Feedback vs. Gossip: The SCA and Courtesy

SCA culture is largely built around a model of Courtesy. As the model of courtesy has evolved organically, it has, to my eye (and not only mine), tended to emphasize an avoidance of confrontation and public embarrassment a lot of the time. When someone takes note of what someone else is doing, there is a standard but unwritten rule we follow: If they did something good, praise them to their face if you can. If they did something not so good…find their mentor, and pass the feedback along to them, generally with the understanding that it will be shared anonymously.

There is, in my experience (and not only mine), a rather serious side effect to this informal model of feedback. If a gentle doesn’t have a mentor, or you don’t know who the mentor is, or if you don’t have access to or a relationship with said mentor…what do you do with your feedback? Sometimes, the feedback starts circulating in whispers behind the gentle’s back. And by the time the gentle finally becomes aware of these circulating whispers, it can be incredibly upsetting and painful.

Continue reading

Mudthaw / Crown A&S

Saturday was Mudthaw in the Barony of Settmour Swamp (Central NJ), which features the East Kingdom’s Crown Arts & Sciences championships. It was an eventful day for us, and my first time competing in a kingdom A&S competition.

My entry was “I asked of thee a boon”, my original Elizabethan air for four voices and lute that was first performed at the Laurel’s Prize Tourney in 2017. A&S entries created within the last 3 years are eligible, and I am proud of this piece, and wanted to see how it would be received in a formal competitive setting, and get the experience of discussing my art with interested parties and going through a judging process.

Continue reading

Song page added for “Take a Chance on Me”

I have added the full song page for “Take a Chance on Me, Pendragon Edition”, with video, lyrics, and more detailed notes on the writing of this filk (because it was a more involved process than the other filks I’ve done). Completionists rejoice.

Seeking cellist

I’m looking to connect with a cellist who is within a reasonable driving radius of Paramus NJ for a recording project. Like all of my albums, this is a donation project, so I’m interested in someone willing to volunteer their time and talent. The timeline is 2019 to early 2020.

Please contact me if you have any information.

Thank you,

[UPDATE: Found! Thank you.]

Meet my new best friend

It occurred to me yesterday that if I’m starting the marathon that is a new album, I should finally research a new microphone. I’ve had my Behringer B-1 for years, and it is a solid, well-respected mic that gets the job done. But I’ve long been trying to figure out why I so often have trouble with sibilants when I record my singing, and other artifacts on high frequencies that require frequent use of De-Esser plugins to avoid egg-frying hissing and ringing, and some research I did after recording “We Are the East” suggested the microphone was the most likely culprit.

Continue reading

Studio Day: Untitled Album, Day 1

It’s time to get started. I’m assembling concept tracks for four of my newer songs, and reaching out to musicians to begin coordinating. I’m targeting a release for next year, but we’ll see how things go. More updates as this project unfolds.