[Bards] Bardic college Events

Darlene Vandever annescvb at gmail.com
Sun Oct 29 14:27:53 PST 2006

On 10/29/06, Robert Fitzmorgan <fitzmorgan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/29/06, Darlene Vandever <annescvb at gmail.com> wrote:
> >  **Why* isn't it held in the center of the main hall? *
> >
>      The main hall at Twelfth Night is VERY busy and very loud.  I can get
> louder than most bards, but being that loud tends to strip away a lot of the
> subtlety from a performance, and doing it for any length of time can be very
> damaging to the voice, particularly as many of our bards do not have any
> professional voice training.

*One might wonder then how the "period" bards did it. I'm not sure there was
"professional voice training" available in the 11th century. Perhaps they
did what (I believe) Sean Connary did which was to go down to the sea and
try to project over the roaring of the surf. (I may be mixing up my stories
but I think I remember reading about some actor who did this.) *
*As for "any length of time" damaging the voice, this might then be an
arguement *for* a time limit, n'ces pas?*

>   **Any* competion that lasts 7 or more hours  (in my humble opinion) is
> > about 3 to 4 hours to long!  *
> >
>    You know, I've never really understood why some people think that
> spending 6 hours in a room listening to the best bards in Ansteorra to be a
> bad thing.  Maybe that's just me.  8^)

*LOL! It is *not* a "bad thing" at all!  But when there is so much more
going on which is vieing for your attention, then it becomes difficult to
maintain yourself (as audience) there for that time period.*

>     Suppose that we have 20 people enter this year.  That would be a
> fairly decent turnout.  There have been more, and a lot of people here would
> like there to be more.

*I think we need to ask ourselves if quantity is truely a "good thing".
Mundanely I used to coach and judge the science fair at our school. Early
on, every child was required to compete. It took a lot of time to look at
400+ entries when really only 10 were worthy of any type of consideration. *
*I would rather listen to 10 great bards than sit through 30 less-than-great
performances. And I have to agree with Brian that as a person who does
bardic, I can learn an enormous lot from those who are better than me by
listening and watching them doing what they are great at...bardic. I can
also learn what *not* to do by watching those who have disasterous
performances...but I really don't want to watch such things for long periods
of time.*

>  * There are many ways to make sure that the competition is a speedy one.
> > The simplest is to limit the Bard to 5 minutes or less....and use a time
> > keeper! Every high school drama cometition does this...why can't we?
> > *
> >
>       I for one don't want Kingdom Eisteddfod to feel like a high school
> drama competition.  I'm sure that's not what you meant but I feel it could
> be the overall effect.  Hustling people on and off the stage as quickly as
> possible, "got to keep things moving", someone with a watch calling "Time".
> What could be more mundane?

*You are right, that isn't what I meant. But we *can* learn a lot from them
and I see no reason not to use the various formats such as they have. *
*For example, if you had 6 competent judges, you could split the field of
competators into 3 groups with 2 judges each. Run 3 simultaneous preliminary
rounds with the judges choosing to send on the top 4 (or 5 depending on how
many were in the preliminary round) to the second round. Shuffle the
remaining competators into 2 groups and shuffle the judges into 2 groups.
Run a secondary round of 2 groups simultaneously with 3 judges. Each group
has 2 (or 3) that go onto the final round judged by all 6 judges.  The time
involved would be considerably lessened. *
*And why would someone have to use a watch to be the timekeeper? What is
wrong with a good, old-fashioned 3 minute glass? The timekeeper could turn
it over twice and there you got a 6 minute round and still have your period
ambience. *

>     As a storyteller, I get annoyed when I hear judges who want documented
> performances done in a period style with a 5 minuet time limit.
> <<<snip>>>.  It takes time for a good story to unfold.
>     I really feel that short time limits penalize storytellers.  I'd be
> interested in hearing what the other storytelles on the list think.

*Well, I think I can answer you there since storytelling is about all I do
(Aunty Annes! Tell us a story!!) :-)*
*I think it is really individual preference of the *performer* as to the
need for more or less time...I don't think that the audience really cares.
The audience is just looking for that surprise ending or that witty turn of
phrase. I don't see how storytelling is any different from say ...writing
good poetry. Some poems are quite long (ie. Norse Eddas)  while others
capture the mind and paint a picture with almost no words at all (Japanese
Haiku). I don't think that either style is "better" at being a poem than the
other. I don't think that stories are necessarily good if they are longer. I
think its the *style* that the performer prefers. *
*I've sat (and suffered) thru stories that dragged on intermeably to sort of
end somewhere...sometime. I, personally, *like* the challenge of trying to
tell a good story in a short period of time. I absolutely *revel* in those
sorts of challenge competitions where you are given a few words or a phase
and told to go off and come back in 20 minutes with a story, poem or song
that is 5 minutes or less. I know what you mean about trying to take someone
else's story and cutting it down to fit a required time slot but in that
case, I would also advise to to pick a story with which you *can* do that.
The ones you seem to prefer don't sound like that sort of story. *
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