[Bards] List

Brian Martin bm3876 at sbc.com
Thu Sep 26 07:51:55 PDT 2002

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Personally, I like the idea of the kingdom Eisteddfod being run by the
laurels for a couple of reasons.

Judging Forms: I've seen these forms and been judged using them and I like
them. I like the fact that they are fair, standardized, take into account
aspects such as quality of performance, presentation and authenticity of the
piece as well as feedback from the judge.

Authenticity: I think that this is something seriously lacking in our bardic
competitions. And before I go farther, let me stress that I just wrote
competitions - if someone wants to do non-period stuff around a fire, that's
one thing, but I feel that our competitions should be kept to a period
style. If a person enters a non-period piece into a static A&S competition
and/or has no documentation, that piece would very rightly get a low score.
Yet people don't think twice about doing non-period pieces in bardic
competitions  why is that? I know that Charles and others disagree with me,
but in general (and certainly in a competition), I would rather hear an
average performer do a period or period style piece than an excellent
performer do something non-period. There must be a balance there but, in my
opinion, authenticity must be taken into account.

Documentation: I realize that this is a continuation of the authenticity
argument, but I think that it needs to be broken out if, for no other
reason, than for Gulf Wars. Ansteorra has twice been penalized in the Gulf
War performance competition because our Kingdom Bard either did not have
documentation or had poor documentation. I'll state right here that the
"poor" documentation was the judges' opinions - I did not see the
documentation and therefore don't have an opinion. But if that person had
been required to show documentation at the kingdom Eisteddfod, they would
have known what the laurels who judge GW would have been looking for. I know
that GW is not important to everyone, and I am not trying to say that it
should be. So before anyone flames me, please remember that I'm just stating
my opinions. :-) And, in addition to GW, I just think that its important
that we make an effort to be more period. (Yeah, I know: I'm a period Nazi.
I've heard it before.)

The Laurels: I think that we need to do something to bring performance back
into the focus of the laurel circle. I'm married to a laurel and have tons
of friends in that circle and there is not a great deal of performance
representation going on in there. I know people will point out Mari, Ulf,
Willow, Robin and some others and I will counter that *most* (I didn't say
all) of those worthies aren't very active on a kingdom level right now. It
appears to me that most of the laurels aren't in tune with what's going on
with performance in the kingdom. I know from my personal experience that
I've been performing for years, I've represented Ansteorra in the GW
competition three times and all three times I've tied for the highest score
given in the competition, I've been the titled bard of two baronies in the
last year and I didn't start getting any attention from the laurel circle
until I started entering poetry into static competitions. This is not a
complaint, its an observation - *most* of the circle aren't performers and
*most* of those who are performers aren't terribly active, therefore
performance - and performers - don't get much attention from the circle.
When was the last time that a performer was made a laurel? Ihon is the last
one that I can think of and before him I think that you have to go back to
Robin. How many static people were made in the interim? A lot. The point of
all of this is that I think that there are a lot of excellent performers out
there who are not getting the attention from the laurel circle that they
should be getting because the circle isn't keyed into performance. I do also
believe that the laurels have been made aware of this situation and are
working to improve it. Having the laurels run a kingdom Eisteddfod would, I
think, be a good step.

Quality: I saved this for last because its going to offend the day lights
out of some people, but here it goes: we need to have better consistency in
the quality of our kingdom bards. Some of them have been excellent, some -
in my opinion - have not been very good. I think that the judging forms and
a good mix of judges (most performers, some non-performers) would be a good
way of improving that consistency.

So there you have my very lengthy two cents,


-----Original Message-----
From: lanphier taylor [mailto:jonwillowpel at juno.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 9:56 PM
To: bards at ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Bards] List

Greetings to the Bards of Ansteorra

The Laurels of Ansteorra are talking ( and I mean they are just talking)
about taking over the Kingdom Eistoffod ( sorry about the spelling) and
making it a proper event. A festival  with group singing and group
performance and everything that takes place at the event in Wales. I
assume that they would also run it with their judging forms and rules on
documentation and of course they would be the judges. The statement I
heard that by this way a true kingdom bard could be chosen. Before I go
and make an ass of myself I would like to know what you think of this

Personally I hate the idea and I am thinking emotionally not logically at
the moment.

Willow de Wisp

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