New song: “Shine, Child”

This is a new piece first performed at Pennsic. Lady Angela Mori won a commission from me in a fundraising auction last fall, and asked me to write a song of praise for her daughter Thora, who is brilliant, sweet, loving, and neurodivergent (very much like my son Spencer). I was honored by the opportunity to compose this piece, and consider it a rare privilege. The song page will be forthcoming in the next few days.


First videos from Pennsic concert

I’ve put up the first few videos from my Pennsic concert. I wanted to get the newer pieces out first (although the lute pieces came out really well, so I made sure to get those up also.) Enjoy! Continue reading

New Song: “Pack Out Day”

Hi everyone! We just got home from Pennsic yesterday, and to my surprise, as we began packing out, I felt a song coming on, and I went with it. So, as my way of thanking all of you for being part of my SCA experience, I’m breaking all my normal “rules” and sharing it with you right now. This is a quick a Capella vocal cut of the song, and it captures my experience of Pennsic this year, which involved my stretching a bit and doing more things that weren’t necessarily Bardic. (No, I still didn’t actually drink, but since the vast majority of adults I hung out with did, it’s still an indelible part of my experience of the War.)

I will set up a standard song page for this later (along with the other new songs I brought to the war, and class notes, and video from the concert–I promise I’ll get to it). But for now…enjoy! Continue reading

Thoughts on last night’s concert

I want to say something about my concert last night, but late Pennsic Brain is making that difficult. I will, however, thank those who made it possible, starting with Bird the Bard, Spencer Schrager, Efenwealt Wystle, Cedar the Barefoot, and Sólveig Bjarnardóttir. You put in a lot of time to prepare, and made me look and sound good, and I’ll never forget it.

Thanks to everyone who came out to watch and listen. It was a fantastic audience to play for.

Thanks to Scholastica Joycors for believing in me and offering me that incredible timeslot. And thanks to Jess and Melodia Beaupel for capturing video (and Patrick Woodruff for the loan of your camera). To Zsof’ for your constant encouragement, even if you couldn’t be there. To Mya Gosling of Good Tickle Brain for permission to perform her Hamilton filks. And to Angela Mori and Thora, for the privilege of creating “Shine, Child” for you.

The chance to create music and memories for this audience, this Society, is a blessing I cannot begin to repay. Thank you all.

Longer blog post after I get home will be forthcoming.

Greetings from Pennsic!

Thought for once I’d post live. Not a LOT to say, but still, I’m awake early enough to check in. Some notes as we leave Peace Week behind:

  • Last night I attended the Worst Bardic Circle, Like, Evarrrrr. (That was actually the title–Efenwealt’s brain child.) We were all urged to confess our Bardic sins. So I unveiled the very first Drake Oranwood song I ever wrote, from before my time in the SCA (back when I spelled it “Orinwood”). It was basically Ren Fair fanfic. It passed muster for this circle. (No, I’m not performing it for you now.)
  • First Bardic Monday night was lovely (if rainy). Thursday night’s Chocolate Bardic at McGuire’s Marauders was probably my second favorite ever. (My favorite, the first Chocolate Bardic I ever went to, is unlikely to be surpassed. That was the first time I ever performed “Tam Lin of the Elves” at Pennsic, Heather Dale was in the audience, and when she expressed her admiration of the song, I mentioned I could imagine her singing the Elf Queen, and she crowed with delight. I met a few of my dearest friends that night. It’s a pretty high bar. Nevertheless, this one was excellent.)
  • The first session of “My Guitar’s Persona Is a Lute” on Thursday went beautifully, with an impressive turnout of eager students. Clearly, there is a thirst for how to do lute repertoire on guitar, and the reveal of how ridonkulously simple it is to adapt a guitar for the purpose appeared not to disappoint anyone.
  • My concert (Wednesday night from 8 to 9) is shaping up to be a fun one. This year’s Hamilton filk, which will feature my music friends Bird the Bard and Cedar the Barefoot, will now also include my son Spencer, who basically said to me the other day, “I want to be in ‘The Tomb Where It Happens'”, so how could I possibly say no? His turn as Mercutio should be a hoot (especially since he will ALSO be playing the roles of Isaac AND God that evening).
  • Oh, and speaking of Cedar…if you’re willing to pause on your way to Opening Ceremonies to catch The Barefoot Bard from 6-6:30 on the PA Stage tonight, you won’t be disappointed. And speaking of Lin-Manuel filk, their Moana filk promises to be hilarious. (And if you accuse me of putting them up to that I will cut you. Because true.)

Look forward to see you as we move into War Week!

Off to Pennsic!

The Oranwood clan will be on the road to Pennsic this evening. Some of the places you can find me this War:

  • We are camping at McGuire’s Marauders (block N06, next to Ansteorra Royal). Feel free to say hello.
  • My concert will be War Wednesday from 8-9 pm (between House Sans Nomen and Heather Dale–still don’t know how that happened, still not questioning it), and planned guests include Efenwealt Wystle, Bird the Bard, Cedar the Barefoot, Sólveig Bjarnardóttir, and my son Spencer Oranwood. There will be new original songs. There will be lute. More importantly, there will be new and even more ambitious Hamilton filk.
  • My dear friend Cedar the Barefoot is performing their first concert Middle Sunday from 6-6:30 pm. I’ll be watching, because I wouldn’t miss this and you shouldn’t either. Apparently, there will be new Lin-Manuel Miranda filk performed here as well, and any suggestions that I might have instigated said filk would be grounds for legal action. (Shenanigans? ME?!?)
  • Efenwealt Wystle and I will be hosting the annual Bardic Expo on War Monday from 2:00-4:30 pm. Come perform, and come see others perform.
  • I am teaching “My Persona’s Guitar Is a Lute” on Peace Thursday from 11-12 pm and War Wednesday from 1-2 pm. This is a new first time offering.
  • I will be at McGuire’s infamous Chocolate Bardic on Peace Thursday, and I will try to get to other bardic circles whenever possible throughout the War. (There are rumors of a “secret bardic circle” during peace week, possibly at Highrafters, but the first rule of it is that you don’t talk about it, and the second rule…)

As for music:

  • The Sing for the East CD (as well as the new Companion Songbook) will be available at Camelot Treasures (booth 30) and Designs by J (booth 162). You can also find my first album Hidden Gold there if you don’t already have it.
  • Efenwealt Wystle’s new music sampler CD together for this Pennsic, featuring some really well-known performers. Somehow, I got a track of mine, and one from bright star Juliana la Badele, on this thing.
  • You should be looking for any music you don’t yet have when you have the chance. There are a ton of hard-working artists creating amazing, high-quality recordings within this community, and they deserve your patronage.

Hope to see you at War!

NEW! “Sing for the East” Companion Songbook at Pennsic!

So there’s a little last-minute project that came up, and I wanted to share. Someone asked on Facebook how they could get a songbook that has all the Sing for the East songs on it. (Most of the songs on the album were written after the publication of the 2004 songbook, which we now refer to as “Volume 1”. Volume 2 is in the works, and will include the rest of the songs, but it will also include a good deal of other music, and is still many months away from completion.) Continue reading