quarridors: Not high on sugar (September 2010)
This weekend I'm at the 24th annual UK Filk Convention, Duple Time in Grantham. I've written before about why I love filk music and the filk community so much, so let's take it as said that I've been looking forward to this. (I'm writing this on my phone so expect more links to be added later).

I was sensible enough to book a half day off today, so just for once I was all registered and in my hotel room an hour before the opening ceremony! I had a 30 minute set in the second slot at 8pm and managed to do a full sing through in my room before heading down to the con floor and saying hello to everyone.

The opening ceremony was a little bittersweet as our con coordinator Keris sadly died in a car crash in November, but we agreed that the con is a tribute to him and very much what he'd have wanted. Brenda has created an Absent Friends chair cover that means Keris will always have a seat at the convention, which seemed very apt, especially as it's sat behind the tech desk this con... UK guest of honour Lissa then cheered us all up by providing everyone at the con with a kazoo ...this made the sound check for the first set somewhat 'interesting'...

Valerie's Pick 'n Mix was the first set with some great songs including a rousing sing along to Following In Valentina's Footsteps, but I confess I mainly had my mind on my own rapidly approaching set.

When my turn came, I got off on the wrong foot by managing to start Second-Hand Songs in the wrong key and got thrown off by being able to hear my voice over the speakers. So not the strongest start ever, but that just made my second song sound amazing in comparison ;)

Next I sang Stacy's amazing Concrete Wilderness, which is Talis Kimberley's apocalyptic Worlds End but told from the perspective of a city dweller. This is a song I genuinely tried to write myself before reading Stacy's far superior version of the same idea. I hope I did it justice with my sincere Tracy Chapman-esque 'urban soul' performance.

Next I performed a revamped version of The Changes, which was in fact revamped late night on Thursday - mainly removing some repetitive lyrics, adding a bridge and putting in a gratuitous key change :D ...this did mean I felt a little unsure with my performance....

Then Breaking Out Is Hard To Do, an extremely fun to sing rendition of Boom Shadow (to the tune of Cat Stevens Moonshadow), a (slightly strained) cover of Paper Worlds by Talis and finally an enthusiastic performance of Singularly, my fun Billy Bragg Sexuality filk. All in all it was a good set with only a couple of minor lyrics slip ups. I wish I could've weaned myself of the lyric sheets given I know the words perfectly to all but two of the songs. I also need to learn what to do with ny hands...

I've had some lovely comments about my voice having an 'almost gospel' quality for one song and being 'chameleonic' with male and female qualities changing between songs.

I still have to do the androgynous vocal techniques workshop I'm running in the morning and then I can enjoy the rest of the con without worrying about straining my voice!

In fact it's late and I'm tired, so I'll finish this tomorrow in the hope I actually manage some sleep before my workshop tomorrow...

December 2016

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