Sun Dec 07, 2003
We've been busy the last several weeks. Liadan has finished the tunic she made for Crown Princess Asa, in red linen with Norse applique on the arms. We've shifted now to the feast season and getting ready for Estrella. I played harp at Yule Feast last night, and will play again at Aefflaed's Laurel vigil tomorrow night and Stromgard's Yule next weekend. Attended Brigitta's Pel vigil last weekend. Much painting of tent is going on right now. More...
Thu Nov 27, 2003
I drove up to Spokane a couple weekends ago for Crown Council, traveling with Dame Mira and her 5-month old daughter. Attended my first Kingdom-level Laurel meeting, and made a presentation. Saw some really nice stuff at the artisan's display in the hall, Wealdsmere and area has some talented folks doing great work. Contracted for my Laurel scroll with Viscountess Inga from Avacal after I saw some samples of her work. More...
Mon Nov 03, 2003
We had our eighth Samhain event this weekend. We arrived in time for the audience of Their Excellencies Titus and Kateline. Provided a little background music for that and then went downstairs and did an impromptu jam session with Heather the Incorrigible and her friend Catherine, playing Irish flute and pennywhistle, while I played harp and bodhran. The feast was next, including a roast peacock that was carried in and presented to the high table, and covered in it's own feathers. The bird was skinned with the feathers intact, and they were placed over the roasted bird. Very impressive. Feast was followed by Baronial court, did a little music for that, and then a harp, bodhran and fiddle jam with Rachel ni Dunne afterwards.
Mon Oct 20, 2003
I had great fun at Amergin's this year, although the shoe was on the other foot, as I was judging this year instead of competing. I had just competed at Kingdom Bardic, so all the thoughts about judging competitors was fresh in mind. Aodhan, a fellow harper, was the winner.
It's not an easy job to rate a performance, as it's so subjective. Probably the hardest part is to give constructive criticism. You have to walk a fine line between not hurting someone unnecessarily, and telling them how to improve. Luckily, most of the performances were good, and in fact, the competition was the closest I've ever seen - one point out of over 500 between the top 2 performers and less than 25 between all 4 overall competitors. Master Lonergan and Lady Niara, last year's winner, were my fellow judges.
One of the other things I'm becoming aware of is that as a Laurel, your words carry a little more weight than they did before. You find yourself choosing your words carefully when giving criticism because you want to encourage, not discourage. You see yourself in the place of the performer or artisan, because that's where you were just a year or two ago. Kindness and consideration temper your judgement, since the last thing you want to do is to diminish their spark of joy in their art. And it's a great thing to watch someone grow and bloom as time goes on.
Tue Sep 30, 2003
I went to the first Kingdom of An Tir Bardic Competition last weekend. It was a good competition, and the first time I've competed at Kingdom level. Good performances by everyone, and I especially enjoyed talking to the judges afterwards. I knew going in that my documentation was weak, and this was reinforced by the judges. This is what constructive criticism is all about, you learn from it. My thanks to all who worked so hard at this event. And also to Leuke verch Meyler, who gave me crash space at her house.
Sun Sep 14, 2003
A Fun Picnic
Had a great time yesterday at the Baronial picnic. The weather was beautiful, and lots of folks turned out, including several "old-timers" I haven't seen in years. It was billed as the "Three Mountains Family Reunion", and it was very successful. It was an afternoon for socialization, and I got the chance to talk with many friends, old and new. We had a short court for fealty swearings and a dessert potluck for folks to munch on. A fun afternoon!
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