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

Cerian Cantwr cerian at minstrel.com
Fri Oct 27 15:21:22 PDT 2006


The Mid-Realm's Bardic Madness will soon be upon us (November 11th
near Wooster, OH - http://tilted-windmill.com/bms8/).  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/bms8/
We hope to see you there.

Cerian Cantwr - Provost, Mid-Realm Bardic Madness
cerian at minstrel.com

PS: For anyone who has not yet seen this year's challenges, here
they are:

Fyt the First:

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.

Here There Be Dragons:
Sailing off into the unknown was a chancy business.  No one knew what
waited in the blank corners of the map.  Tell us of such a journey,
real or metaphorical, and what was found along the way.

Death, Doom, and Gloom:
This song isn't from Calontir.  A surprisingly large percentage of
sea songs end badly for their participants.  Cheer us all, well… down
with a song or tale of something soggy and grim.

2nd fyt:

Stir Fry:
Given a list of words, do something artistic with them.

Why Wait for Willy:
Many women waited for years at a time while their lover (usually
named Willy) went to sea.  It seldom worked out well.  Let us know
about one of these difficult relationships.  How did it work out, why
was the lady willing to wait so long, or how come the guy is always
named Willy anyway?

By the bleary bloodshot eye o' Bluebeard!  What be a day 'bout the
sea without mention o' them merry buccaneers  o' the deep – the
pirates?  Stand to, and give o'er wi' pirate song or story, lest ye
be made ter walk the plank!

3rd fyt:

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words:
Members of the populace will draw pictures for this challenge based
on the theme: things found in the sea (feel free to define this
broadly).  Participants will pull both a drawing and a song out of a
hat just before the challenge starts.  Write two verses and a chorus
about the picture using the tune.

It Came from the Deep:
The sea is said to be the home of many monstrous creatures: sirens,
sea serpents, and krakens among them.  Tell us of one of these
legendary creatures or an encounter with one.

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.

4th fyt:

Scrimshaw Carving:
Given a piece of material (perhaps from the great white whale, Moby
Dial), some tools, and a subject; carve an image and compose a text
based on it.  This may be done individually or as a team.

Rondeau Roundabout:
The rondeau is a French poetic form dating back to the thirteenth
century.  It consists of thirteen eight syllable lines and two
repeated four syllable refrains.  These fifteen lines contain are
broken into three stanzas and contain only three rhymes.  The rhyme
scheme is as follows:

Stanza 1: A A B B A   (5 lines of eight syllables)
Stanza 2: A A B C     (3 lines of eight syllables,
                        plus the 4 syllable refrain)
Stanza 3: A A B B A C (5 lines of eight syllables,
                        plus the 4 syllable refrain)

So, how does this all work in practice?   Something like this:

A    Attend and I will tell to you,
A    Of how to write a rondeau true.
B    Use thirteen lines that hold eight feet -
B    Plus two of four, that do repeat.
A    Where, but three rhymes make their debut.

A    Split into stanzas, that are few,
A    Five lines in one and four in two -
B    Plus six in three. It's now complete.
C    Our Rondeau's done.

A    The `A' rhyme you will eight times view.
A    The `B', but five times will accrue.
B    The `C' you will but two times meet,
B    Identical in ev'ry beat.
A    Our poem is done and so we're through,
C    Our Rondeau's done.

Additional examples can be seen at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rondeau_(poetry) and
http://www.forwardpress.co.uk/04_workshop/workshop_02.htm.  As
always, for all the gory details, look at The Princeton Encyclopedia
of Poetry and Poetics.

Land Ho:
Sea voyages were dangerous.  Many ships sailed out only to disapear
without a trace.  Because of this, the first glimpse of journey's end
was always a welcome sight.  Sing a song of celebration that tells of
arriving at a destination, reaching agoal, or coming home.

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