Tulstin Troubadours

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,
Mark the Harper and Apryl Knyght

“Meeting someone for the first time is a lot like Forrest Gump’s interpretation of Life.”

I was able to break free from the weekend monotony for most of the day yesterday. I had heard that Tulstin Troubadours was going to be performing in an area that was relatively close. I had missed previous times but I think that was most bound and determined to go yesterday.
Needless to say that I am rather content with myself that I did go. I escaped the clutches of neighborly “bah humbug”, and ended up losing so much track of time that by the time that I returned home, it felt like it was pretty late at night when it was really still early in the evening. Those are the kinds of days and experiences that I love to have!
Those are the times that are most fun for me.
I went for more than one reason, other than to get out of the house. I went to hear Tulstin Troubadours perform, as well as have the chance to meet Apryl in person for the first time. After a long time of at LEAST ten years of communicating with her via the Internet, I knew that I could categorize it as a “dream come true” for me. Especially considering the fact that I had corresponded with her throughout the years and now I could see her in person.
They were attending a Yule Bazaar, a collection of various vendors with many fascinating items for sale. There wasn’t any exception to the rule as Apryl was also there, selling a wide variety of Medieval and Renaissance jewelry that she makes herself. I have always been a fan of her creations. But never one at any given time to have a loaded wallet.
Nonetheless, the Bazaar was in fact unique. There was someone dressed as Santa Claus, and he continually walked back and forth passed me wherever I was. The first thing he said to me when I showed up was “HAPPY YULE!”. Umm, okay- thank you, I think?
But there was a variety of exchanges between me and the man in the red suit throughout the afternoon. The last exchange that I had with the jolly ole character was for him to look at me and say “Ho! Ho! Ho!!!!”. I responded back by pulling out my dog tags from underneath my jacket and said “Hoorah!”. I noticed after that, he didn’t bother me much any more.
Still, I met Mark the Harper after probably what has been a year of e-mail exchanges in trying to set up a time where Tulstin Troubadours could come to where I am and perform.
Both Apryl and Mark are extremely friendly. They seem to be the kind that are very relaxed and outgoing, which is great! I would have to admit that I felt nervous and self-conscious about parking myself in front of their tent. But they didn’t seem to mind. And besides, I probably was able to get rid of the boredom of having sitting there much of the day before they performed inside the bar area of this venue. I had arrived earlier on purpose in order to get a chance to talk to them in person.
Meanwhile inside, there was another vendor who was given chair massages. Yet I didn’t have enough money with me to purchase something from Apryl to help her business out AND get a massage. But I found a place to get money and came right back.
By the time I returned, Mark and Apryl were setting up inside for their performance. Ironically enough, there’s a theater that is attached to this venue and there was a performance happening WHILE Tulstin Troubadours was playing. It was kind of odd, but in the middle of their performance, someone came out and asked them to play “quieter”. Kind of silly, I thought.
But I went inside and gave the lady who was doing the massage $20. She was charging a dollar a minute.
Once that massage got started, Tulstin Troubadours were playing and there I was stuck having someone dig into my back, neck, and shoulders for the next 20 minutes. Ugh! I wanted to get in closer to get some pictures of them playing.
The woman who was massaging offered to “take a break” so that I could get close enough to take some pictures. But I declined, believing that my 20 minutes was almost over. I’m absolutely certain that the massage went on for MORE than 20 minutes! If I had known it would, I would have said “yes” to the break.
After the massage, I moved closer to Tulstin Troubadours. I applauded after every tune that they played. I began to wonder if they thought that they had a sincere audience of just one. I was the only one applauding at times.
But it really was enjoyable!! I had never really heard a lot of Renaissance style music. I think though that their set had a wider variety than just that. Tunes like “Greensleeves” and “Oh Danny Boy” (which is one of my favorites)… and their talents of playing so many different instruments.
The flute, the recorder, and of course a harp. But then there were other instruments that I had either never seen before or had only seen played when I gone to see Celtic Woman in concert. Like the bodhrán. Apryl’s was uniquely decorated with Christmas lights and they flashed as she beat on it. And then there was something she played that I had to look up when I got home. Something called a “psaltery”. Very unusual, but very pretty to listen to.
Many were commenting on Mark’s combination of a harp and panpipes. He was talented and able enough to play both of them at the same time. It really impressed a lot of people who had been inside watching.
When they were finished, I did get them to sign their own CD’s that I bought. And then I took pictures with them one at a time. I am grateful for that opportunity.
I came out of curiosity, I stayed for the support, and I left with a budding flame of friendship that I would never think of trading away for anything.
It was a great decision to go, on all levels. I’m glad that I went. I couldn’t have been any happier.

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