[Bards] From Eleanor Fairchild - on Eisteddfod

Marie Adams marie.adams at visionoflove.net
Thu Jan 8 06:48:15 PST 2004

As soon as I sent this reply, I noticed some controversy over what Willow
said, and realized I'd probably better say why I wanted to support her
message. I'm just not one for doing research, and I'm nervous that more
and more competitions will require documentation, and
I won't be able to just pull any pieces out of a hat when I get there.
This doesn't mean, however, that if this happened I'd just drop out; I
think it would be worth it to me, since I love performing so much. I hope
I haven't offended anyone at all, and that I haven't made an irreparable
blunder! If so, I'm sorry.

On Thu, 8 Jan 2004, Marie Adams wrote:

> Well Said! I don't think I can add anything to that (not that I'd know
> what to say if I tried.)
> Ly Serena Dominicci
> On Wed, 7 Jan 2004, willow Taylor wrote:
> > Greetings from Duchess Willow de Wisp
> >
> > I didn't complete mainly because I did not have the documentation. Story
> > telling is hard to document because it is an oral art form and once you
> > write it down it becomes a written art form. I did not have the time to
> > study the necessary anthropology to trace story telling back as far as I
> > could. Also to do it justice it would be about 15 pages of  peer reviewed
> > articles. To reproduce this differently for each piece I might feel like
> > performing was more than I was up to. I also get a little pissed off at
> > the unfairness of the judging form used in Ansteorra. If I do a piece  by
> > Bertain de Born translated by a expert in the field. I can't just state
> > that. I have to do more. I am not an expert on Old French. I can not
> > evaluate the translation. I have to trust my expert. If I want to do a
> > sonnet by Shakespeare I have to write a paper on him. I have to state
> > elegantly on why he  is period. Now if I am writing a original sonnet I
> > can start with the assumption that Shakespeare is period and compare his
> > work and mine. I do not have to defend Shakespeare I only have to defend
> > my piece as to being Shakespearean like.  Because the second form of
> > documentation has a easier form , it can be more impressive. Original
> > work documentation  get more points, doing period work is rewarded less
> > than original work.
> >
> > Also there is the matter of the judges. You can  write the best piece of
> > Bullshit that have even been put out. I have seen it. That doesn't mean
> > your  piece reflects your documentation. I remember a Arts and Science a
> > long time ago. A lady put out a piece of documentation that supported
> > traditional story telling. Then she did her piece in a style that
> > reflected modern styles The Laurels were so impressed with the story that
> > they give her full points. When I discussed the documentation with her
> > she told me she knew that those Laurel didn't know a thing about folklore
> > so she just wrote to educate them. When we reach the level of Kingdom
> > Eisteddfod I don't believe we should be educating the judges. I think if
> > the judges can't tell the differences between period and non -period work
> > they should not be the judges. If we want to live up to the ideals of
> > authenticity we should limited pieces to period works and period styles,
> > with supporting documentation if necessary.  Hamlets's speech would not
> > need documentation for heaven sake, but original work based on it would.
> > An old poem from the 600 AD talking about Hector's balls might need to be
> > verified.(A bard used such a story for 3 years before he finally read the
> > intro. and discovered that it was a modern book.) We could make the
> > Eisteddfod sort of a contest of judged work. If you can not support it,
> > it is not preformed. Don't give points for the quality of the
> > documentation, just take things away if it is not there.
> >
> > I believe in the A&S and I believe in the documentation system there, but
> > the Eisteddfod was set up to do something different than the A&S. The
> > Eisteddfod is last existing vestige of the old Ansteorra. In the old days
> > we believed in studying the pre-17th world by creating a construct of a
> > feudal land and we would take roles reflecting this land. With our
> > individual studies we would teach each other by our interaction
> > (role-playing). The performers were a vital part of the system.
> > Performers would interject information about the culture we were studying
> > the same way performers interjected data in the time periods we were
> > studying. I have a period book that tells squires that they should listen
> > to storytellers telling tales about great knight if they want to learn
> > about knighthood. The original bards who set up the Eisteddfod did so to
> > promote the highest values of performing. It and the local Eisteddfod
> > were set up to promote a class of performers who treasured the historical
> > ideals of Ansteorra and had the skills to make period works and period
> > styles fun and entertaining to the people of Ansteorra. If you look at
> > the winners of the kingdom Eisteddfods you will discover many of them
> > have made period works and period styles fun for us all. Robin, Pendaran,
> > Antonio make late period works come alive. Harold Boderson and Cedrick
> > have thrilled us with early works. You folks have asked for my chivalric
> > stories when you were drunk. You must like them. The way the Eisteddfods
> > are being run now promotes entertaining. When we look at other kingdoms
> > whose "kingdom bards" con\competitions follow the A&S format we see
> > scholars, who don't entertain, winning, not performers who can open
> > windows into the past. I think we need different format to promote
> > different things. No one contest or format can do everything but when we
> > put them all together we get a better whole.
> >
> > Duchess Willow de Wisp
> > former Premier Bard
> >
> >
> >
> >
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