[Ansteorra] why bardic at feast?

Ld.blackmoon ld.blackmoon at cox.net
Thu Mar 24 16:11:00 PDT 2011


I see the issue as part of a cycle, when I started in the early 80s you had 
bards going from camp to camp, wolfstar blowing horns all night, and rolling 
thunder drumming all night,then the wolves had pups and turned grey ,the 
bards concentrated on competitions,and the drummers drifted into middle 
eastern drumming .
and a lot of the older bards that used to do camp rounds at night , before 
stumbling to bed, now " camp " at the nearest hotel / motel, and leave right 
after court .
so in the recent past I've heard a few howls from the younger wolves,bardic 
at competitions, and haflas every where you look.
will bardic circles, and touring bards going camp to camp come around again? 
only if the bards " make it so "  I know uriah still makes bardic camp 
rounds when he's up to it, do others ? if health prevents touring camp to 
camp are bards making their own camps a bardic friendly area ? and making it 
known to others ?
it's been over a year since I saw a bardic camp site, with bards and 
populace drifting in and out as well as just sitting telling stories, and 
singing songs.
( thanx papa bear: ), and chemin noir had a wonderful , perform around the 
bonfire bardic that lasted until almost daylight ( that was a blast ; )
is this some evil plot ? no, just a normal cycle of change, only the bards 
can , if they choose to do so, bring back camp bardic, and the traveling 

on bardic at feast , aside from the many stories , of not being able to 
hear, being told to shut up,etc.
I overheard someone saying that while court was for recognizing others fine 
works, feast was more of a " me " time, after working or competing all day 
long , I finally get a chance to sit among friends ( both old and new ) that 
I haven't gotten to see in a long time, or before, relax, chat ,enjoy a good 
meal ,good friends,and contemplate the day , before starting again to work 
to make the event great, or going to court to see who the crown may favor 
with what award for their good works, and the parties that follow.
so to have a bard stand up in the middle of feast and start a performance 
that I cant hear,appreciate,or really want to hear at that time, makes many 
people feel as if the bard is feeling insecure and grandstanding to a 
captive audience, to make themselves feel better .while I don't believe this 
is always the case,enough of the populace may .

the quality and quantity of the food, as well as the servers, and the 
populace are always what make a feast,and sometimes an event memorable and 
for either good or ill : (

the best method I have ever seen for teaching novices, is to live the 
lesson, how can I expect those that look up to me to be chivalrous,hard 
working, honest,etc. if I am not showing those very virtues?
if I do as I please, and ignore the crowns, or their chosen landeds, then 
that is what I teach those that look up to me , is the proper attitude to 
if I bow to the thrones whether or not they are occupied, fulfill the duties 
and obligations of the awards I already have, and keep trying to make the 
sca a better place,and fulfill offices , because it needs done, then I am 
teaching those that look up to me , that no matter what my " rank ",
 I am still duty and honor bound to behave in a certain way.
so history is rarely lost,but often changed .

just my opinion, your mileage may vary
Be Safe , Be Happy, Have Fun .

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <willowdewisp at juno.com>
To: <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:27 PM
Subject: [Ansteorra] why bardic at feast?

Here is something to talk about it. As you know over the years i have thrown 
out ideas just to start conversation. This is something I think is real. 
Over the years I have watch the essence of Ansteorra be smothered by the SCA 
the club and the sca the life style and I believe that this is a great lost. 
I want to believe in Ansteorra the Kingdom but to do so we need to remember 
our history and the ancient history that we are based on. I think the 
destruction of the Queen's Bards and the general move from the values of the 
Bards to simple performances and performing only for contests broken the 
lines to our old history. If my heart gives out or a train runs over some of 
our older storytellers you will loose all your history.
I saw a special were the "last" true senchie of Ireland was interviewed and 
toward the end the man,  speaking in Gaelic, started to cry and said "when I 
die the old Heroes will truly be dead because they only live in the spoken 
OK, here is my points. Please talk about it pro and con. I am willing to be 
told that you don't like the concept, but please explain..I obviously don't 
understand some people's stand.
Why Bardic at Feast?    by  Duchess Willow de Wisp<?xml:namespace prefix = o 
ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The oblivious reason to have Performances at feast is for entertainment. If 
you are recreating the atmosphere of the Medieval or Renaissance world and 
you are having any kind of special meal or festival some kind of 
entertainment was there.
For a long time I have been arguing that we needed entertainment at feast 
for that reason, but I just realized that my real reason is not 
entertainment. It is something else.
As a senachie we have the duty of telling history tales and praise the 
Heroes. We are supposed to keep the old Heroes and the New Heroes alive in 
the minds of the community and we are supposed to tell tales that stress the 
values of the community.  The Bard is also supposed to do this, but they are 
doing it with the nobler art forms like Poetry and they do it for the great 
lords.  The storyteller is supposed to travel to the little fires and engage 
people in the history and values of the group.
As a senachie I would wander and tell my stories at camps and little revels 
and other get togethers, but with changes of life style we are not having 
the little period revels or the kind of campsites that care about welcoming 
a storyteller. In fact, the only time the whole community of some groups 
gets to together is at Court and Feast.
While some kind of “theater” is good at court, like a messenger coming in 
and announcing a force coming over the border or a well done peerage 
ceremony; most of the time the people just want it to be over and truly 
resent any kind of entertainment.
That leaves us Feast.  This is the only time the whole community is together 
and it very important that our current “Heroes “be rewarded in a social 
situation. One of the main differences of our group and role-playing games 
is that we do real things and we get a chance to interact with real people 
and we can shine in their eyes.
You can get a piece of paper in court and that is great,  but to hear a Bard 
do a poem about you or someone sing a sing about your adventures that really 
goes to the heart. Our new people hear these things and are inspired to be 
like that person and our longer tenure members are energized to do feats of 
their own.
Also it is at gatherings of all or most of our members that we rekindled the 
magic of being in our group, our Barony and our Kingdom. A good praise piece 
or rousing song honoring us is needed to keep the Dream alive. If the piece 
is good people feel that our kingdom and our groups are real and get that 
special magically tingle. It is this magic that makes all our work 
worthwhile and binds us together into a community.
The third serious reason we should promote pieces at Feast is the need to 
educate. Learning about the medieval times is a common thread that binds us 
together and is often the start of conversations and friendships in the 
SCA.. Many of us have gone to classes most of our lives and find them 
boring. Many of our new people just don’t know how to start. When we hear a 
song or a performance that gives a little piece of history or legend it 
often gives us a place to start our research. Educational pieces expand 
people’s knowledge and start people talking and that unite our communities 
even more because it mixes the older and newer people in sharing 
As you I am talking about prepared pieces for a Feast. I am not in favor in 
open performances. I believe the Crown, the B&B and the Autocrats of the 
Event should seek out people who can provide one of these three things. 
These performers should be as good as you can find. One to three pieces of 
not being more than 4 minute in length and they should be during the first 
two coerces or just before the meal is served. They will define the feast as 
a period activity and if chosen correctly bring the community together, 
defined our values by giving word fame to people who live to our values, and 
give people insights into the history and cultures we are studying.

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