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Gafilk 2001

Hokay.

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 describe it....

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 room.

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 Friday night.

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.

Saturday

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 all..

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...)

WorlDream recording

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 year.

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 occasion-

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.

Sunday

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.

Wow.

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...

Monday

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.

Thank you.

Copyright © 2000 Steve Macdonald | Counter since 2/09/01