Will Sturman, aka “dog mod” (personal blog dog-of-ulthar)

I started listening to filk on YouTube when I was in high school.  I’m not exactly sure how it began, but I think it heavily involved “Hey There Cthulhu.”  Now I’m a senior in college, majoring in music, and somehow I got my professors to let me do my thesis on filk.  As soon as I started researching, I started having so many things I needed to tell people.  Then I attended my first filk convention, OVFF 30, and realized two things.  First, the community is as friendly and welcoming as everything I had read predicted.  Second, they’re desperate for new blood and having trouble reaching the new generation of nerddom.  That’s why this blog happened.

There are a few reasons I’ve come to love filk so much.  First, I’m an abject nerd and an emotional junkie; I like to listen to sad songs about space and cry (I highly recommend “Darkness” by Julia Ecklar).  Second, I’m a classically trained oboist.  I’ve gotten tired of living in a musical tradition based on competition and auditions.  You practice for weeks, months, years, you get a ten-minute tryout slot, and more often than not you never see a stage.  Filk is different.  The community will take any contribution, no matter how tentative, clumsy, or small.  They’ll listen to your clumsy first attempt at lyrics, give you a crash course in accordion technique.  Whether you’re writing songs, performing songs, singing harmony, or just clapping along, you matter.  I just want people to know a community like this exists.

Nat Elster, aka “brain mod” (personal blog axonsandsynapses)

Partner of the dog mod and webmaster of the WordPress site. I was made a mod because I’m an archivist at heart and felt a compulsive need to standardize the tagging system.

My introduction to filk was at college, when I fell in with a crowd who thought my habit of singing murder ballads while doing chores was perfectly normal. I was an enthusiastic but passive listener until my senior year, when I attended OVFF 30 with Will. I’m quiet and introverted and hesitant to sing along, with no instrumental skill and a mediocre singing voice. I still felt totally welcomed, and by the end of the con I was completely in love with filk both as a genre and as a community.

Batya, aka “bat mod” (personal blog animatedamerican)

Gabrielle, aka “bear-fox mod” (personal blog tawnyblaze)

I have been filking since high school, and that’s longer ago than I care to admit. I am obsessed enough with this tiny but fierce musical genre that I created an original filk CD (3 songs) for my high school senior project a la my vocals and Cakewalk; entered the OVFF song contest every single year I have attended (and actually placed twice!); started dabbling in more than one filk blog; participated in February Album Writing Month for the last four years in order to generate new filk; and joined the OVFF programming staff. In the time I spend on things unrelated to filk, I enjoy writing fantasy novels that I hope to publish someday, tabletop roleplaying, nerdy board games, and aww-ing at interwebs cats.