentings?
–Anonymous

King’s and Queen’s Bardic and A&S Champions was held yesterday. I’ve been running relatively quiet while I prepared for the last several months. While Bardic and A&S have become a combined event as of last year, and are likely to stay that way, for most of us who compete, they are essentially separate events, because there is little opportunity to focus on the other when we’re participating in the one. So I will speak only to the Bardic. And, as I tend to, I’m going to go heavy on process as I experienced it. (I won’t apologize for that…I’m learning that a number of other bards, including some I competed against yesterday, read my posts, and find value in what I share.)

But first, let’s not bury the lede. His Majesty Ivan selected my dear friend Juliana Bird (aka Bird the Bard) as his new King’s Champion, and Her Majesty Mathilde selected my new friend Geoffrey of Exeter, originally from Lochac (Australia), and an experienced bard in at least two other kingdoms, as her Queen’s Champion. I had the honor of competing in the final four against them, alongside Phelippe le Vigneron, who like Bird, is an incredibly talented bard from Bhakail, and relatively new to the SCA bardic scene (this was his first competition). [CORRECTION: Phelippe is from Settmour Swamp, and told me as much. I have a terrible habit of lumping people together who play in Bhakail, because I’m frankly jealous of their camaraderie and live too far away to participate regularly in it.]

Continue reading

Kenric of Blessed Memory

As most people in the SCA are no doubt aware, Kenric æt Essex, aka Michael Perry, went out kayaking on Friday January 12 around noon, and was not heard from afterward. A day later, at 5 pm, the Coast Guard called off the search, and he has since that time been presumed lost. [UPDATE: His kayak was discovered in the water on Sunday.]

Like so many, I did not know Kenric as well as I might have liked. Continue reading

Stepping Down as Baronial Bard

It’s been a little over two weeks since Bjorn’s Ceilidh, so this post is rather overdue. (Surprise.) But life has been very full and busy, and that’s how it goes. Still, it’s important to me to take a moment and reflect on Ceilidh, and my time as Concordia’s bardic champion.

It has been a privilege and a delight to serve as champion for Baron Jean-Paul and Baroness Lylie. They are both warm and encouraging, and I had the opportunity to see close at hand how diligently they carry their responsibilities for Concordia of the Snows.

Continue reading

Baronial Bardic championship at Bjorn’s Ceilidh

Announcing: at Bjorn’s Ceilidh (Saturday November 11), their Excellencies JP and Lylie will be selecting the next Bardic champion for the Barony of Concordia of the Snows.

The competition will be held in three rounds, with the following format:

  • Round one: perform the piece with which you are most comfortable. Show us what you do best.
  • Round two: perform a piece you have never before shared in competition. Stretch and surprise us.
  • Round three: perform a piece that is documented as having origins in the medieval period. Documentation should at most be half a page or fill an index card. The piece can be wholly from period, a contrafact if a period work, or composed in a period form or style.

To compete, you must either be a resident of Concordia, or willing to give your fealty to the Barony on being chosen. Please inform the current baronial bard, Drake Oranwood, of your intention to compete either privately or at Ceilidh.

Competitors should only enter if they are prepared to serve as Baronial bard if selected by their Excellencies, and have no duties or obligations which would prevent them from serving appropriately.

The responsibilities include:

  • Attend the majority of Concordian events and participate in any Baronial Court held at those events.
  • Attend the Baron and Baroness at some out of Barony events, including Pennsic if possible.
  • Wear the regalia of your position.
  • Supervise (or delegate) the Bardic competition and War Point at the Wars of the Roses.
  • Organize next year’s Baronial Champion competition to choose your successor.

In service,

Lord Drake Oranwood

Baronial Bard