I've been slaving over this now for a month.
I'm on the plane to ConThirteena, and it still ain't done.
I know I'm leaving a lot out, and so I do apologise for having
a mind like a steel sieve. I tried keeping notes so that I
could describe *everything* that happened- but during the
hustle and bustle of a con this is HARD!
Ergo, caveat aside- I'm trying to remember
everyone I spent time with, and had a conversation with, what
was sung, who was there, attempting to recapture the soft,
sweet feeling in the air of old friends new-found and familiar
catching up and soulsinging together, harmony, early mornings,
Waffle House, the Phoenix restaurant in the hotel, right next
to Sam's Bar, AND WANTING TO GO BACK RIGHT NOW DAMMIT.
So- (I'm going to steal a line idea from Gwen
Knighton here...) I got there. I sang. I slept. I sang more.
We did the WorlDream recording. More singing. Sleep. Singing.
Hugging. Singing. Food. Singing. Sleep. Home.
Details below... *grin*
I arrived at the airport a bit after 5pm; and
promptly ran into Lee Billings on the shuttle on the way to
the hotel. I haven't seen Lee in several years, and catching
up was a delight. :)
When we got to the hotel, I was promptly flagged
down by Daniel and Melissa Glasser, James Fulkerson and Kathy
Horning, and Kathy Mar. We did a quick round of hello's, then
Kathy dragged me off for a quick bite of dessert.
After dessert, Betsey Langan and her hubby
Jason had come back from dinner with Jan DiMasi and Art Warneke.
I had made arrangements to share roomspace with this part
of the healthy Chicago contingent (*poot!* And I hardly got
to say two words in a row to Eloise!); so we went up and got
ourselves situated in the room.
Ran downstairs for the formal New Year Toasting;
and clapped along with everyone when a rather nervous gentleman
proposed to his ladylove. Hon, he's got class. :) Hang onto
each other! :)
Things broke up a bit
to re-form into the Phoenix concert. Wow! hmmm... not enough.
WOSHWOWSERITIOUS! hmmm... still not enough. Ok- I'll try to
These guys are incredibly flexible. *All* of
them are multiple instrumentalists; I lost track with how
many different band configurations they re-formed themselves
into. They can perform everything from gut wrenching humor
to driving filk anthems that will have you on your feet. If
you ever get a chance to see them, do it! Otherwise, I guess
you'll have to make do with their recordings...
After the Phoenix' concert was the first rehearsal
of Many Hearts, One Voice for the WorlDream. I must admit,
I had been having nightmares about showing up for the first
rehearsal, standing on a chair with the guitar; and look out
to see four, maybe five people who had come to sing and share
this dream. And I was beginning to wonder about the song-
I'd only ever sang it to myself in my basement, rehearsing.
I wasn't hearing any harmony- I thought that it *should* sound
ok, but that nagging little voice just kinda hid in the back
of my head...
There were at least 45 people at the rehearsal.
And for the first time, Many Hearts, One Voice sounded *right*.
I didn't realize that it just doesn't sound proper with only
one voice singing.
After the rehearsal, Phil Allcock and I retired
up to the consuite for a bite and a drink, and were eventually
joined by Mike and Anne Whitaker, and Tim and Annie Walker.
I hung out for a bit, then headed down to the main open filk
Hmmm... kinda hard to describe. Here's what
my notes say:
open filk- crystal, eloise, batya, merav, pagan
barbie, gwen, robert, carson, kathy, adam, and far too many
people to mention and just too kewl a time.
There was a *lot* of good music and times on
I performed I Am Filker, Haul it Away, and
Grabthar's Silver Hammer. I spent most of my humor wad in
this circle... :)
I went up to the room at about 3:30/4ish, tired,
but I couldn't sleep. Jan DiMasi was coming in at about the
same time, so we sat up and chit-chatted until after 5.
I got up at the crack of noon and was promptly
dragged by Carol Roper, Barb Reidel her man to the High Tea.
English style tea (even with American inaccuracies) is really
kewl! I sat an chatted with Barb, Carol, Lissa Allcock, Sherman
Dorn, and Anne Whitaker.
I missed Robert Cook's concert because I was
spending time coordinating what was going to happen that evening
with Spencer Love; and trying to grab a bit of food.
Eventually made my way up to the consuite,
sat and chatted with Tom Smith and various and sundry others
who walked in.
I sat in on the harp workshop with Annie Walker
and Gwen Knighton- I'm thinking of buying a harp sooner or
later and wanted a little more hands on time, especially with
*their* instruments! Nice harps! (! WHAT were you guys *thinking*?
Sheesh! Sometimes I swear...)
After the workshop, I started working on the
conreport- mostly just making short notes of what had happened
so far (which I expanded on here)- because I began to realize
that there was no way I was going to be able to remember it
Next was Tim and Annie's concert. It was thoroughly
delightful. Words don't exist in the English language... mostly
because at one point in the concert Annie bounced into and
out of my lap and everything else kind of got washed out of
my skull... :)
Seriously, hearing Lady Green, Ernest's Song,
and other pieces off of their CD was a distinct treat.
And of course, Annie discombobulated me so
much that I didn't keep notes after this point. *sigh* Well,
now I get to punt... :)
GaFilk has program item called the "2x10",
meaning 2 songs or 10 minutes- whichever comes first. You've
already read in other con reports about Carla Ulrich, and
Mary Crowell.. wow! *REALLY* great debut's in filk!
I did perform a couple songs in the 2x10, and
I was happily upstaged by these lovely ladies. *smile*
Tom Smith's concert was great!
Interfilk auction- lotsa schtick (And in case
you haven't had dessert...)
The GaFilk recording session went very well
with 64 people participating. I've added a new page at the
WorlDream site (http://www.smacdonald.com/dream) listing everyone
who participated. I'll be adding to this list throughout the
The wall of sound that hit me as I stood at
the front was very, very impressive. I saw more than a few
tears, many laughs, and Adam Selzer holding a bottle of water
like a beer stein... :)
Supreme Kudo's to Lissa Allcock (who kept me
on beat) and Spencer Love (who volunteered to record). Spencer
hauled his recording equipment down from Boston just for this
After the recording, I went up to see Dave
Clement with Tom Jeffers and Jodi Krangle. He was the last
recipient of the Sutton flu; and it had been working its way
through his system.
After spending some time with Dave, went and
played a couple tunes in the consuite so that the consweetie
wouldn't miss the *entire* con! :)
After this, I went and sat in the big open
filk a little, then went to the first alternate room and hung
there with Phil and Lissa Allcock and Mike and Anne Whitaker.
Bill and Gretchen Roper showed up after a bit, along with
Bill Sutton, Art Warneke, Crystal Paul, Tim and Annie Walker,
Greg McMullen, Maya Corbin, Phil Parker. It was a GREAT circle!!
I have to say that the Gloomy Space Song and
Dibblers Pie have been imprinted on my brain- i can't remember
anything else we sang in the circle. Curse you, Tim, Annie,
Phil, Lissa, Mike, and Anne!!!! :)
crashed at about 7am.
I attended the Ecumenical filk. I played Divinity
Reflected, and performed Palms.
During closing ceremonies, we recorded Brenda
Sutton's 'Strangers No More, We Sing', and I had the opportunity
to be on the other side of the microphones.
The togetherness. The community. The HARMONY.
Phil Allcock was standing on my right, Mike Whitaker on my
left; and we were doing three part tenor counterpoint to the
last chorus. I could hear the altos and sopranos carrying
their parts... and the basses weren't so much heard as *felt*.
All together, it created a wave of sound that seemed to carry
Brenda up on her toes, and higher, ever higher...
It was good. Very, very good. Beyond that,
words just kinda fail...
We celebrated Kathy Mar's birthday, we even
had birthday cake brought in!
After this, I went out for dinner with Betsey,
Jason, Greg, and Maya. It came up in conversation that I'd
forgotten to eat this weekend, I'd been having such a blast
(well, ok- 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the consuite).
So we went out for Steak. Yes, Steak. big. Rare. yummm....
Got back and filked til 2am. I did Moonwulf's
rendition of 'Locomotive Argyll' with appropriate lead guitar
licks from Mike Whitaker; got to hear a reprise of the Gloomy
Space Song... and general merriment. And I got to hear DAVE!!!
Things broke up sooner than i was really done,
tho- so i went off to sit in a corner and play for a bit.
Thank you, Greg and Maya for being a captive audience...
I got up, checked out of the room, then saw
Betsey, Jason, Jan, and Art off. I was spending Monday evening
with friends; so was spending another night in Atlanta.
I had a special treat breakfast with Dave and
Tom, and Tim and Annie at the Waffle House. The waitress was
interesting- she would take a soda to refill it, then not
remember to bring it back... She did this multiple times!
Dave and I both ordered Pecan pie, but there was only one
slice- so I let Dave have it. Hmmm...disappearing soda. disappearing
pie. disappearing breakfast...
Bill Sutton showed up with a couple folk (damn
my steel sieve-like memory!), they sat in the table next to
us. We had fun throwing stuff at each other...
Dave, Tom, Tim, and Annie left soon after that.
I anticipated sitting for a couple hours monday
afternoon and writing this report; but Rob Wynne and Chris
Croughton were much more fun to talk to. Another leftover
of the con, Tracy (sorry, hon- i disremember your last name)
was there also. Tracy is new to filk; so of course us three
old guys had a wonderful time weaving tales for her, as well
as playing Banned from Argo (gotta have the right education,
you know) for her. A bit after that, Chris borrowed my guitar
and played Sam's Song for her.
My friend showed up just after 4pm, and I said
my farewells to GaFilk.
I want to thank you all once again for allowing
the opportunity for letting the WorlDream happen at this convention.
It's mind-numbing, how awesome we are together.