Jan. 25th, 2009 09:11 am
minstrlmummr: (daffy lute)
I am stunned.  

Blow-by-blow details later.

I learned a hell of a lot yesterday.

Several people gave me suggestions and for-real assignments after I won  -- I'm gonna be busy  8)

It's official -- more people recognize / remember me than I remember back.      Compensatory mechanisms needed.    

If you're reading this,    (((((((((HUGZ!!!HUGZ!!!HUGZ!!!!)))))))))    Thank you all so much for support, good counsel, good jokes and good sense     8)

I'm lucky to be me.
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." ("Minstrel" Mummers)
There was a degree to which I seemed to be living a charmed life last week.    

Saturday Wanderings )
Sunday Runnings )
I will continue later as I have become tired all over again just typing this.
minstrlmummr: (daffy lute)
Courtesy of [personal profile] shalmestere and [personal profile] hudebnik , I had a lovely time at Bhakail's Investiture on Saturday.       We nearly didn't connect in time for me to travel with them  (because I'm an idiot and had my phone's ringer turned off   8P  ), but met up and left in good order.     The traffic was blessedly light (going both ways, actually).     The Taverner  "Alleluias"  that  [profile] siobhan1214 had distributed were beautiful, and the rehearsal went very well considering we hadn't actually sung the songs together before.     They let us up into the choir loft for performances, so we could both see everything  and occasionally whisper and giggle  8) 

I was privileged to enter the competition for Bhakail's first Bardic Champion (I never knew there wasn't one); I told the organizer that I could not win/serve as Champion (potential conflict of interest with Ostgardr).   All four competitors used historically-informed songs and original languages (mostly), and we rated each other courtesy of forms  [profile] t_bard  developed, like (if not the same as) those which evolved for judging Kingdom Bardic, with categories like Audience impact and performance skill and appropriateness for the event (research, etc.), and (my favorite category) additional impressions not covered by other criteria.      My only suggestion for the future would be adding a space of one or two lines for specific remarks per entrant.      I'd like to see more competitors familiarized with those criteria -- I think it can only improve future competitions.   

A lady named Lionora (sp?) did a 15th-century Portugese song.     A young man named Martin with an opera background did a 16th-century aria.   (He later said that he briefly considered accompanying himself on the organ, but did not "because no one else was doing that"   **"C'MERE!!!"  ::::::smackSMACKsmack::::::**   He was encouraged to show off his skillset to the maximum in future    8)

The guy who won had contrafacted a roster of Bhakail's past and present baronage, to the tune of "Gaudete".      Some dude named [profile] t_bard    8)   8)      (I'd like to see the lyrics again if I may...)

I had been wanting to write something for the investiture and for [personal profile] woodwindy and her LC,  but I also didn't want to cause embarrassment with my fulsomeness.       So I wrote about Mina:

( Contrafact, to the tune of "Packington's Pound" )

Sweetly-blown melody borne on the air
Met with the sheltering arm of the earth
Wedded in harmony wondrous fair;
This is the union that led to thy birth.
How else couldst thou be, but lovely to see
Thus fashioned from love in the highest degree?
Joy you inspire with the force of a gale,
Beloved and Beautiful Babe of Bhakail!

Happiness sparkles from thy shining eye
Such is thy pleasure to bring us delight;
All gaze in wonder as arms are thrown high,
Every life moment new to thy sight.
With innocent style dost thou sweetly beguile
All who behold thee with a laugh and a smile.
Joy you inspire with the force of a gale,
Beloved and Beautiful Babe of Bhakail!

Much to my relief, my voice held (mostly) for the higher notes, and people enjoyed the song.      I got to join in some enjoyable pick-up singing between the two courts and later during feast, and met the Princess and Consort.     She had asked whether I have a CD, and since I've gotten into the habit of carrying several with me for just such an occasion  (it serves as both business card and demo), I was able to present one with a hasty explanation that it's  Mostly Modern Music (It does have "Sacred Night" and "One More Song to the Tune of Greensleeves").      Turns out she LOVES "Carrot Juice Is Murder" and has heard it back-to-back with something called "Cows with Guns"   (must research this...)    I've corresponded once or twice with [personal profile] liamstliam, but hadn't been formally introduced or anything.      Very nice man.   

The food was abundant   (!)    and delicious   (!!!).     There was leftover Ember Day tart with plenty of greens and cheese.     I was tired and happy  8)
minstrlmummr: (Tuba Rocker)
Song list for Birka -- Check.      (Packing list pending.      Checking in with  [personal profile] woodwindy  also pending   8).
Song source, published 1607,  vetted for Kingdom Bardic ("documentable before 1605") -- Check.
Application sent for "America's Got Talent" -- Check.    (I may or may not hear back.)
CD ready to send to Music Under New York -- Check.    (Need printout of application first.    Someday, My Prints Will Come...)

Still to do:

Update list of local open mikes, including Queens and Long Island (and sometimes Jersey).
Solicit opinions as to which song best conveys "my unique act" for AGT audition (assuming I get one).
Color hair.    Trim bangs and crispy ends.   
Laundry.     (My window of non-crowded opportunity opens tomorrow morning)

I've never felt less "ready" in my life, but I'm not gonna feel "ready" until I'm in mid-song at some point in the next few days.
On with the mind-numbing repetition  -- er, discipline of rehearsal    8)
minstrlmummr: (daffy lute)
...was lovely, she said, taking a break from looking up web-copies of Colonial documents relating to religious freedom (last website mentioned in passing that at one time, nine of the thirteen colonies had officially-endorsed state religions...um, oops...).

While I had very much enjoyed driving up to the event via the (new to me) Merritt Parkway  (lots of trees, rolling hills, light traffic, no visible heavy industry) ,  I didn't relish trying to find my way back to it through unfamiliar territory in the dark, so I stuck to the Interstates til I got back to the 3rd Avenue Bridge in Manhattan.

Time well spent    8)

minstrlmummr: (daffy lute)
 When I realized this week that I could make it to Twelfth Night,  I saw the Aragon/Spanish theme in the event announcement.     While the repeated (albeit historically-accurate)  mention of  "celebrating having made Spain a Christian nation" made me a little queasy,  I also realized this might be a good opportunity to trot out the Spanish songs I'd collected....Oh...wait...

Fortunately,   [personal profile] shalmestere  pointed me towards the Choral Public Domain Library http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page  several years ago, and they had the songs, the tunes of which I knew by heart but not so much on the words.

I now have several copies of:

Ay Triste Que Vengo
Calabaza No Se Buen Amor
Hoy Comamos Y Bebamos 
Mas Vale Trocar
Pase El Agoa
So Ell Enzina  (For which I wrote English lyrics)
Una Sanosa Porfia (Which inspired/supplied the original melody for another song  8)

If anyone is going to be at Twelfth Night, I have copies to share.
minstrlmummr: (AAUGHH!!11!!!)
 Three weeks ago my friend BagLadyLorraine booked me for the busking job I did last year at the Phoenixville PA Firebird Festival (aka "Burning Bird"   8).      This year I may get a fee in addition to what I can get people to drop in my hat or pay me for CD's.    All seems good.

One of my favorite events of the last few years has been Bhakail Yule    (aka Branslers and Extended Family Christmas and Dance Music Jam).     I haven't seen  [personal profile] woodwindy  since before Mina was a bump   8(     I want to sing with  [profile] siobhan1214   and   [profile] t_bard   and  [personal profile] shalmestere  and  [personal profile] hudebnik   (although, fair's fair, the three of us can jam whenever the mood and the schedules allow   8)   and whoever else comes along.

You all know what I'm about to say, so I'm not gonna bother to say it    8(

All activities featuring the local Champions of Ahistorical Dysfunction are miserably spread throughout my calendar with no escape in sight.     If I want to see my friends  at all,  I'm still gonna have to leave Yule at 3 in the afternoon to go to work.

Anybody going to Hundred Minutes War?       I'll bring sheet music and a guitar....
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (hugzpleez)
 For those interested in seeing a work in progress, here is the url for a new homepage dedicated to original and SCA-period story and song:


Long stuff, like the text of "Gotham" had to go on a new blog:   


I've culled some images from google to pretty everything up as I go along...
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)
to [personal profile] hotspurreand [profile] scaharp, new Kings' and Queens' Bardic Champions!

Round One started with eleven competitors (including a singer all of eight years old!!), whittled down to seven, then the Final Four (also [profile] t_bardand Frau Baumhecker  8).      Performances took place in the sanctuary of the church where the event was held, and I didn't see/hear a bad performance in the lot.     Frau B in particular impressed me this day--she chose two pieces with which she was sufficiently comfortable to give a relaxed appearance onstage, and it made all the difference in the world!    I saw a number of entrants using pieces they knew well enough to take the performance to that next level--it definitely works, as well as being more professional artistically!    (also more like what an entertainer's persona would have done...)      I have heard sad things about the state of the performing art in other kingdoms, and I'm never more proud to be an Easterner than when I see this competition.

I got to do both the pieces I had prepared.    I also got to see two of the performers who'd come with me entertain at feast (concert got cancelled because everything else ran late...big surprise) and receive praises and largesse.     I hope they both compete locally and at Kingdom   8)

Full disclosure--I didn't have My Best Day.     Performing at feast helped to restore equilibrium a little (took my own advice and did the Dead Jester again).     I have much to ponder.
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)
Today I went to St. Andrews' tourney for the first time.     They protected the hall and had indoor fighting.    (New heavy weapons champ) Afternoon dancing.   Merchants.    Mucho shmoozing.    Some performer networking and mutual feedback  (dance and drum which is great to watch but large enough to need its own stage manager.    Singer I hadn't met before doing Irish trad.  Lovely voice.).    Hot and sour duck soup (the kitchener had to do without the blood the recipe called for...something about the butcher not killing anything in this cold weather.   No Idea what he meant  8)    Gawumpkes (sp?).    Different sausages mit kraut.    Rutabagas.     Roasted pork with a crackling top.     

Last but not least, I got to audience-test "Pyramus and Thisbe".     Got lots of encouragement and some very useful, specific feedback which I can use during final rehearsals this week.     (My Coxcomb teachers were the ones who reminded us that professional live productions have out-of-town tryouts and previews to get this kind of feedback as well as knocking out bugs.)

Time and coin well spent   8)
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)
Last night I ran what I hope will be the first of a number of regular Peformers' Circles (meant to include performers who do not necessarily perform in Bardic Arts). The turnout was small, should be better next month. A friend whose apartment is larger and more transit-friendly than mine was a most gracious hostess and her home is a source of some justifiable pride.

We talked a little about stage presence, and one girl who sings in and out of the SCA had a lot of questions and was open to some coaching (as soon as I find it, I'll get her a copy of Coxcomb's "Don't Forget The Audience".)    She's told me about a couple of problem areas, and we're working on some of that a little.    She will be singing at the evening concert at Noisemakers.      

There is another lady who also says she wants to learn from me.     Queens is harder for her to reach by train, so I did not see her last night but we're in regular correspondence.

Four and a half years ago I couldn't sing more than two songs without my throat hurting.

How the #^%&! did this happen?
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)
To my bardic buddies:

Yesterday [profile] windsingerbard crossposted a survey to relieve the winter's tedium.     

minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)
Life has been hectic  this week, so I will be updating all at once now.

Last weekend, [personal profile] shalmestere and Dr. Science and the Things took me along to Concordia to attend Winter's Night.    We stayed with D and M and their girl Things, and Y was visiting.       I slept in a room with a fireplace, which was warm (I would say "it was cool", but, well...).    The event was a lot of fun; I had a chance to trot out  "The Green and The White" again and got a lot of helpful feedback--people were stretching themselves during the competition, doing works-in-progress, like that .     For me, feast was wonderful because almost everything was served warm.  Saw lots of people performing  their bardic best at the concert in the evening (Y's lament got me right here), plus I got to hear  [profile] jousterbard  sing for the first time, which was a treat because he doesn't always perform at events.

Sunday was relaxing and full of good food (I brought a Mississippi Mud Pie (from The Little Pie Company of the Big Apple), which cannot be sliced unless it's been warmed up first   8)   and music    (16th-Century French songs after the Loud Practice for Investiture--  [personal profile] woodwindy    ,   weeeee  miiiisssssed   yooouuuuuu....).     Last but not least, I got acquainted with some music I hadn't heard before during the trip up and back.     There was Sting doing Dowland (which I'd buy for the readings he did, although he still sang like he was doing his own songs),  Malicorne, and some very energetic ensemble called....Burlap Lute   8)
minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)
A thread in [profile] t_bard 's LJ (about performance and competitions) reminded me of something I had assimilated before I started singing again, from Piers Anthony's Blue Adept:

I have been blessed with some gifts for entertainment.    My biggest challenge is to focus on actions  (like solo rehearsal) whether I feel capable or not.    That feeling is never there for me until I've been in front of the audience for a minute or so.     But I don't get there as often as I'd like because of the effort of getting enough repetitions under my belt for a clean performance.    I sometimes feel shy talking about this, because I've had colleagues jump on me for being disingenuous.     I guess it's like a pretty girl with dysmorphia(or whatever that twisted vision is that leads to anorexia or surgical addiction or things like that) in a milder form:    the one person who can't see/hear what is obvious to everbody else is me, because the view from in here is from a different angle  8)

Going to do a show now, must warm up...


minstrlmummr: Line from Wonder Woman movie:  "What I do is not up to you." (Default)

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