Missing Winter Nights this year

It is with the utmost regret that I share that I will not be making it to Winter Nights this year. Getting out to Massachusetts next weekend would torpedo things for my family, both of whom have commitments. I hope to see most of you at K&Q Bardic Champs later in the month.

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On Filk

This #WordFameWednesday I wish to honor my beloved friend, sometime travel companion, and partner in mischief, Juliana Bird, King’s Bard (in Exile) of the East.

If I have taught Bird anything about what it means to be a bard, I’m delighted. But I know what she’s taught me. She’s modeled for me what it means to survive adversity, do hard work on oneself, and come out of it still connected to joy, authenticity, and childlike wonder. She has shown me how rapidly it is possible to grow in musicianship and art when it is done with zeal and passion and deep effort.

On top of everything else, she has shown me the artisanship of creating truly great filk.

I have often had an uneasy relationship with filk (specifically, the art of writing new original lyrics to an immediately-recognizable modern popular song) as a bard.* Too often, I’ve heard people lump together all original work created by SCA bards as “filk”, which I still find dismissive as a creator of SCA folk music. I enjoy a good filk as much as the next person, but I’m mindful that they are largely humorous and often considered “silly”.

Continue reading

Buckland Cross Baronial Investiture (and more shenanigans)

48363373_10156839633239709_1972005968778625024_nI got to spend the day down at Buckland Cross, which formally became a Barony today. It was a lovely, pleasant opportunity to catch up with my friends from the area, and get a little quality time with our lovely royals.

I also enjoyed the chance to play my repertoire of lute pieces in front of people, promenading unobtrusively as people were sampling the wonderful day board.

Okay, more ABBA filk might have happened. This piece was a salute to our Society members who give service. (Lyrics here.)

Vocal Recording: “Concordian Soil” (easier to sing)

I had promised I would share a version of “Concordian Soil” that would be a little easier to sing–sorry it’s a little late. This version cuts the very top notes off the chorus, and should sound fine. It only reduces the range of the song a little, but that is a rather problematic high note that was written for my voice (and pushes me if I’m not warmed up). Please feel free to move the song into whatever key works best for the voice or voices available. (I’ve added the alternate notes to the downloadable sheet music as well.)

Bjorn’s Ceilidh and Baronial Investiture (and Shenanigans!)

So, I got to return to the SCA and my kingdom with both feet yesterday at Bjorn’s Ceilidh up at our second home, Concordia of the Snows. I probably need to explain how it is that this happened, since it was not in anyone’s plans at the start of the day…

So let’s rewind. (Lyrics to the filk here.) Continue reading

Checking in…

I’m bummed to have missed Coronation, but I’m savoring this experience doing Drood. We close this coming Saturday, and after a nice long run, I’m going to be sad to see it end. I’ve found another family with this cast and crew.

But while I enjoy being a musical theater actor once more, and indeed this may be my favorite experience doing a show (which is not the same as it being my favorite show)…

In my heart I’m still a bard. And while I can be both, I have missed my other tribe. I’m looking forward to connecting with my SCA peeps again this coming month.

#firstworldproblems #knownworldproblems #broadwaygeekproblems

Lyrics change: “Lady of the Rose”

I wish to share in this space that, as of this summer, I have made a permanent change to the lyrics of “Lady of the Rose”, and added a footnote to the page explaining the change. The lines that said “Open your petals to fullest display” now read “Bloom in the sunlight to fullest display”. Someone I care about shared with me that the original lines carried sexual undertones that made her uncomfortable hearing the song, though she knew that was not the intent. Whatever else one may feel about the piece, that sort of discomfort has no place in it, so I have made this change accordingly. This is the only version of the lyric I will perform going forward, and I invite anyone else who enjoys the song to adopt this change as well.

[EDIT: I have also updated the song notes at the bottom of the page to reflect that, while it is overwhelmingly composed of women, the Order of the Rose is in fact gender neutral.]