beige_alert: (guitar)
It looks like we sucked another musician into filk over the weekend. One of the gang invited him to come to the housefilk to see what sort of music we did. The first really filky thing he heard was me singing Anne Harlan Prather’s “Star Pilot’s Hymn.” He like it and said he’d heard there were people singing “Galactic Folk.” “That’s us!” He’s written some lovely songs, is quite the skillful guitarist, had a great time and plans to be back for our next gathering.

music

Oct. 12th, 2007 08:55 pm
beige_alert: (flute)
I suppose I should say something about music, since my whole trip was a product of filk.

Prior to about two years ago I had not thought of attending FilkContinental, which is, after all, held in a place not especially near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve told this story before, but for anyone who doesn’t know, my personal connection to German filkers came after Urban Tapestry’s guest appearance at FC, which of course I read about on LJ. [livejournal.com profile] allisona mentioned a song set to the tune of [livejournal.com profile] jodimuse‘s “The Lady” called “The Willow” by this German filker they’d met, [livejournal.com profile] aryana_filker. I sang it at the next housefilk, made a comment in the LJ thread about that, Aryana was all excited that someone in America was singing her song, and, two years and a great many e-mails later, I was flying to Düsseldorf to spend two weeks living with my German friends.

We did find time for some music at each household. Everyone loved my flute. Everyone really loved [livejournal.com profile] musicmutt’s “An Abridgement,” which was also a hit at the con, where I sang it in response to Franklin’s call for Lord of the Dance/Rings ideas. [livejournal.com profile] legoline, [livejournal.com profile] lisande and I found time for music on several days, and we shared lots of “new to you” songs. It was fun when Dea and Steffi started singing children’s songs. In German, of course. Some of the tunes were familiar, but the words were not so familiar.

[livejournal.com profile] aryana_filker naturally enjoyed my flute playing. I had the enjoyable-in-retrospect experience of getting lost in the sheet music on one piece I was playing for her but somehow remembering enough to keep on playing until I found my place. I had no idea I could do that. She played her piano, of course. The bigger musical thrill there was seeing the pipe organ she plays. That was fun. I’d never been up close to an organ before.

There was yet more musical fun with [livejournal.com profile] kinder1of5 and her family and friends, including singalongs in the car with them. Familiar geBORGt songs, among other fun.

I will bring my electronic tuner next time. At the con, of course, people with guitars are set up to tune them, but visiting people I ran into a surprising number of people with guitars who don’t really play them. I’m not the sort who’s good at getting a very out of tune guitar into tune without electronic help, though I could usually get good enough for fooling around. On the borrowed guitar subject, it was, of course, no problem to borrow a guitar as needed at the con. It was sometimes a bit of an adventure playing an unfamiliar instrument, though I do have practice with nylon-strung classicals and various 12-strings. Probably the guitar I played that was most similar to what I’m used to was [livejournal.com profile] sibylle‘s. I was glad to have that guitar for the song I was most nervous about.

Filkcontinental was, of course, world of amazing music. The guest Canadians were absolutely fantastic. Heather Dale I was not really familiar with before. There are clearly some CDs I will need to buy. I do see [livejournal.com profile] sexybass and [livejournal.com profile] decadentdave from time to time in North America, but, wow, they really were fantastic. Really fantastic.

The various concerts, spots, and whatever else they call the various performances were all excellent. Great music and great to see and hear old friends, new friends, and very new friends sharing music.

There were great moments in the filk circles, of course. [livejournal.com profile] filkerdave got a photo of me giggling during that photosynthesis song Alexa sang. Lots of great songs. I heard [livejournal.com profile] vixyish’s “Mal’s Song” several times—clearly popular in Germany. Secondhand Songs was heard, of course. [livejournal.com profile] tarkrai did the One Chord Song, which I’d never before heard anyone but Nate try.

As for me, the flute went over very well. You can’t go wrong playing Bach in Germany, can you? I was delighted with the amount of laughter [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah‘s “Wreck of the Crash of the Easthill Mining Disaster” got. As I’d been both looking forward to and dreading for the previous year, I did sing Aryana’s Weigenlied für/Lullaby for Larean, which I’ve been singing in both languages here in North America for some time now. Singing in German, a language I can’t really speak, in front of an audience full of native speakers of the language was rather intimidating. I’d not been so nervous before a song in a long, long time. But the actual song went great, Aryana sang harmonies with me, and it was a terrific experience.

The flow of songs goes both ways, of course. I’ll be singing some new-to-me songs soon.
beige_alert: (flute)
On Saturday afternoon Carol Ferraro, Carol Flynt, and Barisha Lettermann were the musical performers at Espresso Love Coffee in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. That was lots of fun, and we pretty well filled the place up with the Milwaukee-area and some Chicago-area fen.

After that most of us ate at a nearby Chinese restaurant and then migrated to Carol and John’s house for the evening filk. We heard a little more from Carol and Barb. Lots from [livejournal.com profile] anach and his new Ovation. Art didn’t bring his music stuff, but occasionally borrowed a guitar. Deirdre had her full assortment of instruments on hand.

For me, naturally, it was mostly flute. The usual tunes, the show-off fugue, [livejournal.com profile] peteralway‘s “To Friends,” and one new to me, the Sarabande from Bach’s sonata in A minor for solo flute. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the other three parts, which are just a wee bit faster. (You can hear it played properly by Laurel Zucker here at Magnatune.) Not all flute, though. [livejournal.com profile] legoline’s “All Shall Fade,” too.

photo )
beige_alert: (flute)
I’m back safely from FilkOntario and Niagara Falls. I had a fantastically wonderful time, met lots of people, heard wonderful music, performed music in front of scary intimidating audiences (*grin*), and extensively hugged, snuggled, and served as pillow for friends. Niagara Falls was also an amazing thing to see. Even the 1426 miles (2295km) of driving wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared it would be, mostly, I think, because I cunningly planned my trip to allow plenty of time for the driving so I was never under any time pressure. (And yes, I love my Prius. 56.1 miles/US gallon for the trip, 4.2 l/100km or 67 miles/Imperial gallon, for those of you who like those units. And this reminds me, nothing more fun than comparing the reactions of US residents and UK residents to $Canadian 0.99/liter gasoline.)

I’ll have more to say eventually. Also, lots of great photos will eventually appear in my Flickr account. But don’t hold your breath or anything.
beige_alert: (Default)
Saturday's adventure was a houseconcert at [livejournal.com profile] alymid's featuring [livejournal.com profile] catalana. This was a very nice evening. A lot of Erica's songs are the type that I find I need to hear several times to really fully engage in, so it was very nice to have another chance to hear her.

The filking after the concert was lots of fun. I was pleased that my feeble attempt at [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah's "The Wreck of the Crash of the Easthill Mining Disaster", a song I've heard exactly once, went adequately well. Everyone laughed at the right places ("If your train hits a steamship, you're bound to be killed!")

Nice how my guitar fits in the trunk of my new car with plenty of space for other stuff left.
beige_alert: (beigeland)
I told [livejournal.com profile] legoline that I was going to badger her until she let me hear more of her filk songs. So I sent her a cute little stuffed badger wearing a shirt with some team's logo on it. Wisconsin being a badger-oriented state and all. It worked. Today I received a CDR of music! Thanks, Steffi!
beige_alert: (Bike)
My Saturday began with a phone call to [livejournal.com profile] aryana_filker, who was wisely escaping the rain by being at home where she was phoneable. Then a trip to the Public Market by bicycle to see what was on offer. The Farmers' Market opened Saturday. It's too early for locally-grown veggies but various live plants we on sale, plus the soap people and the honey people. It being warm, I sat outside to eat soup and charge my iPod with my folding solar panel, which seems to work well.

I finally found the "marsupial bridge," which is indeed under the Holton Street Viaduct and is entirely invisible from the roadway above. I drive over the viaduct twice a week, and you can't really see anything from the road. It turns out that there is a river below with condos going up along it, and a park. I'll have some photos up eventually. It actually makes some sense, connecting up the lower level. If there wasn't anything down there it would be pointless, since the viaduct itself is plenty wide for cyclists and pedestrians.

Saturday night was music night at Chez Dork. [livejournal.com profile] born_to_me's chili is great! Lots of fun. [livejournal.com profile] exapno was there with Xapling2, so were Marci, TC and Sean, [livejournal.com profile] anach and [livejournal.com profile] jerusha, and [livejournal.com profile] almeda and her energetic dog [livejournal.com profile] mightyajax. There were an amazing number of Small Creatures, with the two dogs, some cats, and a large number of little children of various ages. Much musical fun. Oh, and did you know you can experience a massive traffic backup on I-294 at 1 AM? You can! How much traffic can there be then? Too much for one lane, which is all we had in one spot due to some sort of work.

Sunday Joyce and I had coffee and part of a giant cinnamon roll at the market, stopped by Laacke and Joys to look over the kayaks at their annual Paddlefest. We walked over the Marsupial Bridge. We ate Reuben sandwiches at John Hawk's. They do a mighty fine Reuben there.

My weekend

Feb. 20th, 2006 10:23 pm
beige_alert: (guitar)
Well, I had a fine weekend. There was a filk in Milwaukee on Saturday, with most of the Chicago contingent making there way up in the cold. Music, hugs, backrubs, and, after midnight, the Birthday Dirge was sung for me. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] almeda, for the verse with the sheep and yaks.

[livejournal.com profile] aryana_filker, [livejournal.com profile] lisande, and [livejournal.com profile] legoline at some point wrote a German version of Still Beautiful, recorded it together, and kept it a secret from me until the 19th, making a birthday present of it. I’ve got the bestest friends in the whole wide world.

Joyce and I didn’t get to the Chicago housefilk at [livejournal.com profile] alymid‘s, because we were sleeping. Or just in bed. We did get up in time for a nice steak dinner.
beige_alert: (guitar)
I have some photos from last Saturday’s Barb’s Basement concert with Susan Urban and Sandy Andina in a Flickr set.

It was a great concert and a great filk.
beige_alert: (Default)
I hope everyone survived the New Year parties. Joyce and I went to the party at Lytheria in Milwaukee. The annual ritual of the funny TV commercials video, an hour or so of the best, or sometimes worst, of the art, was enjoyable as always. Lots of food, as always. Lots of people, many of whom I see pretty much only at these parties.

We had a nice little filk circle on the third floor, with Emory, [livejournal.com profile] tigertoy, Art, Sue, Jim, Barisha, Joyce, me, and various listeners dropping by from time to time. Phil and Art got into a Longcore dual, to see who would run out of Moonwulf songs first. I think it was pretty much a tie.

In an effort to do something completely different, I sang the Hockey Monkey Song. In German. Thanks to Urban Tapestry and [livejournal.com profile] aryana_filker for making that possible. I have, by the way, a handy tip for any of you considering singing a song in a language that you have been studying for about two weeks and which you, essentially, don’t speak: Pick a slower song! Still, it was tons of fun. Also fun, and well-received, was Aryana’s Lullaby for Larean, which I also (what the heck) sang the first verse to in German. I have an adorable little niece, just five weeks old, who, like me at that age, sleeps occasionally but mostly cries, so I’ve been looking for lullabies, on the theory that I’m going to end up needing them someday. A bilingual lullaby is great. My goal is to eventually teach little Heidi to sing songs in languages that her parents don’t speak. Crazy Uncle Mike, indeed.

Since Joyce was away in Louisiana over Christmas, we delayed the opening of gifts until today. I now have Das Keyboard, a computer keyboard with no markings whatsoever on the keys. It is an all-black keyboard (“Darth Vader approved”), the only markings being the labels for the three lights and the “Das Keyboard” in the corner. You can’t get much cooler than this. It’s a pretty nice feeling keyboard, too.

Joyce likes her fancy Lamy Pico tiny ball-point pen, her very bright LED flashlight, and her puzzle of an origami-style folding plastic drinking cup.

There is turkey in the oven now and a nice dinner planned.
beige_alert: (10m)
Some photos from the Bittersweet Christmas Band concert in Barb’s Basement, plus a few photos of Milwaukee in winter. This morning? Bright, sunny, clear, cloudless. And -17°C. The kind of morning that freezes the inside of your nose when you inhale.

Read more... )

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