Tag Archive | music

The Falcon’s Cry

I wrote a new song, that I hope to debut at Feast of Eagles (if the Shire allows it). The tune is Palestinalied (12th century). Here is an example of the tune and original words.

The Falcon’s Cry
by Ki no Kotori

Calontiri, gather ‘round me
Tuck your tender tears away,
Battle calls, we must be ready
To march in and join the fray
Turn your eyes unto the sky
Listen for the falcon’s cry
Thus we live and thus we die

Fierce Huscarls, sharpen your axes
Gallant Fyrdmen, whet your swords
Knights, prepare your best advances
Courage brings its own rewards
For this green and fertile plain
That we may ne’er see again
Our lives will not be in vain

Riders, rally forth your horses
Archers, nock your arrows clean
Artisans, walk proud beside us
Hasten forward with our Queen
For our proud and gracious land
As one people now we stand
Waiting for our King’s command

Forward now, shoulder to shoulder
Lift your shield and set your spear
Though the enemy grows bolder
Their onslaught shall endeth here
Turn your eyes unto the sky
Listen for the falcon’s cry
Thus we live and thus we die

Just for fun, here’s a modern rendition of the original Palastinalied, by the band In Extremo:

On Shigin 詩吟

From a question on the SCA Japanese Facebook page about early Japanese music, someone mentioned poetry being chanted. My answer:

Poetry was originally chanted or sung in an art called Shigin 詩吟. It started out with the Chinese poetry, but spread to Japanese styles like tanka. I don’t know a lot about it, but here is a video with a bit of explanation. If you search for “shigin” on YouTube, there are several modern performances. The practice dates back to before the Asuka period, but I’m not sure how much it changed over time. Certainly something to look into!

Here’s a performance from the 46th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival 2013 @ JCCCNC in San Francisco Japantown on April 13, 2013. There are several other examples on YouTube.

There are examples of Chinese poems with pitch notation from the Heian period. Again, I’m not sure when the practice spread to Japanese-style poetry, and I don’t know how much the practice was refined during the Edo period, and if pre-Edo Shigin was significantly different from what is practiced now. I would certainly be interested in learning more about it.

Kestrel’s Lullaby

Kestrel’s Lullabye

Words by Tace of Foxele/ Ki no Kotori
Music: Blessed Be That Maid Marie (tune: Staines Morris in William Ballet’s Lute Book @1590)
http://www.santasearch.com/resources/sheetmusic/blessedbemaidmarie.html

The original “Blessed Be That Maid Marie” performed by Telynor. The song begins at the 1:40 marker.

Dedicated to Lora Ann Ros (Donna Brooks), who passed from us April 21st, 2016

Little kestrel, nestled near,
Come to rest in Calontir.
Outside dangers may abound.
We will keep you safe and sound.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Where the wild northwinds howl
Lies the land where gryphons prowl.
Paths to our home can’t be seen
In amongst the maze of green.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Eastward, dragons can be found
Rife with strength of great renown,
Past their lair they cannot creep,
The river runs too wide and deep.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

In the warm southeastern land
Lives the wild and wooly ram.
He may climb the mountains tall,
But you can fly above them all.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

On the bleak southwestern plain,
Lions wander, hunt and maim.
But they never venture far
From the light of the lonesome star.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

The mighty stag may often roam
From his westward forest home.
His legs are strong, but even he
Cannot swim the amber sea.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Little kestrel, tuck your wing
While huscarl and fyrdmen sing.
Dream sweet dreams of flying free,
And we shall watch over thee.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Notes:

1. I heard this tune on Telynor’s excellent Christmas Album Off the Beaten Path, which can be found here and also on Amazon.

2. Since the song was about a kestrel, I wanted to include other animal imagery. The animals here are the heraldic mascots of the kingdoms and principalities surrounding Calontir.

Northshield = Gryphon
Middle Kingdom = Dragon
Glenn Abheann = Ram
Ansteorra = Lion
Outlands = Stag

There was originally a verse about Meridies (Horse), but once Glenn Abheann became a kingdom, we lost our border with them, so I have removed it from the song.

3. I tried to follow the logic of an older falcon and how they would see the land, hence the “maze of green” cornfields of Iowa and the “amber sea” wheatfields of Kansas and Nebraska. From the sky, that’s what they would look like.

4. I originally wrote this for Page the Kestrel, one of Lora Ann’s birds, but changed the dedication and wrote the last line when Lora Ann died.

5. Thanks to Lora Ann for making me perform this in public when I first wrote this song. I was very scared, but she was right, I needed to sing this to an audience. 🙂

The Iowegia Song

Another bardic attempt. Gained me quite a bit of infamy a few years ago. Pavel even gave me his alphabet soup. But every word of it was true!

fra-angelico_angel_viola

*sees can’o’worms*

*sees can opener*

Oh, lordy, I feel like singin’….

THE IOWEGIA SONG
by Evil Bard Tace of Foxele <–now the saintly Ki no Kotori

(Tune is "Tau Garco La Durundena")*

Here is the Boston Camerata's version of the original work on YouTube so you can hear the melody:

Tell us, distant Iowegia,
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

Who thought there would ever be
Shires out past Coeur d'Ennui *1
Living there most happily *2
Frolicking among the cornfields?

Tell us, distant Iowegia,
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

No matter where you think you are
The Northern Road is twice as far *3
As you're riding in your car
The children crying "Are we there yet?"

Tell us, distant Iowegia,
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

The warriors, radiating charm, *4
Keen of eye and strong of arm,
Dealing enemies great harm,
Don't see much of Knights or Fyrdmen? *5

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

What sane man would ever miss
The sweetness of Melissa's kiss *6
Never have we known such bliss
(The women really love it also)

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

Rarely do we ever see
Anything like royalty *7
They're not here, where could they be?
Has anybody seen our masters?

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

So few people want to go
On our roads of ice and snow
That's too bad, they'll never know
The sweet delights of Iowegia

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

*Composer: Bartomeu Carcares as part of the larger work, La Trulla, mid-16th century Catalan, words by Evil Bard! Tace

1 Yeah! 9 groups altogether! (At the time this song was written in 2003)

2 Relatively

3 A common Iowegian proverb

4 Relatively

5 Except in Des Moines

6 A Heraldshill specialty!

7 Except in Des Moines

Man, I'm gonna be in so much trouble….

Yes, I did get into a lot of trouble, but OTOH, people still ask me to sing this song.

Some Sources on Imayo Songs

Looked this up to answer a question about imayo songs on the SCA:Japanese FB page. Noting here for future reference:

Yung-Hee, Kim Kwon. Songs to Make the Dust Dance: The Ryojin hisho of Twelfth-Century Japan (Berkeley, Univ. of California Press, 1994) ISBN: 9780520080669 Link is to LEGAL electronic copy of full book. (via Lisa Joseph/Mistress Saionji no Hana)

Konishi, Jin’inchi _A History of Japanese Literature, Volume 2: The Early Middle Ages_ (edited by Earl Miner, trans by Nicholas Teele) (Princeton, NJ; Princeton University Press, 1986) ISBN 978-0691101774 has some good discussion on the subject. Konishi had some interest in the subject and devotes a chapter to it. Note–be sure and get the SECOND volume. The first one just has a few lines on imayo, and while the third does has some bits and pieces on it, the 2nd volume is where most of the information is.

Malm, William _Japanese Music and Musical Instruments_ (Tokyo; Tuttle Publishing, 1990) ISBN 978-0804816489 devotes a little time to the subject and is also just good reading about Japanese musical structure anyway, although I suspect he got his imayo info from Konishi’s work? Neither of these works are recent, however.

Miller, Stephen D. _The Wind from Vulture Peak: The Buddhification of Japanese Waka in the Heian Period_ (New York, Cornell East Asia Program, 2013) ISBN 978-1933947662 has some translated imayo and looks some at structure.

I found some cites on a JSTOR search–mostly articles by Yung-Hee Kim Kwon (who wrote _Songs to Make the Dust Dance_ that Lisa Joseph already mentioned), but there were two articles that looked like they might have be of interest to you based on conversations we’ve had in person (this was to the original poster, who lives here in Calontir): Meeks, Lori. 2011. “The Disappearing Medium: Reassessing the Place of miko in the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan”. History of Religions 50 (3). University of Chicago Press: 208–60. doi:10.1086/656611.

Goodwin, Janet R.. 2000. “Shadows of Transgression: Heian and Kamakura Constructions of Prostitution”. Monumenta Nipponica 55 (3). Sophia University: 327–68.

Online article about a lecture in 2015 by Dr. Elizabeth Markham, who is currently researching imayo Songs of Peace: On Japanese Imayo of the 12th Century.