As I find myself more and more involved in this thing called “bardic arts”(1) within the SCA, I am slowly coming to grips with what I want as part of the bigger picture ™.
When J. and I joined the SCA, we did it simply for the fact that it was fun. It was an escape from the grind and rigors of our mundane life. As I’ve mentioned before, I never really gave much thought to any goals I had beyond playing music and entertaining people, and getting my feet wet with period music (because I never had the chance to study it in college).
But what else? I’m now at the point I am beginning to wonder about how much more I want to do.
I know I want to learn more period songs, and have some that I can incorporate into my regular performance repertoire. I want to learn more about early music; how it’s structured, theory of the modal system, how it evolved. I want to incorporate that into my songwriting (ballad-style would probably be the easiest to begin with). I want to learn more about where these songs came from. Especially the last, the history really intrigues me and I find that music gives a very unique window into the views of society at the time. And last but definitely not least, I want to become a better performer as far as the period songs go. I so admire and love it when performers are completely consumed by the piece they are performing, when all modernity disappears and they become their persona and draw everyone back along with them… I want that. I want to do that.
A while back, I had an opportunity appear that would have offered me a lot of guidance in this regard. After much thought, I elected to decline, based on the uncertain time in which I find myself. I know I’ve said this before and it didn’t come to pass — my life and responsibilities may change pretty drastically here in a few months. I harbor concerns about whether — provided I have a baby to bring home this fall — I will have enough brain power and energy to devote to studying these passions. Because I don’t want to do anything half-a$$ed, especially not my music. I love it too much to put something substandard out there.
But now I’m wondering if maybe I was too cautious. (I have a problem with not being a risk-taker.) I’m wondering if maybe I should have gambled a little.
I don’t really know.
Regardless, I have decided that at the least I will pursue my interests on my own as I’ve always done — starting with preparations for a “Single Entry” at this next year’s Kingdom Bardic competition. As I see it, I will be there anyway to be a judge (baby or no baby), and so, why not?
Of course, now I have another problem:
What song do I pick???
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: Essentially any type of performance art suitable or documentable (as existing between 600-1600 A.D.) for entertainment in the SCA; including but not limited to filks, folk songs & music, storytelling, poetry, dance, drama, acrobatics, and magic.