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)