Archive for February, 2015

The new Kingdom Bard of Atlantia, Lord Johann von Solothurn!

Lords and Ladies of Atlantia – pay heed! The new Kingdom Bard of Atlantia, the highest representative of the most noble art of performing in all the kingdom, presents himself to you!

Coronation Bear Pit Bards Spring 2014

Lord Johann shown here in the front row with the guitar at the Bardic Bear Pit of Spring Coronation 2014!

Lord Johann von Solothurn is a bard and musician. As a bard, he performs both period and SCA-themed music, and he writes original SCA- and period-themed songs (some of which are serious, others not so much). As an instrumentalist, he performs period guitar, lute and vihuela pieces. He plays mostly on classical guitar or sometimes on a reproduction five-course guitar. He is currently exploring composition for the four-course and five-course guitar. Johann also believes that the kazoo is seriously underrated as an instrument.

Prior to being selected as Kingdom Bard for 2015, Johann served as Black Diamond’s Bardic Champion in the court of Their Excellencies Aldemere and Juliana from 2012 to 2015. Johann has organized entertainment for events, sponsored and judged bardic competitions, and taught bardic-related classes, including Bardic 101/102, History of the Guitar, and Late Period Music for the Lute, Vihuela and Guitar. Johann resides in the Barony of Black Diamond, with his Lady, Helena Isabelle de Soleure and their son Jakob von Solothurn. Johann can be contacted at johann_von_solothurn@yahoo.com.

So… that’s what Johann wrote about himself…

Now, I’m here to tell you that this gentleman has some significant shoes to fill in following the yearlong act of awesome that was the year our good friend Lady Scholastica Joycours served as Kingdom Bard 2014. I am, however, completely confident that he will bring his own magnificent skills and joy for performing to this position. I know this because every time I’ve heard Johann talk about music, he’s mentioning some new tune he’s written or old tune he’s revisited, which kind of tablature it comes from, and which period musician inspired it. I knew he was “one of us” crazy bards when he mentioned that his music talks to him. In his response to the Artchain Challenge on the Book of Face, he said “The original song was in 3/4 time and really begged to be a galliard tune.” I can see it now… “PLEASE Johann! Make me a galliard! Please! You know you want to!”

So, in case you haven’t enjoyed the beautiful music or amusing antics of the magnificently talented Lord Johann von Solothurn, your first chance to see him as Kingdom Bard is at the Tournament of Ymir in the fine Barony of Windasters’ Hill this Saturday, February 28th (http://ymir.windmastershill.org). He is running a Viking Bardic Challenge at 2:00pm and also taking on the challenge of accepting a green apprentice belt from the legendary Master Efenwealt. Be there to help him escape or cheer him on!
(You also don’t want to miss the even more legendary Mistress Dervila (because she tells legends) take on her own apprentice in Lady Morgan Wolfsinger at the same circle!)

We are in for another year of enriching bardic wonders from the Kingdom Bard, so watch this space for announcements so you don’t miss a thing! – Sophia The Orange

1) Nottinghill Coil’s Baronial Birthday event on February 20-22 in Bennettsville, SC: https://sites.google.com/site/ncbb34/arts-sciences

Performing arts activities there include: Friday night dance practice and informal bardic at the “Tavern”, dance and dessert revel after feast on Saturday night organized by Baron Geldamar le Farceur, a bardic circle on Saturday night in the breezeway of the Whispering Pines Yellow cabins using the “Pick, Pass, or Play” format organized by Chung Tai Ren.

 

2) Brunch with the Bards in the Barony of Ponte Alto on February 21 in Reston, VA: http://pontealto.atlantia.sca.org/events/bardbrunch.php

A multitude of performing opportunities and classes on performing happening all day! So many, I can’t even type up a summary.  I’ll just rely on mentioning that the teachers for these classes include our current Poeta Atlantia, our recently stepped down 2014 Kingdom Bard, and a few of the highest quality Laurels involved in poetry and bardic arts our fair kingdom has to offer! If you’re into poetry, singing, or general performing guidance, you can’t beat a day spent in Ponte Alto on Feb 21!

 

3) Tournament of Ymir in the Barony of Windmasters’ Hill on February 27 – March 1 in Reidsville, NC:  http://ymir.windmastershill.org/index.php

Ymir is a huge event, and the performing activities include:  afternoon bardic competition at 2:00pm in the merchants area, a commedia play performance by i Firenzi starting at 3:30pm in the big hall, European dancing starting 30 minutes after feast ends, and a bardic circle using the Pick, Pass, or Play format also starting 30 minutes after feast ends.

 

4) Kingdom A&S Festival on March 7 in Wallace, NC  : http://kasf.atlantia.sca.org/

Performers do have a place at the KASF!  Pre-determined activities include the Gyrth Oldcastle Poetry Smackdown and the performance of a period commedia dell’ arte scenario by i Firenzi.  Performances are also a part of the Persona Pentathlon and Triathlon.  Also, Lady Katarzyna Witkowska will be teaching a special class on Francois Villon, a 15th Century French poet.  For any questions about how to work in a performance you want to bring, contact the Autocrat, Mistress Mordeyrn Tremayne, with the email provided on the web page.

 

5) Of course, Gulf Wars, March 15-22 in Lumberton, MS, abounds with performing opportunities and classes, so if you’re going, just check out the web page for Performing Arts http://www.gulfwars.org/index.php/gw-activities/arts-sciences/performing-arts  and stop by the Sable and Gules Theater and the Green Dragon Inn while you’re there!

 

If you have questions or other events to suggest to performers, please leave a comment here on this blog and I’ll find you an answer and promote your event!

Sincerely yours,

Lady Sophia the Orange

Atlantia Kingdom Minister for Arts and Sciences Deputy for Performing Arts

 

Herein contains a report on the performing arts activities made known to me for two Atlantian events on the day of January 24, 2015:

The Barony of Storvik held the event “Storvik Song and Dance – All The World’s A Stage” where a wide variety of performances entertained the people including dance, music, theater, and more!

This portion of the report is submitted by Lady Teleri the Well-Prepared (and boy is she!).

First, Their Excellencies of Storvik, Griele and Badouin, opened the event, welcoming all to the hall.

Yves de Fortanier, come from Meridies, and Mirabella taught an Absolute Beginner Dance Class lasting one hour.

The populace, having ignored the rows of chairs facing the stage in favor of the tables along the walls, dictated a shift in venue for the performances from the stage to the dance floor. (Note to the populace: if chairs are set up on purpose for performances by the events staff, chances are good they will provide you the best view of the performance.  Note to event staff: if the populace votes with their feet regarding where they want to sit, regardless of your best laid plans, make note of their behavior and adjust plans for the next event. Ed.)

In the first block of performances, each 20 minutes in length:

  • Lady Swannoc Beag regaled the hall with a story of her experiences with the Ghost of the Dulin Waters, the eye(s) of St. Amblyopia, and the power of compassion.
  • Lord Richard Wyn sang, with and without his guitar, songs of the current Middle Ages and the Tudor era.
  • Members of Clan Cambion (having recorded their names without their many honorifics as Igor, Fevronia Murometsa, Volodya of Cambion, Gwaithin of Cambion, and James of Rutland) did perform harmonies both rousing and sublime.

Yves de Fortanier did teach the dances “Goddesses” and “Hide Park” in a class lasting one half hour.

In the second block of performances, each as long as those in the first set:

  • Vagando Stolti, a commedia dell’arte troupe in Lochmere, did perform three most humorous sketches, alerting the audience to the dangers of feeding one’s dragon energy drinks.  Their names be given as Avelina del Dolce, James Butler, Constanza de Talavera, Kalie, and Deryk LeGard.
  • Three Left Feet, a dancing troupe who form the third pillar of Storvik’s Monday practices along with the heavy and rapier fighters, exhibited their precision and grace.  Their names be given as Fred Blonder, Eowyn Ellison, Dale Neiburg, and Melinda Grotsinger.
  • Lord Maugorn the Stray, playing tambourine, guitar and harmonica all at once, sang a trio of pieces.  At one point, needing a member of the audience to play the vuvuzela, Baron Baduin did volunteer – and revealed that Storvik’s ring-giver is a man of many talents, including the playing of trumpets!
  • Lady Gwen of Lochmere sang some Tudor era songs.  For the first, she was accompanied by Lord Watkin of Kent on mandolin.  Despite the duet being unrehearsed, it was a most delicate and pleasing sound.

Avelina del Dolce did teach Beginning 15th Century Italian Dances, being “Petit Vriens” and “Amoroso,” in a class lasting one half hour, or somewhat more.

In the final block of staged performances:

  • Master Rhuaidhri an Cu told tales and sang songs to the delight of all.
  • Lady Scholastica, having so recently laid aside the responsibilities of Royal Bard, amused and edified the populace with a tale of foolish Jack and his many attempts to bring his wages home.
  • The Performing Artists’ Guild Extraordinaire (PAGE) of Bright Hills played several pieces in a consort of harp, mandolin, and flute.  Their names be given as Yseulte Trevelyn, Reyne Telarius, and Bridgette Cunningham.

Finally, before feast, there was a basic beginner’s dance class.

Many musicians did lend their skill on behalf of the dancers.  With Lord Maugorn the Stray acting as the apparent ringleader, the others whose names I recorded are: Patricia of Trakai, Watkin of Kent, Rose, James of Rutland, Cynthia Anne of Silverlakes, Donal Sutton, Sir Jeff Schmitt, Barbara Schmitt, and Lisbeth of Spinning Winds.

After the potluck feast, I retired to the bardic circle, where 11 good gentles kept company with songs, stories, music and poetry.  I cannot speak to the attendance at the Grand Ball, being as I was not present for it.

All errors, mis-spellings of names, and absent honorifics are my own, and I plead that they are not from any malice but rather the perpetually harried state of the deputy autocrat.

All in all, I have heard that slightly fewer than eighty gentles passed the day with us in good cheer, despite the threat of foul weather.  Their Excellencies of Storvik pronounced themselves well-pleased with the efforts of Lady Sonya (aka: Patches) – indeed, elevating her into their Order of the Lozulet for all her good works – and they desire that the event occur again in the next year.

This being an account as true as I can make it.  Teleri the Well-Prepared; Deputy Autocrat for Performance, Storvik Song and Dance

This portion of the report on dance at Storvik Song and Dance was prepared by Lady Sonya, aka: “Patches”

  • Beginner Dance class taught by Mirabella Walmesley of Grimsby and Yves de Fortanier included Belle Qui Pavanne, Black Alaman, and Hearts Ease.
  • Advanced English Country Dance taught by Yves de Fortanier included Goddesses and Hyde Park.
  • 15th Century Italian Dance taught by Avelina del Dolce.  She did Petit Vriens and Amroso.

More general dance dictated by student requests was taught by Yves, Mirabella, and Patches.

The ball ran for almost 3 hours, with 3 sets.  We did the following dances:

FIRST SET

  • Belle Qui Pavanne
  • Montard Bransle
  • Sellenger’s Round
  • New Boe Peep
  • Black Nag
  • Horse’s Bransle
  • Black Alman
  • Petit Vriens

SECOND SET

  • Gathering Peasecods
  • Amoroso
  • Washer Woman’s Bransle
  • Hide Park
  • Ly Bens Distonys
  • Upon A Summer’s Day

THIRD SET

  • Rufty Tufty
  • Heart’s Ease
  • Rostiboli Gioioso
  • Chestnut
  • Gelosia

Ice Castles Barony of Black Diamond Bardic Competition report – contributions by Their Excellencies Black Diamond and Their Current Bardic Champion, Lord Johann von Solothurn:

Baron Girard and Baroness Maaline had the privilege of observing the bardic competition in the afternoon as well, and after careful consideration they decided that a further competition was needed before a decision regarding the Black Diamond new baronial bardic champion could be made. A second round of competition and decision will be had at Seven Hills Skirmishes (http://acorn.atlantia.sca.org/event_flyer.php?event_id=3a8e3553) on March 21 in Lynchburg, VA .

 

If you have questions about anything posted above or wish to add or offer corrections, please post a comment below!

Sincerely yours

Sophia the Orange