?{ClothesTradeOops=intro

Clothes and Sasquatches

[ClothesTrade.png:sidepic]

Today we had a great clan meeting. I was a bit distracted during the meeting, but I had fun playing a lot of my music. I've been trying to write more recently, but it's been pretty hard going. Sometimes it just is. Coriakin mentioned today that there is going to be a concert soon though, so I better get to it. Oops. I think I still have his Orga Drum!

Farhope and I traded outfits for a while, at first I didn't like her oranges on me, but after thinking about it, I decided they didn't really clash with my hair and belt, it was just so different from my normal blues and greens it seemed that way.

After the meeting we went to Melabrions Island, where we fought many sasquatch. After a brief run into a castle I've never been in, where I ignominiously fell, we regrouped outside, worked on healing up, and then were swarmed by baby sasquatch. We were thoroughly routed, and chased out into the water. We decided to regroup on Centuar Island, and Kiriel made a chair run back to the castle. Once we were all back on our feet we went back and thrashed all of those sasquatch and valley cougars. Well, slowly.

} ?{ClothesTradeOops!=intro

Clothes and Sasquatches

} ?{FightingEpiphany=intro

I realized the other day...

That I hate fighting. Specifically I hate fighting in groups. I don't like following someone else around, something in my brain clicks off, and I'm not exploring, I'm just following. I don't tend to learn anything, I think my feet have perfected the art of staying the appropriate distance behind the exile in front for the exile in back to be able to see me with *no* input from my brain, so it just takes off. So I don't really learn much about where I'm going, unless I really try. I usually don't feel I can just nip off in another direction to cement my own pathfinding which is necessary for me to confirm where I think I am and build connections on my mental map. "Oh, I think I recognize this faceless clump of trees... if I'm right there should be that giant outcrop on the next snell over."

The second big downer is that I don't like standing around some poor doomed monster and whacking at it until I hit it. Ick ick ick. Where's the fun and challenge in that? Sure, I might learn something, like the perfect blade angle to cut off one of it's fingers. How horrible.

Now, if there's some challenge involved it's usually different. Unless that challenge is just how to lure one more monster from the next snell to this one so that we might whittle away at it. Solo hunting somewhere I might die is exciting. Hunting with a group of exiles who weren't three levels above me might also be exciting I suppose. Somehow I always end up fighting with fifth and sixth circle fighters and a fourth circle healer or two. Which usually makes me completely ineffective for anything other than tagging. Which I've already established I hate. Why do I do this to myself? Because all my friends are higher circle than myself.

In related news, Peony is considering trying for a bard belt. She thinks being a cadding healer who can play music might be fun.

} ?{FightingEpiphany!=intro

I realized the other day...

} ?{EndingASong=intro

And Then There Are The Endings

[DanceTech.png:sidepic]

Have I mentioned endings? Once I've wailed and sweated blood to pass my personal one minute barrier, (I've been told I should write advertising jingles, I don't know what those are but apparently they only have to be 30 seconds!) then I have to write the ending. Oh the ending. I'm stuck right now on the ending. Can you tell? I just pulled out that piece I was working on last time... and now I have to finish the darn thing. Killing tree giants is easier.

I've written an entire one minute and twenty four seconds of music! I was hoping for more, but as my music gets exponentially worse the further I stretch it, it's time to wrap this one up... Another way to think about it - endings are hard to write, but as each successive second of music becomes more difficult to reconcile with the already composed body, at some point the ending starts to look easier than extending the piece.

Argh, the ending. To go out with a crash and a bang, or a gentle sigh? Or to thumb your nose at the establishment, convention and comfort, and just end the darn thing on a leading tone, the 7th if you're in a major key. That's something only questers and sylvans with black berets and gold belts can get away with. There is, however, always hanging on to the leading tone for as long as you can milk it before finally resolving back to the tonic. Although, come to think of it, I'm still pretty sure I'm in a Dorian mode. Which has no natural leading tone! Well, that's out then. This energetic dance is not going quietly into the night. It needs some kind of bang. It's awfully hard to end a song loudly without slowing down though, and I really don't want to slow it down. Is it possible to end a song, with good resolution, without slowing it down? That's a conundrum. I think if you don't slow down, the listener just goes flying past the ending, lands with a thump in the dirt, and looks up at you with a surprised sorrowfully confused expression. But maybe there's some way of cueing the listener without slowing down. "Hey! This is the ending here, listen up!" How do you do that? Well, you can slow down... no no no! Bah. I wonder, can you speed up? Does that work? Can you say "I'm running past the limit of my endurance now, any second I'm just going to drop!" Can you get your satisfaction that way? Huh.

Oh, no natural leading tone. Right, in a Dorian scale the 7th is flat. So you can raise the seventh, and then you have a leading tone, it's just not in the key. I think I'm going to need that here... Oh, but high c# is out of range... I wonder, can I borrow the leading tone from the major scale that corresponds to the Dorian mode I'm in? That'd just be B from the major key of C. That's only the 6th note in the Dorian mode of course... it doesn't seem like a particularly strong leading tone, but it does feel like it has some pull. That's interesting. 'course it might just be because I haven't stuck to my mode faithfully enough.

Can I support it with a raised Dorian 7th? Oof. [=c#e/c#]b is interesting, but I think it requires a more... educated... ear than mine to appreciate. The dangerous insidious thing about chords like that of course, is the more times you listen to them, the better they starts to sound. To you. Not to someone hearing your piece for the first time. That's a lesson I keep needing to relearn. Sure, it's grown on me, but do I have the time to tie down my listeners and play something for them until it grows on them too? That's the sort of thing you loose your belt for, musical torture. Must. Resist. Seductive. Pull. Of. Angsty. Chord!

Ooof. Good thing I erased that chord, I'm really starting to like it.

Resolution is such an odd thing. After pulling in that B from C Major as a leading tone, I could have resolved into the key of C, but I think I'm going to stick to resolving into D Dorian. It has a little more juice, but hopefully not too much. Woo hoo! I've got the bones for an ending now, ascending phrases to a fake leading tone, baited and switched into the modal tonic. Time to end this way-too-long entry.

} ?{EndingASong!=intro

And Then There Are The Endings

} ?{Feathers=intro

Feathers

Fordi, day 74 of Autumn, 559 [HerpetidBeach.png:sidepic]

Today I got out of the library to help my friend Orin. He just made Ranger, and we went feather hunting so he could make a heartwood charm. I started out clearing the windy area at the bottom of the cliff in the highlands, that was pretty good, there were about 14 scavenger birds there.

Then we coin-whored up through North West Forest to Herpetid Beach. That is the place to go feathering. If you can handle the herpetids that is.

[HerpetidPoison.png:sidepicleft]

Soon I was very drunk, I kept stumbling and falling down. Cheers! I almost fell, but I managed to hang on. After Orin and I stumbled around uncontrollably for a while, there weren't any more herpetids left, so we slowly sobered up. Then it was just scavenger bird after scavenger bird, they kept coming and coming! I had to kill 99 of them before I found a feather, just as Orin found one too. Good thing too, because when I tried to put the feather in my full pack it disappeared. :-S

Then we took the northern route around to the Ranger hideout. I'd never been in before. It occurred to me that maybe I should get around to taking the third circle fighter test...

[RangerHideout.png:sidepic]

After all that Vim was pretty mean to us, Orin brought 6 logs, and I happened to have 4, but he said they were all rotten or beetle infested. Sheesh.

After a quick run back to town I decided to take the 3rd circle fighter test. I could have passed ages ago, I went into the test a bit injured, and came out only about half dead. I probably should have at least attempted 4th circle, but what's the point really?

} ?{Feathers!=intro

Feathers

} ?{ConcertChallenge=intro

Concert with Bardic Challenge

So, yesterday there was a bard concert, always a good thing. There were bards there I hadn't seen in ages, if ever. I'm pretty sure I'd never met Fantasia before, and she presented an absolutely smashing trio for two gitors and a tuborn, "Riding the Drake 'Viola's song' ". Dren, who hasn't been out in quite a while I think, performed both the first piece he'd ever written, not bad considering, and a piece he'd written in the half hour before the concert. Also not bad considering. It was a good show overall.

[XepelActingUp.png:sidepicleft] [MyIsland.png:sidepicleft] [DuelChallenge.png:sidepicleft]

The real event of the night though was at the very end of the 'official' concert, (the unofficial concert went on for another 4 puddlehours,) when Coriakin challenged Xepel to a bard duel. Being his seconds, or rather part of his band, we were behind him on the stage, and the exchange went something like this:

"I'm sure you all know how Xepel has been acting lately" Coriakin said. "Strutting around like he's in charge of the guild, laying claim to Tenebrion's island..."

"... *My* island..." grinned Xepel. "... and Sareth's, of course. We co-own."

"In any event, I'm tired of Xepel's behavior. So I've challenged him to a duel, bard-style."

Xepel muttered to himself amid snarky comments from the audience. I snugged down my helmet incase of any immediate conflagration and Baraboo mimed whacking at someone with her bone flute.

"In about a season, (although the date is somewhat tentative), we will meet upon the bardly field of battle, and have it out, once and for all. The challenge is to form a band, and outplay the other's band." Amid many 'Battle of the Bands!' cries he went on, "Of course, I'm not sure whether my entry will count, because sometimes it seems more like Baraboo's band than mine ;)." (Notice he naturally says nothing about me. ;-> )

"... so I win by default, of course!" cried Xepel. "We hope you all come, to see me (and my band) trounce Coriakin."

"Will it be on Thieves Island?" asked Borkiron.

"It'll be in Tenebrion's former castle," said Coriakin.

Xepel nodded, "... now mine. And Sareths."

Then we played "Cori's Bossa th' World." Only he just called it "Cori's Bossa." I'm sure it was an oversight on his part though.

This 'battle' should be a great time. I hope Xepel can get a band together, and I think it's open to other bands as well. Come prove you're the greatest in the land, and maybe win a castle! Actually I have no idea what the stakes are.

There was also an interesting (to me) discussion at the final end of the concert about concert length. While it's true that the 'official' concert was only four puddlehours long, unofficially it went on for another four puddlehours. Apparently since Puddlebians are loath to miss anything entertaining or out of the ordinary folks feel compelled to stay the whole time. I'm a bit torn. On the one hand, I think more and shorter concerts would be better... But since they are seldom, it seems like a letdown to only play one song. Should we stop playing, just so folks don't feel like they're missing something if they have to leave? That seems a bit silly. Maybe some more definite break after the official concert? There must be some adequate compromise.

} ?{ConcertChallenge!=intro

Concert with Bardic Challenge

} ?{BeckerShrine=intro

Yum Yum Yum

[Becker.png:sidepic]

I went to give a log to Gatoh Becker's shrine renovation in the bakery, and saw that it was done. Yum! Upstairs Patissi Becker took my offering and threw it on the fire.

My subsequent hunt was a pretty good one too. Maybe I'll have to make offering a cookie before hunts into a habit. :-D

} ?{BeckerShrine!=intro

Yum Yum Yum

} ?{Centaur=intro

Centaur Island

[Centaur.png:sidepic]

I went back to Centaur Island for the first time since I was there with Taryn as a newbie. What a twisty place. Some places it looks like you might be able to squeeze through you can't, and as you can see, lots of places that look impassable are clear.

} ?{Centaur!=intro

Centaur Island

} ?{WritingMusic=intro

Writing Music is Hard

[DanceTech.png:sidepic]

If you want to be a bard, but you've tried writing music and it's hard, don't give up. I think it's hard too! At least sometimes. I'm supposed to be writing music for Coriakin and Xepel's great battle, but I can't get past this stupid song. You can tell I'm really desperate to procrastinate, because I'm writing a blog entry about it.

/action thumps the ground with her Axe.

I can generally write about 20 seconds of music, before it all starts to fall apart. It's all going great, and then... what next? Shoot! What next?? And then I write another 20 seconds, but it belongs to a completely different song. Can't fit them together. I'll try repeating the first part, but that sounds borring. Then I'll try bending the rules of composition, because after all, that's avant garde! That's pushing the edge! That's fashionable! That sounds horrible!

There is a fine rule of ABA or ABAB or ABCA or whatever overall repetition pattern your using, "Don't change too many things at the same time." Such a simple rule. So hard to follow. Change the tempo, or change the melody, or change the key, or change one of the harmony lines, or just change a bit of each. I'm not very good at it. I can never seem to find the happy middle ground, writing another melody and harmony with reminiscent rhythm... similar enough, but not boring... SO HARD!!!!

/action smacks her head into her hands

But don't give up! You're having fun! You'll be a bard someday.

I am having fun... I am a bard... Really. At least I know I will have had fun once I get this to work. And once it's done I'll have been having fun the whole time! Because what is life but a memory and a dream.

So join the guild! I've got plenty of stout, if your feeling discouraged you're not alone! If your stuck you can always find me in the library, and we'll commiserate. I'll take you hunting, and remind you to re-read Baraboo's Guide to Writing Songs That Don't Suck and soon we'll both be back on our feet.

Now where was I? What key am I in? A minor? No, wait, I think I'm in a D Dorian mode. Oy, where did I leave my stout?

} ?{WritingMusic!=intro

Writing Music is Hard

} ?{ClothesTrade=intro

Clothes and Sasquatches

[ClothesTrade.png:sidepicright]

Today we had a great clan meeting. I was a bit distracted during the meeting, but I had fun playing a lot of my music. I've been trying to write more recently, but it's been pretty hard going. Sometimes it just is. Coriakin mentioned today that there is going to be a concert soon though, so I better get to it. Oops. I think I still have his Orga Drum!

Farhope and I traded outfits for a while, at first I didn't like her oranges on me, but after thinking about it, I decided they didn't really clash with my hair and belt, it was just so different from my normal blues and greens it seemed that way.

After the meeting we went to Melabrions Island, where we fought many sasquatch. After a brief run into a castle I've never been in, where I ignominiously fell, we regrouped outside, worked on healing up, and then were swarmed by baby sasquatch. We were thoroughly routed, and chased out into the water. We decided to regroup on Centuar Island, and Kiriel made a chair run back to the castle. Once we were all back on our feet we went back and thrashed all of those sasquatch and valley cougars. Well, slowly.

} ?{ClothesTrade!=intro

Clothes and Sasquatches

}