My history with the renaissance festival is a long and sordid thing.
I don’t even remember the year that Owain Phyfe visited the Maryland Renaissance Festival for the first time, but I do remember the effect his music had on me. I learned that language is unimportant: emotion carries in song.
Owain learned ancient music phonetically, you see. So when I heard Richard the Lionheart’s lament at being abandoned in France—in ancient French—I wept. The same goes for one of the loveliest, and in some ways saddest, songs: “Ddoi Di Dai” (about the last true Prince of Wales, David), I am always moved.
I met him many times over the years at faires and performances, and he was ever the gentleman. Never a harsh word for anyone… The sort of person it is a joy to see and to be acquainted with.
He passed away today in the company of wife, Paula (the Lady to his Gentleman), and his family.
I mourn that I will never hear him sing in the Tea House at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. I pray that someone will take up his vocation, and breathe life into ancient music, so modern ears will hear, and modern hearts will be moved.
The best thing I can do in memory of him is share him with you. Here is my playlist on Spotify. These are some assorted videos from YouTube. Please enjoy them. Please let your heart move.