Laisi Finwen

Laisi Finwen

She considers herself to be mostly the author of lyrics, but she composed tunes to some of her songs as well. She is an active Quenya explorer - lots of her songs are written in this language. On her web pages you can find not only constantly updated Quenya textbook, but also the stories that many of her songs grow from.

Her other hobbies include studying, writing the books, sometimes translating and organising various activities like summer camps, LARPs or the popular Elvish Corner at Tolkiencon.

And what has the author to say about herself?

About the music, Tolkien and creating

I like listening to the music but in fact I know very little about it, so little that it´s hard for me to specify what sort of music I actually enjoy. Perhaps it´s because each author puts a small part of his soul in his piece and I often realise that I may like a song esthetically, but it makes me feel heavy or sad, and vice versa. I don´t play any musical instrument and I can´t sing . But I was able to produce several simple melodies. They just kept ringing in my head but I couldn´t sing them. We were putting them together with one of my daughters (Stříberka); I played it on a keyboard with one finger, she sung it beautifully aloud and only then I was finally able to repeat it.

I can express myself in words or in pictures. Rather in the words, if it comes to a professional quality. My husband is different, he doesn´t write or draw, but he plays several instruments, he likes to improvise and compose melodies. He loves jazz. Sometimes we create songs togeter, I do the lyrics, he does the tune - either sometimes exists afore the other. For example the Drop of Sun from the cycle Praise of the Autumn, this is a collective-made song of this sort. Others are the Blessing of Friends and Coming Softly. The Drop of Sun is my poem which my husband provided with a melody while the Blessing is just a motif he was improvisating round and round and I liked it, so I asked him to work it out. 

I like Tolkien since the moment I read his books (I was about 20 at that time), but it was only after my children came when I started to write stories from his world for them. The first book was the Child of the Forest. One of the main characters, Tuilindo Neldorion, is a true bard, heart and soul, he sings even in the moments when the others around him are not actually very happy about the rain (and for a good reason) - in one such moment he was singing the Fair Rain and in the very moment I wrote it I knew that I must find out what the song was like. He introduced me to the original version of the Welcome Song from Imladris (which contains obviously much improvisation and the worn-out dwarves couldn´t possibly remember it exactly as it was sung. In his version it makes sense at last and it shows that it is truly a welcome song...). The Spring Song is another typical piece of his. In this song, same as in the story of the Child of the Forest, Ainulindale (which is the song about Song that formed the world) plays an important role. Some parts of it were later put into words in a form of short lyrical pieces as well.

Sometimes I write Quenya lyrics to the tunes of our folk songs. One year I made a series based on melodies of the Czech and Moravian carols as a gift to Tolkiencon. Yanwe, according to his principles doesn´t usually perform such songs (he writes his own tunes), but in the case of one really beautiful carol he made an exception and sung Rokko Silma at the Con.

About the events, summer camps, LARPs and friends

Writing a book from Tolkien´s world (at the very begining just a search for "authentic" names) brought me to his languages and the languages to his fans, at cons and LARPs. The conventions seemed to me too boffin-like and dull, so I offered myself to create an "elvish corner", a fragment of improvised elvish setting. It wasn´t very easy, the first attempt meant moving quite a lot of things from my household at the Brdské lesy to Havlíčkův Brod with a crumbling old car of mine. But the idea took hold and today the Tolkiencon without an elvish corner is hardly imaginable.

And what can you do in such elvish corner? The next step was a try for restoration the annual elvish feasts. Tolkien left a hint here and there about them, but unfortunatelly most of them arre rather tricky for anyone who would like to carry them out. During the Gates of Summer, a silent vigil throughout the night is required. The Resurrection of Fire suppose a collective firewood-picking, followed by kindling a symbolic pyre from this wood (damp as drenched sponge as it usually is). All of this was finally adopted but slightly modified and filled in as well. The feasts got outlined in a sort of a "screenplay" with slight variations for different weather, and sometimes they got a poetical story as well. Such as the short story Footprint form the cycle Tales of the Elder Times or the children tale about the solstice in Ithilien. It was also inevitable for them to have their own songs, too, especially the "One" song that is sung in the key part of the ceremony and no elf would dare to sing it in a different time of year (unlike us, who have so little preserved works for our use). This goes in particular to the songs of Resurrecting of Fire and Gates of Summer (in the latter case there is a direct evidence in the Tolkien´s original scenario, where the vigil is broken by the "singing of the old songs" on the walls of Gondolin at dawn). Eruhantale, the thanksgiving, has been dedicated a whole series of songs - the cycle Praise of the Autumn.

I have already mentioned that I organise some events, too. One of them is a summer camp for a limited group of people who read together a story (preferably some that none of the participants knows beforehand) and in the daily programme they realise the plot. This tradition was founded when my children were still at pre-school age, long before I entered the Tolkien´s world, but my later Tolkien apocryphas were used as well. The Child of Forest three times, if I remember correctly. The second camp with this topic was attended by Yanwe who later came back several times. He is great, not only he can sing beatifuly but he joins the game with ease and spoils no fun. As a gift to the participants of the first camp (they were really good) he made CD The Road of Melwen, where a member of his band, Indil, sings the Fair Rain in Quenya... Later they managed one CD more, the Songs of Elven Feasts.


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Additional info 

webové stránky, na kterých je možné nalézt příběhy jejích písní, učebnici quenijštiny a ještě mnoho dalšího ...

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