Bardic Madness South V: The Feast of St Cecilia
Below is the e-flier for this year's Bardic Madness South. The event
will be taking place on November 22nd, 2003 at Cathedral of Christ the
King - 2600 Vincent Ave, Kalamazoo, MI, 49008. Please feel free to
spread this news far and wide (apologies for all the cross-posts, don't
want to miss anybody). We had bards from four different kingdoms in
attendance last year (Mid-Realm, Calontir, Ealdormere, and AEthelmearc),
I wonder if we can top that.
Provost - Bardic Madness South
Greetings and welcome are bid to all Bards, Troubadours, Trouveres,
Minstrels, Minnesingers, Jongleurs, Singers, Storytellers, Poets, Scops,
Skalds, Fillids, Olaves, Griots, Wordsmiths, and Friends of these arts.
November 22nd, is the feast of St Cecilia – patroness of music and
musicians. Cecilia lived during the 3rd, 4th, or 5th century (take your
pick), and almost everything supposedly “known” about her is a handful
of apocryphal moonbeams. No one knows how many hands over the centuries
have done some embroidery on the whole cloth that is Cecilia’s legend.
Today, it’s our turn.
The purpose of today's challenges is to encourage the participants'
creativity and artistic growth. They are not meant to be competitions -
everyone who takes part can consider themselves a winner.
Your response to the various challenges may be in many different forms.
Song or story are the most obvious choices; however juggling, magic,
instrumental, or dance can also express an idea or tell a tale. All of
these could be used to answer a given challenge (though perhaps not all
at the same time :-) . Our desire here is to be inclusive rather than
exclusive. If you have something to share that doesn't quite fit or
that stretches the definitions a little, then fire away.
It is our wish to create a "bardic safe zone" - a friendly place where
you may feel free to experiment and try new things. If you've never
performed before, now's your chance. You'll be hard pressed to find a
friendlier and more supportive audience. We would be delighted to see
lots of first time performers.
Please remember, in order to make sure as many gentles get a chance to
perform as possible, we ask that you limit your performances so that
they run less than five minutes.
The event takes is hosted by the Canton of Three Hills in the Barony of
Andelcrag (mundanely Kalamazoo Michigan) on November 22nd, 2003.
For more event information, see the website at
http://tilted-windmill.com/bms5/ [NOTE: The server the website lives
on is down this week (8/1/03). It should hopefully be back up sometime
next week.] Additional information will be posted there as it becomes
For questions about the days bardic activities (challenges, teaching a
class, participating in the concert, or serving as a patron), please
contact the provost (or talk to me at Pennsic - camped with The
Midlands in N21):
For questions about the site and logistics, please contact the autocrat:
Mistress Siobhan O'Neill
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.
The Lily and the Rose:
At one point in her fable, Cecilia and her husband are presented with
ever blooming roses and lilies. Give us a sniff of this bouquet by
arranging some anecdote involving these two flowers.
Now You Don’t See Him:
Another aspect of Cecilia’s myth involves an invisible angel.
Transparently inspire us with a song or story that benefits from the
assistance of some unseen agency.
Fyt the Second:
Given several texts to choose from in foreign languages, "translate"
one of them and explain what it "really" means.
Triolets Are Blue:
The triolet is a period French verse form dating back to the
thirteenth century. It consists of an eight line stanza with 2
repeated lines (the rhyme scheme is shown below), and can be used
singly or as part of a cycle. Try your hand at writing one.
a – line 1
b – line 2
a – rhymes with line 1
A – identical to line 1
a – rhymes with line 1
b – rhymes with line 2
A – identical to line 1
B – identical to line 2
Plot it Yourself:
How did Cecilia become the patroness of music? Most accounts
disagree. Not surprising really - this aspect of her legend didn’t
get up to full steam until 1584, over a millennium after she lived.
Since the whole fable is apocryphal anyway, give us your version of
it. Don’t feel constrained by “the facts”, there aren’t any.
Fyt the Third:
Given a list of words, do something artistic with them.
It is the patroness of music we’re celebrating. Get out your
instruments and play something. If the piece also tells a story of
some kind, so much the better.
Two Nuns Walk Into a Bar:
Cecilia’s legend has served as inspiration for many, Chaucer among
them. The Canterbury Tale’s second nun tells us all about her. With
this in mind, give us a song or story that in some way involves a
pair of nuns. The bar is optional :-)
Fyt the Fourth:
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.
The Romans ordered Cecilia to make a sacrifice to Jupiter. In the
interest of ecumenism, not to mention equal time, present us with a
song or story that involves Jupiter.
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.
Challenge General Rules
- Challenges are not contests. You win by entering and striving to do
the best you can.
- Challenges are designed to encourage you to try your hand at something
new, to stretch yourself, to enjoy, and to celebrate the creative
- Read the guidelines for the challenges carefully, like most exercises,
they are designed to help you develop in specific areas. Try to follow
them as closely as you can, but stretching them in unexpected
directions is good too.
- Individuals are welcome and encouraged to give recognition to those
performers whom they especially enjoy.
- In order to allow the largest number of people to participate,
challenge entries shall be limited to five minutes or less. Each
person may enter a maximum of one piece in each challenge and a
maximum of eight challenges.