Thursday, March 24, 2016

"In My Humble Opinion"...Words from the Current Bardic Champ on being a bard...

In My Humble Opinion

In Which Brother Bobby Ruminates On Being a Bard and of Things Bardic

Good gentle, you are, by some misfortune, or happenstance, finding yourself doomed to read this random spattering of letters, which, some, who are far wiser than the author, would consider only slightly less damaging than the contents of the Necronomicon. “Beware!” They would tell you, “Those are the dark thoughts of Brother Bobby entrapped on those pages. Your wits and, possibly, your very immortal soul are imperiled merely by proximity to their dark humours!”. “Balderdash!” I reply. Hardly anyone has ever been driven mad by my wordcraft and besides, it was a long time ago, if it ever actually happened, and they never proved anything.

Be that as it may, good reader, with the advent of another Baronial Championship in the offing, I feel compelled to impart what may pass for wisdom, if viewed in a dim light from a great distance, on what it means to me to be Baronial Bard in the Rhydderich Hael here In Glorious Æthelmearc. I disclaim at this time that these thoughts be my own and are not to be considered policy or whim of Our Fair Barony but merely my perceptions and attempts to hit the perpetually moving target of what it means to be a Bardic Champion. If some of what I throw here sticks to your shield, you are welcome to it. Allons-y!

Firstly, the biggest responsibility the Baronial Bard bears is to represent their Barony at the Seven Pearls Bardic Championship. The Bardic Champions from the Baronies of Æthelmearc perform before the assembled landed barons and baronesses to determine the Seven Pearls Bardic Champion. If ever there is a reason to bring your “A” Game, this is it. When Baroness Isolda called for bards to compete for Baronial Champion, she stated quite succinctly that one should consider competing only if they could fulfill the obligation of performing at the Seven Pearls. To me, this is one of the greatest honors and responsibilities of being Baronial Bardic Champion.

Now, follows a list of what I keep in mind as a Baronial Bardic Champion. Call it Conventional Wisdom or An Old Man’s Ramblings, take what you will from it.

  • Being able to sing, or play an instrument should not be considered mandatory.
  • Talents such as storytelling, puppetry, theatrics, comedy, acrobatics, juggling, magic, pantomime, and slapstick are just as legitimate as being musical.
  • There is nothing wrong with being a One-Trick-Pony if the Trick is very, very good.
  • It is beneficial to be familiar with the history, laws, and customs of one’s local group and kingdom.
  • It does not hurt to have some knowledge of actual medieval history and customs.
  • Performance is like gift-giving: the packaging is part of the gift.
  • Serve your Baron and Baroness with love and pride.
  • Practice.
  • Keep a book of your compositions, and journal your experiences.
  • Learn and share with other bards.
  • Better to perform for too short a time than for too long: leave your audience wanting more, not begging release.
  • Involve and engage your audience.
  • There is a time and a place for every performance; perform pieces appropriate to the venue and audience.

Finally, I leave you with the most excellent advice I was given ages ago, which can be applied to every facet of life, not just being a bard: Love what you do and do what you love.

Baronial Commentary: Champs is drawing near and Her Excellency and I still need candidates! Please don't leave us hanging :)- Magnus

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Calling all Orders of the Rhydderich Hael!

Her Excellency and I would like to start polling the members of the Baronial orders. Since it is our first time doing so we are really hoping to “shake the trees” and get as much feedback/participation as possible. To achieve this we are moving away from the standard practice of meeting in person and instead plan to make use of e-mail, Facebook, and even texts. We really want to get as close to 100% participation as possible. We have printed out all the current lists of order members and plan to check off people as they response to us. We are not opposed to meeting in person but please don’t let distance or scheduling stop you from participating. We want to hear from as many of you as possible!

Here is what we are looking for: If you are a member of an order please respond to us in person or via e-mail/facebook/etc. and provide the following:

If you have feedback please provide:
  1. Your SCA name.
  2. What orders you belong to.
  3. The SCA names of people you feel should be included in your order (please note which order for which people and why).
If you have no feedback at this time please provide:
  1. Your SCA name.
  2. Simply state you are checking in and have no feedback at this time.

Not a member of an order? If you are not a member of an order but feel a person(s) you know should be, please contact us and give us your suggestions.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Orders of Hael:

Orders carrying precedence:

The Venerable Order of the Ice Dragon (VOID): This Award recognizes extensive service within or on behalf of the Barony and Canton(s).

The Venerable Order of the Ice Dragon

The Noble Union of Lords and Ladies (NULL): This Award recognizes exemplars of Courtesy and Chivalry.  

The Noble Union of Lords and Ladies

The Order of the Golden Bee: This Award recognizes exemplars of Arts and Sciences.

The Order of the Golden Bee

The Order of the Dragon Combatant (ODC): This Award recognizes exemplars of martial skills. There is no badge for this award. 

Order of the Dragon's Concordium: This award recognizes new members of the Rhydderich Hael who have embraced the fabric of our society and delight in the wonders of the known world, look to help with activities of the Barony whenever they can, display kindness and chivalrous comportment, and seek to learn in the areas of Arts, Martial activities, Event planning, and other areas of Baronial function. There is no badge for this award. 

Orders not carrying precedence:

The Baronial Order for Creative Engineering Submissions: This Award recognizes exemplars of unique engineering projects benefiting the Barony and its members. There is no badge for this award. 

The Order of the Portcullis: This Award recognizes exemplars of a singular act of service to the Barony that went above and beyond all expectations. There is no badge for this award. 

The Tangled Rose: This award that recognizes decades of service to the Rhydderich Hael. There is no badge for this award. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

First Baronial Champion Hopeful!

At fencing practice this week our first Champion hopeful declared herself to his Excellency and I.

Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako (also known as Saku) has delivered to us a scroll telling us of her intent. Here is her beautiful work (pictured right).

The translation on the back states:

"A Samurai was to be trained in both art and combat,
the title means to serve. That is why I wish for the chance to be your champion of Art or Rapier.

Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako"

We are excited to witness what will come of her skills in the coming months.

Who will be next?

Now that our first hopeful has stepped forward who will be the next to declare themselves to Magnus and I? To all who would be our is the time to put together your speeches, your scrolls, your songs, your heartfelt declarations and more.

Show us your determination to be the Champions of our Barony this year!

Earlier Champs Posts - Click here

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Champs Selection Update!

After some thought Her Excellency and I have decided to amend our champion selection process as follows:

Attending Baronial Champs is no longer required to declare, compete for, and ultimately win the position as a champion.

Her Excellency and I felt that eliminating people because they cannot attend a single event (often after months of active participation and service) is counter intuitive to the spirit of our selection process. In addition we may decide to hold some of our champion activities (the tie breakers events if you will) at practices to better accommodate scheduling and/or weather.  

This means that some of the Champions selections will be announced after Palfreys & Pole Arms (May 27, 2016 - May 29, 2016). The bulk of the Champions (as well as the secondary awards) will be decided and announced at P&P.

We encourage as many people as possible to attend Palfreys & Pole Arms, enjoy the events we hold there, and show their Baronial pride.

If there are any questions please contact us.

We look forward to hearing from our future champions!