[Bards] From Eleanor Fairchild - on Eisteddfod (WARNING: almost as long as the original)

Gerald Norris jerryn at houston.rr.com
Mon Jan 5 21:08:47 PST 2004

Eleanor wrote:

> Let me first offer congratulations to Dona Antonia for her
> marvelous performances in the competition this year. I have high
> hopes for her tenure as Kingdom Bard.

I would like to offer my congratulations as well.  Donna Antonia is a truly
worthy opponent, on the field and in the circle, and her performances
Saturday were wonderful to behold.

> Dona Antonia
> Bella (Many apologies, my lady - I did not write down your surname)
> Eleanor O'Rourke
> William Wyrm
> Gerald Of Leesvile
> Muirenn ingen Senáin uí Dúnlaing (Simone)
> Ana ....(Oooh - don't have her surname either)
> Ouisin MacFinn

Worthy bards one and all (except for that Gerald fellow, but he DOES try, so
please humor him ....).

/* Much snippage concerning how impressed Eleanor was concerning
documentation, along with tips and such */

> So - on another note, I would like to ask the group at large -
> Why did more of you not compete? This question is in no way meant
> to shake a finger at anyone, as I have only competed in one
> kingdom Eisteddfod myself, and had a different reason each year
> for not competing until then.

And here I must confess.

Until Saturday morning, it had been my belief that I wasn't going to
compete.  The time had snuck up on me, and there was much other stuff
happening (whiner!), and I had convinced myself that I didn't have anything
ready to perform.

Then I remembered.

Something on the order of a dozen plus 13th and 14th century dances from
Italy, Spain, France and England.

Two English songs, fully documentable (and I even knew where the
documentation was).

Belle Qui, the Playford pieces, my own pieces (planned for the 4th round, if
I'd made it).

So my reason for not competing was that I hadn't worked up anything NEW.

Which seemed like a pretty dumb reason to me.  So Saturday morning, I did
tappity tappity on the keyboard, looked up my documentation (I tend to keep
it simple because I spend more time on the playing than the studying), and
promptly forgot the words to Belle Qui, a song that I had sung for almost
six years, thousands of times, and the only thing I can think is that the
words just crawled out of my head and stayed in the waterbed in Houston,
thus prompting the change to English Dance in the third round.

All this to let others know that documentation of a piece doesn't HAVE to
look like a college thesis paper.  Anyone who is reading this e-mail has the
ability to download the Laurel judging sheet for A&S entries (static and
performance).  Take a look at that sheet.  Have your documentation answer as
many of the questions as you can from that sheet (What period, style of
performance, if different, how, etc.).  You then hold in your hands
documentation that will please most judges.

Eleanor's given some good advice too, so don't forget that either.

I plan on competing next year, and I'm already working on a few songs, two
stories, an instrumental/singing piece, and who knows what else.  I'm
looking forward to sharing my talents with all those who were there this
year, and I encourage others to join in the cause.  I look forward to
learning from the bards I compete against (Eleanor O'Rourke, could you
please send me the words to the song you sang in the 4th round?).  I look
forward to the company.

In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am
HL Gerald of Leesville
Ravenskald of Ravensfort
A bard of Stargate
Kingdom Ansteorra

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