At the current posting time, Mi Contra Fa is rated 950th among Fashion blogs, according to Technorati. Apparently this is on the strength of posts such as the undying "Arnegunde/Kentish Robe 2," a must for every fashion-forward Frank trying to ape the latest Byzantine styles.
I got stuck on the tune for the last piece, distracted by New Amusements in real life, and didn't have any deadlines to work towards. At least the last thing is now resolved, as I need to write a poem for Their Excellencies of Storvik and prepare a new class.
It really doesn't seem like I've been keeping this blog for two years. Time flies when you're having fun!
It continues to be the best thing I've ever done to motivate and document my SCA research. Last year's output was skewed hard to poetry - not surprising, as I spent most of that year as Poeta Atlantiae. I wrote "To Put the Devil Into Hell," which is quickly becoming a showpiece. Every time I recite it, someone wants to know where I got it and if they can learn it.
I still feel like I was spending most of my time unfocused, though. My first year, I focused on my Great Translation Project, which was/is awesome but not really a coherent study of any one period or style of performance. Last year, as Poeta, I certainly indulged my inner Anglo-Saxon but tried to offer competitions and examples in a variety of styles. Or, briefly but tellingly: Over a year after my voice-with-lyre disaster at Twelfth Night 2009, I still do not have a voice-with-lyre performance of "Wulf and Eadwacer" ready to go. Okay, the two kids have something to do with that, but so does a lack of focus.
So in the third year, I want:
To continue to produce original pieces for performance
With a focus on Anglo-Saxon appropriate genre and style
To this end, I will:
Continue making translations and writing original pieces at my current level of knowledge
Begin to learn more about chant, the earliest known Western musical tradition
Listen to chant
Read about, view and/or listen to oral performance styles alive in traditional cultures today
The dancing pork chop is from a 13th century Spanish devotional song, one of the Cantigas de Santa Maria. The Cantigas are a collection of 400 songs in praise of or about the Virgin Mary. More than a few have definite humorous aspects.
"To Put the Devil into Hell" is a poetic restatement of the Third Day's tenth tale in Boccaccio's Decameron. The tenth tale of each day (after the first) is usually risque, and this is no exception.
My sincerest thanks to all my readers: the few, the proud. I know a fair fraction of the content here is scattered notes, to do lists, and other research cruft that's not nearly as compelling as LOLcats. I appreciate that you're either that interested in the research process, or else that good at ignoring the noise to wait for the actual signal, when it comes through.
This has been, without a doubt, the best thing I could have done for my research. Looking over the "Original Work" page, it's divided about equally between things I did before Mi Contra Fa, and things I did after. Except that "before Mi Contra Fa" extends from 1994 or so until March 2007, and "after Mi Contra Fa" is just one year.
The desire to update the blog helps keep me motivated to do new work. The desire to keep the information available and accessible helps me to structure the web pages, take steps to standardize them, and make sure equivalent information is available on each. Making my work more accessible is also why I've put effort into making PDFs of sheet music, rather than just carrying things around in my head.