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What was The WorlDream?

The WorlDream was a recording project for the new Millennium in 2001.

Steve Macdonald attended every every filk convention in 2001 (and Worldcon, just 'cuz); and recorded a chorus of people singing the same song at each convention.

The complete project consists of:

  • A recording of every convention, stitched together into a single song
  • Songs reflecting the local communities of each filk convention
  • The separate recordings of each convention

Steve burns a lot more words talking about it here.

WorlDream Blog

January 9, 2020

This is it!

I find it insane that after the year we have had; to have insurrectionists invade the Capitol Building in the USA just a few days ago to try to alter the outcome of the Electoral College vote is just stunning. As I've said in social media- if you voted for this Administration AND support the efforts to overthrow the US government- I hope that the authorities find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.

With that, there is even more reason to remind us why working together, as a community, is so important. I'm about to release this into the world. It is my sincere hope that it brings comfort for you in these times.

The recordings are not pristine, nor were they ever intended to be. One of my goals was to reflect on our community, in all its wide ranges. Everything here is for free download. The combined chorus recording will be on Bandcamp after the premiere.

And, just because- here's a Zoom background.

Stay safe. I'll see you all in a few hours.

December 31, 2020


2001 technology.

9 Conventions.

Over 500 voices.

One Song.

Festival of the Living Rooms, January 9, 2020

9PM Israel
8PM Central European Time
7PM UK Time
2PM Eastern Time
1PM Central Time
12PM Mountain Time
11AM Pacific Time

December, 2020

So much to do, so little time...

I'm in the process of doing a bit of overhaul on this website; and updating it to include Conflikt. I am deliberately keeping this site with the original pure html format. No Wordpress here!

In addition to that, I've been curating the Project songs. These are songs that were suggested by each convention to reflect their local community, or community-driven songs that were written by local artists. Some conventions did not suggest any songs, some suggested a LOT of songs!

The process of curating what finally goes in, and then locating recordings and securing permission for these songs to be distributed for free has taken just as much effort as the rest of the project!

The goal is that everything will be ready go at the premiere!

November, 2020

Working on tracks!

We're getting closer! Watch this space- the intended release is going to be January, 2021; the 20th anniversary of the start of the WorlDream!

June, 2020

Digitising Tape

The tapes that I have in my possession have now been digitised. There has been some tape degradation; but I believe that this can be worked around. The final count- I now have 9 of the 11 conventions that participated in the WorlDream.

Unfortunately, two conventions were never turned in; and to date the search to find them has not been successful. If the recordings for Conthirteena and Conterpoint turn up later; they will be happily added back into the project.

So, for the remaining 9 conventions I'm starting work to assemble the final, mass recording.

This involves mixing down the convention recordings, and then finding ways to normalize the rhythm and pitch differences between the choruses (yeah- even with a common pitch reference, there are still choruses that went sharp).

The goal is that all recordings will be available on these pages for free download. In 2001, distribution was envisioned to be via CD- but technology has come a long way in 19 years!

May, 2020

Time Machine Fast Forward

or "So, what happened?"

In December, 2002, I reported that the recordings were all in hand or were on their way, and we were getting started with the final portions of the project. While I believed at that time that all the recordings were on their way to me, as it ended up, several recordings were not sent. Actually collecting the recordings from 11 conventions into a single location proved to be a task that was beyond my ability.

In addition, the varying formats of master recordings that we did have on hand were somewhat mutually incompatible. We were able to start the process of conversion; but this process was stalled as as we were still waiting for the recordings from several conventions. In the end, some of those recordings we were waiting for never came in. To add insult to injury, over the intervening years most of the remaining recordings that we had were lost.

I moved to Germany in 2006, got married, found work, and life continued... and the WorlDream faded into the background of overly ambitious projects that were simply impossible to achieve. But for me, the project never entirely went away.

In 2018 (much to my surprise) Many Hearts, One Voice was nominated for, and won, a Pegasus Award.

I still see the occasional WorlDream t-shirt at conventions. And sometimes, very rarely, someone will ask me, "Whatever happened to the WorlDream?"

Until this month, my answer was, "Sadly, I was unable to complete it."

So, here we are, in the days of COVID-19, and the isolation that it has brought to our community. A friend asked about it again, and for the first time since 2001; I have both the time, spoons, and resources to actually see if anything could be done with the two or three recordings I managed to hang on to. So, I started digging, making the attempt to see if there might be any other recordings out there from 2001.

To my great surprise, the initial recording engineers of most of the recordings that I thought were permanently lost HAD BACKUPS. As of May 2020, I have about two-thirds of the convention recordings here. I have even managed to acquire most of the recordings that had never been sent back in the day. I have one convention that has not officially 'checked in'; though I do have an unlabelled tape. If digitising is successful (and the tapes haven't degraded), we may have some real progress.

If this project gets completed, it is solely due to the preservation and archival efforts of Chris 'Keris' Croughton, Scott Dorsey, Ken Lalonde, Spencer Love, Mark Peters, John Seghers, Volker Tanger, and Gerry Tyra.

Maybe there will be a completed project, after all. But no promises- I've promised too much already, and we are here, 19 years later, with only this website to show for it.

But, I begin to hope.

January, 2008

I was supremely honored to be the first Guest of Honor for Conflikt 1, in the Seattle area!

As we are still attempting to gather all the recordings from the Millennium; the project could still be considered... open. And when the Conflikt concom asked me if I would do a WorlDream chorus session at their con; even though late- I couldn't say no. ESPECIALLY as there was no convention in the Pacific Northwest in 2001; this way

In the end, it felt right to give this brand new con a touchstone with the rest of the convention community.

So, we've added an 11th convention to the roster!

Spring, 2004

The WorlDream was an amazing experience; and the challenges in getting all the recordings into the hands of a single engineer are much more difficult than originally anticipated.

At this point; while I am still working on the project; I am afraid that we have to expect that it may take significantly longer than I had hoped to get the recordings out into the world.

December, 2002

Here's where we are:

I'm hoping for a midyear 2003 release; but no promises yet. We're just beginning to look at the technical challenges of combining 10 different microphone schemes, 4 different recording formats, and nearly 650 voices onto one six minute segment of CD.

We are also still waiting for several recordings from some of the conventions - both WorlDream Chorus recordings and their associated songs.

Thank you for your patience, and continued support!!

November, 2001

Well, it's over.


It's been quite a year. 10 conventions. Over 400 people. Over 600 voices. All coming together, binding our world and community.

The WorlDream isn't just a song. It also isn't just a recording (though we'll have that to remind us of the fulfillment of the Dream). It's a feeling. It's the knowing- that wherever you are, whatever you do; you belong to a global community.

This started as my dream. For many of you, this became your dream as well.

It has been a year of great tragedy and loss. We've had the horror and anger left by the attacks on 11 September. In addition to the losses from Ground Zero, we have lost a couple of our own as well. Alasdair Prett in the UK and Merce Crain in the US will not have the opportunity to hear their voices on the CD when it is released. My heart cries, and my thoughts and feelings are with their families and loved ones.

It has been a year of growth and deepened personal connections; not only for myself; but for many others. A year of healing, as well.

From the deepest parts of my heart and soul, I thank you for helping to bring this dream to reality. May the connections, bonds, and family that you have found through the year support and enrich you for the rest of your days.

So- it really isn't over. It's only the beginning.

Mid-Dream Interlude

Today is August 6. Pretty much the eve of ConChord. I'm sitting on an Amtrak train traveling from Chicago back to Ann Arbor- watching the scenery of Southern Michigan pass by. Almost everything I see is in varying shades of green and yellow- trees, flowers; summer colors. And when I started this WorlDream Journey; everything out my window was white and grey.

When the Journey completes; we'll have been through the riotous colors of Fall; and coming back around to the whites and greys of Winter.

We've done the WorlDream at GaFilk, ConThirteena, Consonance, FilKONtario, and Conterpoint.

Coming up is ConChord, HarmUni, Worldcon, FilkCONtinental, and OVFF.


The Dream has taken me to friends both old and new in Georgia, England, Ontario, California, and Maryland. I started this dream in part to see dear found family- I didn't expect to find more reasons to continue. But almost everywhere I've gone someone happens to me that breathes new life into the Dream. New faces, new reasons. Old faces, and new reasons abound as well...

Rob and Gwen, Hilary and Zander, Merav and Jon, Karen... and Lloyd. Gretchen, Bill, Alison, Jodi, Debbie, Scott, Amanda, Bill, Brenda, Jared, James, Alisa, Luis, Jane, Cynthia, Pete, Jill, Cecil ... and the list goes on. It's people. It's *all* about people, and the community that we're constantly reinventing and building.

"Family met that wasn't there before
A few short hours and your life has changed once more
Expanding circles- the world is smaller and more warm..."


Jezebel, the Rapturous Trollop


At GaFilk, my regular 12 string guitar (Moira) developed a cracked bridge. So, I took her (er, the guitar) in to our local luthier right after the con; and told him that I would need the guitar back in time to go to ConThirteena 3 weeks later.

He didn't make it.

So, it was in a mild state of panic that I hollered for help 4 days before I was to leave for England.

Melissa Glasser volunteered her 12, which her husband Daniel had given to her. Daniel had had the guitar for over 10 years. She even brought it herself, special delivery... I live in Michigan- she in West Virginia. There is 5 hours of geography between us. This blessed, sainted woman drove 10 hours just to bring me her guitar. And then she asked me to name it!!! I asked Daniel and Melissa if they were sure; and Daniel pointed out that she hadn't told him what her name was in 10 years- if she chose to tell me, so be it.

(Daniel and Melissa own another 12, which has (by far) the best action and voice I've ever seen on a 12 string. This guitar is known as Succubus; because of the way she lures you away and makes you her own... I lust after that guitar... (smile). However, Jezebel is almost as good; she is a wonderfully responsive guitar. But I digress...)

On the plane to England, I decided that since the guitar got to go to ConThirteena and the Glassers didn't, that it would only be fair to photograph her guitar with as many attendees as I had the time and film for.

It was during the photo shoots that we decided upon her name- since she obviously enjoyed the attention from so many filkers!

So... many of the ConThirteena and a couple of the Consonance pictures feature Jezebel with various and sundry folk doing various and sundry things with her.

December, 2000

This is NOT the year to miss a Filk Convention!

I'm a filker. There are several pages and sites out there that describe filk, just do a search to find more if you don't know what it is.

Filk is my community. My neighbors, my friends, my family. I've been introduced to new family all over the world because of filk, the music it creates, and the fellowship it brings.

So- for the new Millennium; I want to see all my friends and family. And there's only one way I know of doing that- by going to every filk convention that will be held next year.

So, find out what the Dream is! Find which conventions are participating! Check out the song, and download the mp3!

And I'll be seeing you sometime in 2001!



Copyright © 2020 by Steve Macdonald