Getting Medieval with Technology

Recently, there was a call for need of silver level and specialized awards in the East Kingdom. Her Majesty, Vienna, has put out a request and I felt like I could do something to help. My boyfriend, Aegir, and I love to craft and find new ways of making things. So, I put out the idea to him that we should make, or attempt to make, some of these awards.

Without hesitation, we both began to brainstorm. He asked me what were ways of making awards and what was acceptable. I mentioned that it only needed to look period or possibly resemble a period item. We then looked to our 3-d printer and our silicone mold kits and the lights in our heads went off.

Aegir asked me what the awards were and what they meant. I beamed as I got to explain to him the meaning behind the awards and the intricacies that were our tradition and lineage. I bring up lineage due to the fact that a friend of mine, David Poirier de le Loup, was going to be honored at Crown Tournament. I wanted to make him his Silver Wheel. In addition, a good friend of David’s and mine, Anne de Basillion, had mentioned to me that team “Do all the things” was going to pass down her medallion to David. If she did that, she would be without her regalia. That couldn’t be a thing.

So, we worked to get this amended.

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Aegir taught me how to 3-d model while he worked on the designs for other awards. 3-d modeling is not an extremely difficult process for awards, but it was time consuming. I also had picked a more in-depth design to complete instead of the standard silver wheel award. David is part of the Free Company of the Stella Maris, which is a group of Pi-…. Privateers. So, I chose to make it look more steering wheel like. Anne is also a friend of the company so I would make hers to match.

Here begins the process, 3-D Modeling!

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This modeling was done in a program called Autodesk Fusion 360.

From there, we exported the models into a program called Simplify 3d. This is where the data from the 3d modeling was sent for sizing and printing to be completed.

Here are a few of the models we completed:

Lyre.jpg This is the “Golden Lyre”

Wheel.jpg This is the “Silver Wheel”

Silvertyger.jpg This is the “Silver Tyger”

From there, it was mold making time, baby!

We tried a couple different mold processes in the comfort of our own kitchen. Silicone is not the most beautiful fragrance in the world, so I do recommend proper ventilation. Also, marking a proper container to house the mold during it’s 24 hour cure time is key. Chinese food boxes seem to work well for those who are a bit more frugal.

Here you can see Aegir taking one for the team and handling the fumes.

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Here you can see Aegir pouring the mold into our handy dandy takeout box.

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While we wait for this mold to cure, we were trying a new gravity fed two part mold… we may or may not have used a salt lick? (It’s a Himalayan salt grilling block thing… it was cheaper than stone)

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Here is our finished product (with a little bit of sanding/polishing. Flash happens)

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The Coronation of Willhelm and Vienna

Mad skills to pay the bills. Or something like that.

I don’t typically go to coronations because I don’t know any of the Kings or Queens. It’s hard to go to a day of pomp and circumstance if you feel like a stranger. Honestly, if I know folks getting awards, I am all for it and I will attend with a smile on my face.

This coronation was different. I went this time first and foremost because I actually had some semblance of who the incoming royalty because I had met them at crown service as Sir Marcus’ consort. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about this couple, so I figured it would be worthwhile to attend. Plus, I was most of they way to site the day before due to Mundane engagements.

About 4 weeks prior to the event, I received a message from Sarah Byrd, of whom I had worked with previously on an adhoc choir for the Feast of St. Nicholas. She had asked me if I’d be willing to sing in the choir since it was the Queen’s whim to have music her reign. I of course agreed.

3 weeks before the event she asked me if I would sing some solos during the performer’s showcase. I had a few pieces which were her majesties persona and period so I agreed (Twist my arm… make me sing more)

2 weeks before the event she reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to sing Alto. I’m not an alto, but if anyone knows medieval music, it really didn’t matter.

1 week before the event ” Oh hey Solveig, would you mind conducting the choir?”. Sure, I’ll do a thing.

The day of, I had 45 minutes to wrangle a choir and instrumentalists to make a thing happen. Sure, no problem.

 

 

 

After all was said and done, Her Majesty, Vienna did the one thing I never thought I’d see in my days in the society. She thanked all the musicians, continued to invite them and then made all performers that day a member of the Order of the Troubadour. ( I got inducted two more times, hehe. My name was called 2 more times that day since I had already been inducted a couple years ago.

This is probably once of the most memorable days in my SCA performance career and not because I was recognized, but because of the hard working musician’s around me were.

Harper’s Retreat 2018!

Time after time this proves to be my favorite event. This year was no different. I brought my S.O. Aegir with me. He got to experience his first “small” event since his first event was the Great North Eastern War. Little bit of a size difference. Fencing was first on the docket for the day. Stab stab all my friends. Nothing gets me in the mood to sing besides dancing (aka, fencing) with my friends. I didn’t come close to winning but boy did I have fun!

Later in the day I taught a class on stage presence and how to make your piece more interesting to the audience. I had 2 students show up and I was perfectly ok with this. They were two very different performers, but were able to utilize the same skills. The first young woman was a puppeteer and storyteller. She exclaimed her issues were volume and some stage fright. I proposed we use a counting up excersize where we would identify different volumes and then use different shapes of our mouth and words to bring her resonance forward. We also fixed different focal points by adjusting where here body and puppet were facing and worked on a few topics of tempo.

My second student had never been on stage before and had never performed in front of anyone before. We worked through a song he had prepared. We again talked about volume. In addition, we added movement to his body, keeping his eyes open and stage movement in general.

When the class was over, both advised they felt more confident in their skills and would add these into practice. The young woman put it into practice for the Warrior Bard competition that evening.

Feast was next! Probably one of the best feasts to date. The current Baronial Bard and Nexcellency, Keziah Planchette had requested some of the prior and present bards to come perform during the feast. Here is a clip of my performance. I think the liquid courage also made an appearance.

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That evening it was time to compete for Warrior and Baronial Bard. The guidelines for Baronial Bard were Courtly love and Virtues. In addition, due to the recent loss of our Baron (who passed away about a month prior) it was requested that we not sing anything sad.

For Warrior Bard I whipped out a quick one of my favorites, Laciate Morire (which, is not exactly not a sad song… but it was in Italian so I fudged the poetric translation).

For Baronial Bard I sang a Ladino piece, La Prima Vez and We are the East (By Drake Oranwood). I may not have won Baronial Bard, but I did truly win because there were very few dry eyes at the end of We are the East. #lifetimegoalsachieved.

The next day in court, I assisted with Heralding because hey, i’m loud! I can haz shouty voice! However, not too long after I had sat down, I heard my name requested in court. I was asked to join the order of the Lamp of Apollo. This is a Baronial Arts and Science award especially for encouraging others to do their art as well. The scroll was done by Keziah Planchett and the words lovingly composed by Amalie von Hohensee and Gerhardt von Hohensee. I was in tears as there was no better gift. (If you remember back to Birka, I had done the words for their scrolls)

EK- 50!

Where to begin with such a gigantic milestone for the East Kingdom. My home. This is the place where it felt safe to sing in public again. What else could I do for the Kingdom I love besides give it back the gift it gave to me?

I decided I would give everything I had to singing this weekend. It was too hot to do anything else. I think the heat this year was as bad as Pennsic 2 years ago where the heat won more bouts than the fighters. I’m glad no one was too seriously injured from heat.

With that being said, although I had transitioned to late period garb, the heat beat me in that battle for the weekend. Saari not Saari. Thats right, I ran around … well, walked around as a proper Indian woman should. It was a new feeling for me as I, in general, don’t show off this much skin. I’m a pretty modest dresser.

I bring this up  because it has a lot to do with how I perform. Confidence is key in your performance. If you are not confident, your performance will suffer. Another point being is that when you practice to perform, you should, for all intents and purposes, rehearse in garb and shoes similar to what you will wear in performance. This was not the case for my 3 concerts I did over the weekend.

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I was, however, blessed to be surrounded by performers and family of whom I respect immensely as performers.

In the first concert,Bards Ease, I collaborated with my good friends Bird the Bard and Sáerlaith íngean úi Duinnshléibhe (with Guest performances by Mistress Sabine and Mistress Margreatta) We would sing solo, group performances and some off mix of whatever we felt like was a good for the audience. Typically, I’d plan a concert one one genre. However, the 3 of us are so eclectic of performers, I really wanted to showcase that.

The next day we did a showcase of the Sing for the the East CD (which if you purchase this CD to support the East Kingdom Travel Fund, you can hear the track of Ceder San Barefoot and I performing that track. The rest of the concert was the original vocalists performing and the rest of us harmonizing.

The final concert was a sneak preview for the upcoming performance in April, The Decameron. We will be performing a a day of stories and music all from the 14th Century Italian literature. This happy little quartet was again, Myself, Bird, Sáerlaith and Margreatta.

If this wasn’t enough singing, we had our own camp of Bards who withered the night away with song till the wee hours of the morning.

I’d call this a success.

Pennsic! There is no place like home

PennsicThis was my first year at Pennsic. I’m not going to lie. It’s all pretty much a blur right now so I will keep this short and sweet. I sang every night till the wee hours of the morning.  I went to a Bardic Circle every night and sometimes multiple in a night.

The only super notable things I did were sing at the VDK Invitational Bardic. I learned a new piece of music (to be) composed by the Queens Bard Geoffrey – MKA-David Yardley (AKA captain Speccy Pants) and then I sang in Drake’s Concert, who opened for Heather Dale. That was pretty cool!

 

One more thing of note. I did record for the Known World Bardcast. I put up an original composition (Lullaby for the Queen). Anyone who knows me, knows how anxious I am putting my work out into the public.

 

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Words for Simona Bat Leon, Silver Crescent

A woman of noble character has been found!

She is worth far more than rubies, she is the diamond of our kingdom.

She lacks nothing of value.

She brings good    all the days of her life.

She works with eager hands and brings service to all.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her company and good deeds.

She gets up while it is still night;

she provides for the kingdom

She considers a task and performs it;

She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that the Barony lamps do not go out at night.

She opens her arms to the poor of spirit

and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in black and hold.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She does not eat the bread of idleness.

Many women do noble things,

but she surpasses them all

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but this woman is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done,

and let her works bring her praise at the East Kingdom Gates

 

And so, by our hands, do we, Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn , see fit to induct, Simona Bat Leon , into the order of the silver crescent. In Addition we grant her arms Per pale azure and argent vetu, a mullet of six points between three bees, all counterchanged, at Falling Leaves, in the Barony of Carolingia, As 53.

 

Words by Lady Solveig Bjarnardottir (Based on Psalm 31)

Scroll for Lady Bird, Kings Bard

When the mead of poetry falls upon dumb lips, the tongue lay now silvered. Sweet rhapsody resonates, flowering from what was once small buds, fragment gardens. Firey passion and never hesitation from the spirit. As a nightingale sings so does our beautiful azure songbird. They grace us with music, poetry, performance from dawn till dusk and never do they falter. Today, we the people and landed Baron and Baroness, Rowan and Suba, do see it fit to bestow this honor upon the muse amongst us by inducting them into the order of the (insert) at Pennsic

 

Text by Lady Solveig Bjarnardottir