[Bards] Practice report!

Ivo Blackhawk ivo_blackhawk at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 2 18:45:43 PST 2002

Good Gentiles,

I am overjoyed to report that the bardic practice on Friday night was a
roaring success. Eight Bards were in attendance as well as three more and
two smalls. The night was started off with food and  beverages, conversation
and general welcomes opened the night on a warm and
friendly note.

At about eight o’clock we began with the performance/critique and the
discussion was both lively and informative. Also covered were topics
including the role of a bard and sources of new bardic pieces. We also
talked in some detail about learning more of the Ansteorran ‘patriotic
songs’ that many of our fighting community want to hear and sing. This
revised role of teacher and song leader could proves an excellent way for
bards to help draw the masses of the north together again on fun and
fellowship. Robert kicked the practice off with a alliterative poem from a
modern translation of Le Morte d’Arthur. Rhiannon sang a rousing fighting
song that started the battle blood flowing for those heavy fighters in the
room.  Nicolaea preformed a rendition of  ‘The Baron of Eastmarch’s
Daughter’ that varied from the normal melody, but was none the less
beautiful. Emer tackled a soprano ranged song that she had tucked away in
her notebook, an excellent effort all together with lots of strong points. I
preformed a poem I composed over eight years ago and was glad to have pulled
it off of the proverbial ‘backshelf’. Lilas preformed ‘Loch Lomond’, and
Serena told a wonderful story that she uncovered from a book from her
personal collection.

In all, the feedback and discussion was exceptionally high quality and
everyone commented time and time again that they were happy for the
information. Each person took their turn, bravely preforming and then facing
the criticism, though none were short of good quality, and all were well
within reach of a competition level performance thanks to the suggestions of
the groups.

Lots of information was gleaned from the night, and I am firmly committed
that other practices would help to push bardic back to the for front in the
north. Given the size of the group that gathered at my humble (and small)
residence, further such meetings would likely be better suited for larger
arias, though I will always offer my house as I am the one pushing these

I am, now asking for more such practices to be held in each of the northern
groups in Ansteorra. Robert mentioned that Northkeep will be reviving its
Bardic guild, and I am going to endeavor to attend the Northkeep meetings as
much as possible. If anyone in any group is open to the idea of hosting such
an event, I am at the mercy of the locals to arrange and run such a meeting.
However, if someone would like to take on such a task, please co-ordinate
with me. I will gladly
arrive early to help with setup, stay late to help with breakdown of the
place, as well as any other assistance that I would be able to offer. I
would like to see more local meetings of this type so that bards can get
more feedback on a more consistent  basis.

This was an excellent meeting, and I do look forward to seeing more
practices of this type. I think that with them the bardic skills of the
north will once again come to the forefront of the culture and flare of the

In Service to the Dream

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Northern Regional Bard.

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