minstrel: Mid-Realm Bardic Madness - call for teachers and patrons

Cerian Cantwr 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
they are:

1st fyt:
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

Period Piece:
    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.

2nd fyt:
    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

3rd fyt:
Stir Fry:
    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.

4th fyt:
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.

Baronial Challenge:
    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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