minstrel: Mid-Realm Bardic Madness - call for teachers and patrons
cerian at minstrel.com
Sat Oct 8 08:19:56 PDT 2005
The Mid-Realm's Bardic Madness will soon be upon us (December 17th
near Indianapolis, IN - http://tilted-windmill.com/bms7/). We are
currently looking for additional teachers and challenge patrons.
While we've got several volunteers already, there's room for more.
Teachers: We are interested in putting together classes on a wide range
of subjects related to the bardic arts. Past years have seen classes
that were theoretical (song writing, harmonizing, beginning
storytelling), practical (improv games, vocal warm-ups), or historical
(role of the bard in society, Shakespearean songs). What can we come
up with for this year? If you've got an idea for a class you'd like
to teach, please contact the provost.
Patrons: Each challenge will have a patron. The patron acts as the
host for their challenge - calling each participant forward to answer
the challenge, then thanking them with some token once they're done.
Tokens can, and have been, just about anything; buttons, rings,
brownies, and so forth. For those interested in being a patron, but
who find the thought of calling people forward an uncomfortable one,
alternative arrangements can be made. Note that if you find a
particular performance moving, you don't have to be the patron in
order to give that person a thank you. This is a good thing to do
anytime, not just at Bardic Madness. If you're interested in being
a patron for any of the challenges, please contact the provost.
How do you contact the provost? Glad you asked. The provost
(that would be me) can be reached at cerian at minstrel.com. Further
information about challenges, directions, feast, and so forth can
be found at the event's website http://tilted-windmill.com/bms7/
We hope to see you there.
Cerian Cantwr - Provost, Mid-Realm Bardic Madness
(formerly known as Bardic Madness South)
cerian at minstrel.com
PS: For anyone who has not yet seen this year's challenges, here
Pass the Tale:
All those who wish to participate get up together, and tell a tale
from beginning to end. The challenge's patron will 'conduct' by
pointing to the person whose turn it is to continue the tale, and
deciding when it is time to end.
Connect the Dots:
Throughout the ages, man has looked up at the night sky, drawn
pictures, then made up stories about them. Come up with your own
constellation, show us a picture of it, then tell us about it in
story, song, poetry, or prose. Bonus oooos and ahhhs for cool
drawings of your constellation. You can find a downloadable star
chart at http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1052
Perform a documentably period piece of music, story, or song (poetry,
prose, and so forth are good too). Dig out those reference books,
blow off the dust (try not to sneeze), and see what wonderful and
magical treasures you can find in them. There is a staggering amount
of fantastic material out there. Find something, be it silly or
sublime, and amaze us with it.
Given several texts to choose from in foreign languages,
"translate" one of them and explain what it "really" means.
Pick a partner and argue opposing sides of a question chosen by the
Here's Looking at You:
Two years ago, NASA took the amazing picture on the right. Imagine
what people in period would have thought of such a sight. What
myths and legends might they have come up with? Using song or
story, tell us about one of them. Further information about this
image is available from NASA at
Given a list of words, do something artistic with them.
The Spell of the Stars:
Pick one or more stars, planets, or other heavenly bodies and make up
an acrostic using them. An acrostic is a poem where the first letter
of each line spells out something's name. For an additional
challenge, make the poem in some way related to the subject of the
Be Careful What You Wish For:
Wishing upon a star can be a tricky proposition. Imagine us a song,
story, or poem about a wish that didn't exactly go according to plan.
Bard Scribe Illuminator:
Given a subject in the morning, compose, calligraph, and illuminate
a text on that subject. This may be done individually or as a team.
Baroness Audrey is very fond of all things Anglo-Saxon. It is her
wish to hear some alliterative verse. The rules for constructing it
are as follows:
1) Each line is made up of two half lines or distiches.
2) When spoken aloud, there will be a natural pause between
them. This is the caesura.
3) Each half line consists of two strongly stressed syllables
and an indefinite number of weaker ones.
4) Stressed syllables rhyme with each other by alliteration.
5) The first stress of the second half line will rhyme with
either of the stresses in the first half line.
6) The second stress of the second half line does not usually
rhyme with either of the stresses in the first half line.
Here is an example:
Harken and hear heed my example.
Verse form I give you view it and learn.
Two are the stresses told in each half-line,
Varied the unstressed uttered as well.
The first or the second fit with the third beat;
The fourth, at the end, follows no rule.
When spoken aloud, ears spot the caesura -
The silence between both halves of the line.
Additional examples can be seen at
Further information on the basic rules for Anglo-Saxon alliterative
verse can be found at
For all the gory details, take a look at The Princeton Encyclopedia
of Poetry and Poetics.
The Heavens Are Telling:
Since he first looked up at the night sky, mankind has used the stars
as a guide. The stars have told him when to plant and when to
harvest. The stars have told him where he was and how to get there.
Some even believe the stars have told him the future. When you look
up at the stars, what do you they tell you?
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