Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We be minstreling

After lunch, newly renewed with energy, we continued our stroll of the little medieval city (if you can believe it, it’s actually smaller in size than Helsinki, which is only a mile across as it is, so, you can guess how large the Old Town of Tallinn actually is). As such we came upon a church with a strange clock on the outside:

And decided to go in. I mean, why not? Any of you who know me well enough know that I love going into churches and cathedrals…really any place of worship (despite being completely void of faith myself) and without much persuasion, my sister agreed to go in as well.

Turns out we timed it perfectly – as we were leisurely walking down the slim aisleways looking at this and that old painting and pew, up started some odd-sounding music. Wait, said my relatively-untrained ear…that sounds like some minstrels warming up if I not be mistaken!

 And mistaken I was not. For in the front of the church, getting ready to play a little concert, completely dressed in period garb, was a small troupe of performers. Medieval minstrels. I was thrilled. My sister rolled her eyes, but welcomed the chance to sit down and hear some music, whatever it may be, despite my excited chitter and golf clapping next to her.

They were amazingly good musicians. Very well-versed in their craft and the lead female singer had an excellent voice. Included in their set of reproduction period instruments was a lute, the predecessor to the violin (called the vielle, I believe), and a very odd instrument that looked like an opened rectangular box with a crank on the outside that had spinning wheels inside which rubbed against catgut strings to make them vibrate – called the hurdy-gurdy. Yes, the hurdy-gurdy. I snickered. Here is a not-great picture of them playing (the pew seats were very low and I am quite short):

Anyway, I was so into the music and could imagine all the many ways in which I could use music of this sort that I ended up buying their CD at the church gift stand (best 13euros spent…I won’t exactly say “ever”…but it’s pretty close). If you are wondering to yourself what possible ways I could use this kind of music, clearly you do not know me well. I will give you some examples: while reading epic novels (such as Game of Thrones (which I unfortunately finished several weeks ago…so I will now have to painfully wait several years until George R. R. Martin gets his stuff together again and gives birth to his next book), Lord of the Rings (again)…basically anything of the fantasy genre), while playing amazing board games or card games of the epic sort (such as D&D, Dominion, Risk, Settlers of Catan), or, to be perfectly honest, and this is how the CD has been used so far – just to get ready for bed and listen to something calming and awesome. Yes, that nerdcore.

This was just the beginning of my nerdiness when it comes to medieval greatness. You have no idea.

My sister agreed by the end of the concert as we were leaving that it was indeed a worthy expenditure of the 2euros we spent as admission into the church, which we learned afterward was the Church of the Holy Ghost. Thanks for the awesome concert, spirit of Jesus. :)



  1. I'm a dork for medieval stuff too. haha I need to read Game of Thrones! I also play computer games that put you in the medievalish world like Dragon Age Origins. hehe

    1. Haha, I'm so happy I've found a medieval dork comrade! :) I also play medieval computer games...I'm waiting for winter to come in order to start playing Skyrim. ^_^ You should totally read Game of Thrones - you would love it! :D