Attending the Bard of the West competition, without leaving Frostheim

Today was the Bard of the West competition, held on line because of course it was. When I first heard they would do it on line I asked Her Majesty if I could enter. She replied “If the restrictions are lifted and we start having in-person events again, would you be able to make it to all of them?”

Of course there is no way I could do that from Sweden, so I didn’t get to enter. However, she did invite me to be one of the Bards to perform during the time after the entrants have competed, while the judges are conferring, so, of course I agreed to that.

The competition was set for 14:30 California time, which is 23:30 my time. This timing was perfect, since I was hosting the Insuale Draconis Social via Zoom from 17:00 (my time), and the last of them said goodnight just around 22:30 (my time). Therefore I had a short break between the two, and was ready to join the GoogleHangout meeting when it started for the sound check before the live stream started.

That is when I hit the technical difficulties–my sound which worked fine on Zoom just didn’t work in Hangouts. Or, rather, the incoming sound didn’t work. I could play the “test speakers noise” and all the other bards could hear it, but I couldn’t. My incoming video didn’t work either. They could see and hear me, but I couldn’t see or hear them. Since the meeting was being live-streamed to YouTube I turned my microphone to mute, and watched the live stream (which I could both see and hear) on one monitor, and kept the meeting open on the other monitor, so I could see the lag between real time and what I was seeing in the live-stream.

I also kept the FB chat window open to the group bard’s chat. Then I sat back and enjoyed watching the competition. Then, when the final competition round ended, and I heard the Bard of the West say that I would be next after Leah I paused the live-stream, and stood by my computer, one eye on the black, silent, meeting screen, one on the FB chat, waiting for the message in the chat saying that it was my turn.

As soon as I saw that, I turned on my camera and video, did my performance to a black screen (well, I could see a very tiny box in the upper corner that showed the view from my own camera, but it wasn’t big enough to see anything. When I was done I turned off my camera and microphone, turned the live stream back on, and was delighted to discover that when I paused it, it actually paused, so I was then able to watch all of the extra performances (including my own) and the announcement of the victor.

Of course now, instead of a couple of seconds delay, my lag was two full songs, so I saw the congratulations in the FB chat window before I saw the announcement of the winner made. I had been given the opportunity to do one more performance, but given my technical difficulties, and the fact that my sound was so very out of sync, I decided not to.

If you want to see the whole competition, you can find it on the West Kingdom YouTube Channel, or just click this link.

Since I live in Sweden, I decided to do a song in Swedish, Ridom, which has been featured in my “Learning Swedish one song at a time” series of posts, with verse one here, and verse two here, and verse three here. If, for some reason, you want to see just my performance, and not the entire competition, it starts around 1:12:05.

Given that I didn’t really learn to carry a tune till after I moved to Sweden, I am reasonably happy with how my performance went. I have clearly learned a lot over the years. Now to get some sleep…

Fler berättelser


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