"bard" reply & Margret's intro (was: Re: Greetings!

Robin Hilp robin at data.microtekintl.com
Wed Sep 6 13:27:38 PDT 1995

Let's start with my intro.  Just so you-all know who's talking here.

My personna is Margret Bjorn's Dottir.  (You can put a slash through the 
'o' in Bjorn if you like -- this here vt100 termcap ain't that flexible.)
In SCA reality, Margret was born of an indiscretion to a good household in 
more-or-less Norway -- good enough to give her a healthy childhood and 
also good enough that they appreciate her not advertising her exact
relationship to them.  (Her mother was eventually respectably married 
off.)  OTOH when Margret shows up she is welcomed well enough as family.

To summarize the story Margret tells when her audience asks her origins:  
In a tiny kingdom on the edge of the forest, the youngest daughter of the 
king often slipped away to walk alone.  A spirit of the forest fell in 
love with her and approached her in the guise of a great, black bear.  He 
carried her through magical journeyings to his den/palace.  Eventually 
the princess had a baby girl.  Then the princess returned to her home, 
leaving the bear spirit to raise his baby, hence Margret Bjorn's Dottir.  
Margret was wet-nursed by various migratory beasts, which gave her a 
permanent case of wanderlust.  When she grew up, Margret chose the life 
of a wandering storyteller.

Margret tells stories, some factual (news) some fantasy, occasionaly 
using some small portable musical instrument (ocarina, gourd, etc.) 
for sound effects.

Garb ... Margret dresses in whatever she likes best of the various 
cultures she's visited, mix-matching according to her own taste.  She 
would do a lot better if I could either sew or afford to have someone sew 
for me.  Recently I bartered some extra cloth for some sewing and the 
seamstress promptly disappeared with *all* the cloth, both the stuff for 
my garb and the extra.  There's an "aargh" for you.

Now to the "bard reply" part ...

I don't call myself a bard in any usage -- mundane, SCA, or historical.  
Shakespere was a "bard" in the modern usage.  I can sweat-out the
occasionally passable doggeral.  I can't read music (although I can pick 
out melodies by ear pretty accurately), have no particular instrumental 
technique, and never took voice lessons.  I'm a good modern storyteller & 
am (slowly) learning about "period" storytelling.  If my fellow SCAdians 
wish to slap a label on that they are welcome to.

On Mon, 4 Sep 1995, Brett Williams wrote:
> [...about mundane filking groups ...]
> who filk within the science fiction/fantasy crowd loudly proclaim 
> themselves as filkers, proud to sing off-key and badly.
> All in all, that's fine and good-- but on contact off and on for the 
> last fifteen years or so it *has* distressed me that the majority of 
> these folk are still at the same level of performance skills.  They're 
> static in that I can reasonably expect to walk into a room where a filk 
> is going on within the next five years and hear the same folk singing 
> or playing at the same level of expertise/confidence they exhibited 
> five or even ten years ago.  The word 'filker' in this instance has 
> been conveniently used as a shield to hide behind, and a refusal to 
> improve on a gift or skill.
> Which strikes me as a colossal waste of an individual's precious time.  
> Why engage in an activity one loves and enjoys and yet refuse to take 
> advantage of the learning of skills such participation engenders?

I, too, know some single people and married couples with lots of leisure 
time who profess a great interest in performance yet never seem to 
improve themselves.  Pity.  However --

How many of these "static" types are married with 2 kids, 60-hr a week job
that requires ongoing education in a variety of fields, like to read for 
pleasure, maintain a largish house, keep pets, and are called upon to 
participate in non-SCA leisure activities such as resort camping, urban 
hiking, used & rare book collecting, and spending time with friends who 
aren't in the SCA?

How fast can they advance their SCA-entertainment skills, with perhaps a 
couple of hours a month to devote to it?

Should such people forgo filking ... or its SCA equivalent ... entirely 
unless they're prepared to drop all other leisure activities in favor of 
intense study of their branch of entertainment history?  Not in my opinion.

> tired of hearing songs constistently introduced by Society musicians 
> and performers with an apology for something or other...it's needless 
> self-deprecation and for the most part, false modesty.

Haven't heard apologies exactly, m'self ... have often heard people 
introduced with some comment as to level of skill.  Entirely appropriate 
if honestly presented, im(nsh)o.

> Opinions? Brickbats?

Both. *grins*

    Robin Hilp      robin at data.microtekintl.com      (503)645-7333x400
 Microtek International, Inc., 3300 NW 211th Terrace, Hillsboro, OR 97124 
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