[Bards] Situations That Ruin Bardic Circles

Gerald Norris jerryn at houston.rr.com
Sun Apr 29 21:47:03 PDT 2007

Not too much to add:
I agree that large bardic circles lower the number of performances  per
person.  I"m not necessarily sure this is bad, but I can see that it is from
a performer's perspective.
Fewer performers, more performances per person, but then it's a "closed"
circle, something I'm not necessarily up for either.
I think parft of the problem is that we're making bardic circles our only
venue for performing.  At Stargate Baronial there were only ten of us, and
it was less a bardic circle and more a "whew!  That's over!" gathering.  We
sang, told stories, but more importantly, I heard three new voices that I
hadn't heard before, and all were in fine voice, along with others who are
often overlooked at "Official Bardic Circles (sponsored by the various
brewing guilds of your locale, your mileage may vary, offer void of any
serious intent).
I agree with time limitations, and it is something we should be teaching as
bards.  The edda that calls to be recited in someone's mind is the mindless
tolling of the bardic death knell in another's.  The long piece has it's
place, but it should be planned and in a setting that lends itself to the
piece, not thrown by happy accident into the lap of the audience.  Perhaps
as a precursor to any bardic "happening" in the evening.  Baron Thomas of
Tenby and Master Cedric did a wonderful piece one winter, long ago, and I
was captivated.  But again, this bit of knowledge is something that needs to
be taught or talked about when those with aspirations of being bardic come
to those who think they are.  
Modern Filk - My opinion only:  It needs to be very cleverly done to come
off right; filk for filk's sake is similar to masturbation; nothing to be
shared with a crowd.
I've had the fortune to be in the middle of two spontaneous bardic
"circles"; both were right people at the right place and right time.   Both
were entertaining, the performers had their fill, and the audience was happy
to have been at that point in time.   This would probably be in that realm
where good bards can "wing it", as Robert Fitzmorgan speaks of.  I'm sure I
missed other good performances, other good fires.  But then, it's part of
what keeps me going.
In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am,
HL Gerald of Leesville
A bard of Stargate 
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