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Viking Poetry Skaldic poetry is a sophisticated art. The rules are more convoluted than those for a sonnet or haiku. In the most common form, a stanza had eight lines. Each line had six syllables and three stresses. The rhythm was fixed, as were the patterns of rhyme and alliteration. The music of a line was of utmost importance--these poems really were "songs," even though we don't know if they were "sung" or chanted or just recited. A skaldic poem was designed to please the ear. It was first a sound-picture, though in a great poem sound and meaning were inseparable. A skaldic poem was a cross between a riddle and a trivia quiz. Each half-stanza of a poem contained at least two thoughts. These could be braided together so that the listener had to pay close attention to the grammar (not the word order) to disentangle subject, object, and verb. The riddle entailed disentangling the interlaced phrases so that they formed two grammatical sentences. The quiz part was the kennings. Nothing was stated plainly. Why call a ship a ship when it could be “the otter of the ocean"? Snorri Sturluson defined kennings in his Edda, which he wrote as a handbook on Viking poetry. “Otter of the ocean” is a very easy one. As Snorri explained, there are three kinds of kennings: “It is a simple kenning to call battle ‘spear clash’ and it is a double kenning to call a sword ‘fire of the spear-clash,’ and it is extended if there are more elements.” Norse Poetry Norse poetry, although also derived from an oral tradition, in turn is very different from the Finnish runo. The primary feature which distinguishes Norse poetry is probably thealliteration used. Alliteration means words which begin with the same sound, as in song ... sword, board ... brand or eagle ... Æsir. Another important feature of Norse poetry is the use of kennings. A kenning is a riddling reference to one item or concept which does not name it directly, but rather suggests it by the elliptical way in which the subject is spoken of, which causes the listener or reader to visualize the intended concept.
A simple kenning is found in the name Beowulf or "bee-wolf": the wolf is a kenning for "thief" hence the phrase becomes "bee-thief" which the Norse listener would understand to be a bear, which steals honey from bees. Norse poetry comes in two "flavors": eddaic and skaldic. Eddaic verse is anonymous and is composed in relatively simple language and meters. The themes are mythical or drawn from heroic legends. Stanzas vary in number of lines within the same poem. Skaldic poems are usually attributed to named poets and many of them are praise poems made for a specific jarl or king. Skaldic meters follow strict rules and can be very complex in structure, and the language used is often convoluted, kenning-rich, and a challenge for those unversed in the poetic tradition to understand without footnotes. Runos were undoubtedly used in spells, magical operations, and to accompany ritual. They were also used as entertainment at festivals, in competitions of memoy and performance, and as work songs in the fields. Men tended to sing runos preserving heroic poetry, while women favored lyric, legends and ballads.
How Ballads could work in a 3D World
Ballads could be a good way to structure an animation, using their set up as a way to visually tell a story. They could also serve as a voice over, having the narrative set up in a way that reads as a ballad describing the actions and developments of a story. The right blend would allow for complimenting contrast with mass appeal and effect.
Middle Age Theatre
Little is known about theatre between 600 and 1000 A.D. Prior to these times, theatre was used as way to communicate tales of drama, mystery, and morality, as well as displaying farces and masques. This was also used believed to have been used as a method of putting across the points of view and opinions of the church by having performers act out tales from the bible in specific ways. Theatre performance came in two main forms, one being in the form of a physical building where a stage was present, and the other being a travelling theatre or a ‘pop up theatre’ which was pretty much a stage on wheels. These types of theatre had an interesting layout where the stage would be the back of a carriage with an open front, having free standing decorations to create depth on stage. Due to the travelling, it was thought that the sets were simple but effective and the main attraction and focus was on the actors and performers that were visually telling the tale or story. These were sometime accompanied by bards or musicians to make the performance even more entertaining.
How ‘Pop-up’ theatre could work in a 3D World
Using a set stylized in a way that resembles ‘pop-up’ theatre could help to provide an animation with an interesting art direction that would engage an audience by creating a feel which fits with the time period the story is set within. The depth of the performance area would be specific, and the limited design could help draw attraction to the characters performing which could further enhance the details of a narrative.
8th Century British Art movements were particularly focused on Carvings, Tapestry, Illuminated Manuscript and metal work. th Areas of creative development inside the 8 century were Wessex, Northumbria and Kent. Metal work Metal work derived mainly from the Germanic animal style of artwork. The style came into influence to British nationals from German immigrants. In the 8th century the Bloomery method was introduced to smelting metal. The bloomery method melted iron into a single malleable lump (a bloom) which was then forged into place on an anvil. Iron swords were drastically different to steel swords which were later introduced. The bloomery method for smelting was prominent until the 15th century where it was superseded by the blast furnace. The furnaces used an air hole with bellows to heat to extreme temperatures to melt the iron. The furnace was made out of thick walls of clay or stone to withstand such temperatures. Tapestry Tapestry was made from wool stitched on Linen or for the richer people or places considered of relative importance across the kingdom, tapestry was made from Silk and gold and silver threads with in some exceptions gem stones stitched into the silk. Tapestry was made from a range of sizes; the Bayeux tapestry runs at approximately 0.5m x 68m and is considered incomplete. Most tapestry was destroyed throughout the conflicts of the time and very little survives to this date. Tapestry was a means of depicting a story and passing on a message since the first books were not developed until the end of the era when King Alfred prevailed.
Carvings Carving was particularly focused on utilizing the raw materials of stone, ivory and whale bone for sculptural, aesthetic or spiritual benefit. Sculptures and carvings were often built as monuments (usually built to resemble crosses). Most surviving monuments exist within side churches; monuments built out door are now badly weathered and hard to date. Some monuments depict human figures. Typically whale bone carving and ivory carving was associated with jewelry.
Illuminated Manuscript Illuminated Manuscript was a combination of illustrations and early literature formed to develop a story. Manuscript comes from the Latin translation ‘manus’ meaning hand and ‘scriptum’ for writing. Creating manuscripts was a slow and expensive process. The most expensive manuscripts were decorated in burnished gold and colored pigments.
How Tapestry could work in a 3D World
Art must be developed in straight lines, Tapestry was stitched into fabric. Figures could become 3D animated in the foreground whilst objects in the background could be developed in after effects and photo shop as moving images. Some objects in the background such as buildings of importance or boast could be developed as 3D animations; typically anything of importance will stand out and break the confines of the 2D barriers that tapestry holds. The key to applying art to the animation may be in looking at what purpose the artwork held during the 8th century. It is clear through research that artwork didn’t simply exist for aesthetic quality; in fact that artwork existed as a means to express religious beliefs or to write or demonstrate importance 6