Well, mostly recovered from another Lilies.

Apparently, I needed a vacation. I only fought once, and spent most of the mornings in bed asleep or reading. Part of it was undoubtedly not being next to the battlefield, as I can’t resist fighting when I see it going on, but some of it was the need for a rest.

The weather did not help either, as it was either rainy or hot. One of the least comfortable Lilies I’ve attended. Bleah.

Nevertheless, I had a great time, especially singing and performing. I really think that once I perform it a number of times the Curse of a Brother’s Love will be a really nice piece. I’ll do it at Trillies and possibly a number of times at Pennsic so hopefully it will have its rough edges smoothed a bit soon.

And I’m going to need it, given that I’ll have to perform more often than I already do. Their Majesties have seen fit to name me their Ollamh (Ollave), or Royal Bard. I’m excited and I hope that I can make it into a position that will continue and be a standard and expected retinue post. To that end, I’d like any of my readers who perform to send me their pieces that they are comfortable performing in a challenging environment like a feast hall, before court, or on the field. These are not easy environments, but the idea is to fill empty spaces whenever they crop up and add to the fun.

With that, I’ll merely make one other comment. This was definitely the Bacon Lilies.

9 thoughts on “Lilies”

    1. Congratulations yourself 🙂

      And yes, I do. How do I play it? 🙂

      BTW, transporting that thing is currently terrifying until I get a box made.

      1. I’ve been thinking about how to explain this. I don’t know enough of your musical background to target this instruction particularly to you, so, as I progress, I’m going to slip in some musical terminology that normal people might find unfamiliar. I apologize for that, but I’m going to assume that you can use wikipedia to fill in those places where my explanation is too technical.

        I’m assuming you’re right-handed. If not, then we’ll need to work on a different style of playing; just swapping the thing mirror image won’t work.

        The psaltery is really trapezoidal, but has a hog-nose facade, the same way that buildings in the Old West were sometimes dressed up to look larger or fancier from the street view. To perform with the thing, you’ll want to hold it sideways, your left hand supporting the lower right edge, the small “top” base of the trapezoid extending out to the left, the bulk of the instrument resting against your left arm.

        In this position, the bridge (the natural-colored bar on the left side of the face) should be close to your left shoulder. Your right hand will reach across and pluck the strings just under the bridge, like a harp. The lowest strings should be closest to the body, and the highest strings will be the farthest to reach.

        This should get the sound projecting out to the audience like you’d want, provide good visual cueing for you, put all the strings at the same level, and project a strong image.

        The instrument is intended to be tuned diatonically, in two octaves. The standard tuning would be two C-major scales. (That is, all the white keys on a piano, going up from the C above middle C to the note two octaves higher)

        If you’ve never taken a harp lesson, this would be a good time. Playing the psaltery is essentially playing a harp one-handed.

        If you want to sing in keys other than C Major and A minor, I’d recommend staying in that general range, and retuning individual notes. For example, if you wanted to sing a piece in the key of F Major, and you wanted to accompany yourself by plucking chords on the psaltery, I’d recommend tuning the instrument:

        C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C

        just retuning the B strings down a half-step, rather than tuning the whole thing up a fourth:

        F, G A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F

        You’d still be able to play the F Major chord (F, A, C) the Bb Major chord (Bb, D, F) and the C Major Chord (C, E, G) but you would run a far lesser risk of popping strings.

        It would also be possible to play in modal patterns other than major and minor, to get a nice mid-period sound, and it would be possible to tune the strings to play middle-eastern maqams; there’s a movement in Calontir to provide live music for middle-eastern dancing, and you could support that effort on the royal psaltery.

  1. Congrats! You should be very proud of your hard work and talent!

    Our camp devoured over 20lbs of bacon in 5 days…

  2. Good to see you

    Glad we had a chance to catch up some and play chess in the rain. I’m trying to get to a lot more events so I hope to see you at a lot more of them.


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