Out of fandom came filk, which is the music of science fiction fandom. Except that not all of the songs are about sf, or even fandom, and not all the people who make it are fans, and sometimes it can be quite unmusical. Various people have tried to define it, and none of the definitions include everything that filk is and several include things that filk isn't, so the best way to find out about filk is to go to a convention, or buy a tape or two, and listen to some.
The word "filk" arose, so the legend runs, as a typo for "folk" on a poster. From it came the verb "to filk" which has come to mean the act of writing a parody of a given song, filk or otherwise, as in "I filked Mike's new song last night while he was still writing it down--aargh!!" A lot of filksongs are parodies, but there are also haunting and beautiful original songs in a wide variety of styles: folkish ballads, raunchy rock anthems, jazz tunes, choral pieces in the style of Palestrina or Finzi (the sf version of Fonzie), and raucous choruses for singing at three in the morning when everyone else is trying to sleep. Filk fandom is home to some frighteningly talented musicians, and also to me.
There are lots of filkers on the Web. I plan to link this site to the Bardic Ring, which if you follow it round will introduce you to some of them. Searching for "filk" will find you lots more. In the meantime, here are some of my better (and older: hmm, causal connection there?) lyrics, here are some of my tunes, and this is the cover art for my recent tape, Wassaliens, which will link you to more information about it on Dan Bennett's fine website.
Update: I am almost prouder than one Nyrond can conveniently be to announce that, mostly on the back of Jan's achievements in re the Nycons and a few pertinaciously memorable ditties, I have this year been inducted into the Filk Hall Of Fame, joining such far superior talents as Kathy Mar, Dr. Jane, MEW, Dave Clement and Bill Roper. Tim and Annie Walker collected the award on my behalf at FilkOntario, and I received it at the SWiGGLe in May. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who nominated or voted in this very worthy contest. To everyone else: please be assured that this is only a temporary blip. Future inductees will, I am sure, be of the consistently high quality you have come to expect. Thank you.
Further update: the collection of reprobates pictured above are allegedly a band, going by the name of Just Plain Folk. The ridiculous figure in the middle is, er, me. We'll be performing at Conthirteena, the next British filkcon, and possibly elsewhere as well. This is a public service warning.
And now, for Edna and others who want to know how to do filk music...
and is owned by Zander Nyrond.
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