June 5th, 2005

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A 16th century life

Those who aren't regularly following jdulac might not have noticed this, but he's began transcribing and translating the mid-16th century diary of Gilles de Gouberville; this is a rare French source, rather similar to Pepys diary in English. Each entry has an associated comment with its English translation. The book has its own LJ, as gouberville. Check it out...
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Il Ballarino Translation now available

Since I think there are a few dancers here who don't read the sca-dance list, I'll mention the cool new development in the dance world. For the past couple of years, ladysprite has been working on a translation of Il Ballarino, one of the most important period dance books and one that has not previously been available in a complete English translation. She's now finished with the first draft, and it is now available online on my website.

I commend it to all dancers: contrary to the stereotype of 16th century Italian, it turns out to have a lot of very accessible dances; we've been having a lot of fun with it locally. In the coming months, we'll be adding music and reconstructions for a number of these dances, so keep an eye on this space...
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And while we're on the subject of transcribing things between media...

... I might as well mention my current background project: saving some of these old cassettes.

One of the major tasks in our great moving project is getting as much as possible out of this house; one of yesterday's bits was the cassettes. Which forced me to confront the question: which of these cassettes do I really, truly care about? We separated out the 20% of the cassettes that we would really mourn if something happened to them, and which I therefore really don't want to put into storage. They seem to fall into two distinct categories: music recordings that for some reason I can't obtain on CD, and period dance recordings.

Well, that being done, it occurs to me that these are exactly the cassettes that I really ought to be moving onto a more stable medium, so I'm starting to digitize them. First up: Leftovers by Clam Chowder. This is one of their earliest albums, and is a bit rougher around the edges than some, but it has a couple of their signature pieces, including "Rolling Down to Old Maui" and "Leave Her, Johnny".

Second: the tape simply marked Don Levy. I assume that there exist a few other copies of this, but I'm honestly not certain. Don is Donal Artur of the Silver Band, my sometime college roommate and fellow Fenmerian. For our first 5-10 years, he was one of the Barony's principal bards at post-revels -- his guitar was ubiquitous, and a number of us had memorized his major songs. This tape, made towards the tail end of his singing "career", contains pretty much his entire ouvre, including the original version of "Two Candles". (A little later in the project, I have The Greatest Hits of Li Kung Lo, which contains the duet version that Don and Li Kung used to do.)

Lots more yet to do: about a dozen tapes of dance music, several more Clams tapes, and obscure tapes like Crwydryn and Quartz. (Time to get "Music, Sex and Cookies" back into the lexicon again...)
  • Current Music
    Fantasy, by Don