Baronial Bard!

Last weekend was the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands’ 12th night celebration where several baronial champions were to be selected. The prior weekend was Æthelmearc’s Kingdom 12th night and the Sylvan Bard competition, and while I would have dearly loved to attend and compete, a 3-hour drive and two nights in a hotel combined with a very large group of indoor people in the middle of flu season was more than I wanted to attempt with a 1 week old infant. However, a half hour drive to a local event that I could day-trip with a 2 week old infant? Sure, why not!

I’d thought to perform Heather Dale’s “Mordred’s Lullaby” because how often does one get to perform a well known and well loved lullaby with a live newborn as a prop? I’d rehearsed it with the bairn, and he actually fell asleep during one rehearsal. I was a tad concerned about the potential for spit-up (as he is very prone to do) and the adage, “Never perform with animals or children” because they’re unpredictable and likely to upstage you. Ultimately, it was the space acoustics that led me to choose an alternative. Large, echoey, and with a fair bit of background noise from adjoining rooms, the creepy nuances of the lullaby would’ve been lost. So instead, I launched into “Weight of the Chain” by Aneleda Falconbridge. I love that piece, and there will be another post devoted entirely to it when I get around to making that recording I want to do. About halfway through, the most adorable twin boys in matching late-period garb who couldn’t have been much older than 2 and a half were scampering in and out of the audience. I couldn’t help but grin while performing as I realized I was on the verge of being upstaged by children despite not actually bringing my own up on stage, and then renewed my efforts to recapture the audience. Fortunately their mother managed to corral them soon after (she was doing a lovely job with them; controlling toddler twins is a difficult task for anyone) and I got my audience back for the end of the song. The competitors were gathered by the baron and told/reminded of the Seven Pearls tournament at Pennsic in which all the baronial bardic champions compete for possession for a year of the GOB, a fabulously oversized goblet. BMDL hasn’t held the GOB in many years, and Baron Liam informed the competitors that he really wants this to be the year we get it back. Then in court during the announcement of me as the new champion, the populace was informed that this will be the year that the GOB will be returned to the Debatable Lands. No pressure.

It’s not exactly a high responsibility position or a large time commitment, but I’m looking forward to feeling like I’m at least being more active musically speaking. My hope is that while taking my maternity leave, I’ll carve out some time to pursue more of my musical interests and start more serious work on that CD. After some conversations with Aneleda about the creation of her CD, I’m more inclined to bite the bullet and buy some professional studio time and mixing/mastering. Her biggest piece of advice was to come in with as much organization and planned accompaniment as possible, so my revised plan going forward is to do as much scratch work at home but not get as hung up about having a perfect recording space at the house.

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