What is a Filk convention without guests?
Winging their way all the way over from Germany, our Guests of Honor this year are the tuneful twosome Ju Honisch & Katy Dröge-Macdonald. Katy's husband Steve Macdonald will also be soaring over the Atlantic Ocean to act as our Toastmaster. Scott & Kirsten Vaughan, better known as The Blibbering Humdingers will be flying in by broomstick from North Carolina as our Interfilk Guests. And rounding out the guest list as our Honored Listener is Bill Henley who will be jetting in all the way in from Cleveland. (OK, so Cleveland isn't really that far away.)
Guest of Honor: Ju Honisch& Katy Dröge-Macdonald
Ju & Katy have been a duo and partners in musical crime ever since 1991
when they met at a German Star Trek convention at the late night filk
Ju Honisch started filking in the early nineties when the genre reached
Germany. She had written a few songs before that time, but only after she
discovered filk it became clear that this music genre was just what she
had always wanted.
Over the next 20 years she wrote some 200 songs, the vast majority of
which vanished into oblivion very quickly. Too many to stay in the
collective filking brain; too many, in fact, to sing them all at cons.
Some stayed on, though. Of those which stayed on, some of the best songs
were co-productions with her long-time partner, Katy Droege-Macdonald,
such as "A Thousand Ships" which got the Pegasus Award in 2010, or
"Pageant Legend" (also known as "that Morgan Le Fay song").
When not filking or toiling away at her day-job, Ju writes fantasy novels
(published in German) which she still hopes will be published in English
one day. More about her writing can be found at www.juhonisch.de/index_e.html
Katy Dröge-Macdonald had spent her youth playing the accordion and
singing in choirs when Trek fandom made her find filk which in turn made
her take up guitar playing. Looking back now, she can certainly say it is
the best thing that ever happened to her - it has changed her life
Katy had always been more of a musician than a lyricist, so meeting Ju was
indeed a stroke of luck - her awesome words inspired her even more to
write music, and sometimes the occasional own song.
She also got into con running and has been the co-chair of FilkCONtinental
for 15 years now (soon, the con can get its own drivers' license ...)
If she is not running a con, travelling or trying to learn a new
instrument (like bouzouki, percussion, cello), she also sings the filkish
version of barbershop with the German filk quartet "Barbership" and enjoys
the rich harmonies. Yup, harmonies are her thing :)
Over the years, Ju & Katy have produced two tapes ("back in the good ol'
days" *g*) and two CDs with a third on the way, to be available by mid-2012. With harmonies, whistles and wit they will aim to entertain you
Toastmaster: Steve Macdonald
Steve Macdonald is a native Midwesterner, originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He transplanted himself to Hamburg, Germany in 2006 to marry one half of the Guest of Honor (who he met at OVFF 14 in 1998). Steve spends most of his time at work; but occasionally gets out to sing with Barbership and DKSM (a folk trio with his wife Katy (see above) and Marilisa Valtazanou).
Steve also spends a fair bit of time with other fannish activity, serving on the Pegasus Committee, OVFF webmaster, and as co-founder of the second German filk con, DFDF (Das Fruhlingsfest der Filksmusik- or, The Spring Festival of Filksmusik. It's really an awful, awful pun in German...).
Perhaps he'll find time to practice before the con this year...
Honored Listener: Bill Henley
Bill Henley once described himself as "an expert on just about everything except reality".
In his own words: "As a young, precocious reader in the early 1960's, I read the classic "Silver Age" comic books of the era which I still reread and collect, but also devoured the science fiction paperbacks-- Heinlein, Asimov, etc.-- my sci-fi loving mother left around the house. I watched the first episode of STAR TREK when it aired on Sept. 8, 1966, and later became one of the early U.S. fans of DOCTOR WHO when that show started appearing here in the 1970's. I've maintained all these interests, though you might catch me curmudgeonly complaining about the scarcity of good "old school" written SF -- as the old filksong goes, "I want the same future that I always had." (As for my mundane life, I'm a cog in the local government bureaucracy in Cleveland where Chandra and I and a houseful of cats live.)
But all this sci-fi involvement didn't have much effect on my musical interests-- that is, until one night at Marcon XV in May 1980, when I was wandering the late-evening hotel corridors looking for something to do (not being much of a party animal) and heard the sound of singing emanating from one of the rooms. What was this? I went to listen more closely, and was hooked for life. Songs about science fiction? About Star Trek, and fandom, and space travel, and all the other stuff I cared about? I needed to hear more, and I did-- at more Marcons, and then at OVFF starting with the first one and never, so far, stopping. (Getting involved in filk changed my life in an even more fundamental way than many years of pleasure and inspiration. I met my wife of nearly 20 years now, Chandra, at a con where she was a filker. She's moved on to other interests besides filk since, but many of you will know her as the Con Suite Goddess at Marcon for the last several years, and she's also running the OVFF 27 consuite to help out Nick Winks.)
I've managed to attend every OVFF held to date. You may not have noticed me since I'm not a singer myself (except on sing-along choruses), don't play an instrument or write songs, and tend to be on the quiet side in group gatherings. (About the only time I've attracted much notice at OVFF was a few years ago when I tripped over a chair in the main filk room and had to be rushed to the hospital to have a cut treated.) But I'm glad to be a part of the OVFF community and am indeed very much honored to be selected as the Honored Listener Guest for OVFF 28. "
Interfilk Guest: Blibbering Humdingers
The Blibbering Humdingers (aka "the Dingers" or "the Humdingers" "the BH") are a husband/wife wizard rock duo from Cary, NC. They play mostly comedic songs about Harry Potter and the wizarding world created by J. K. Rowling.
Scott & Kirsten Vaughan got their start doing wizard rock in 2007. Whilst searching the web for Potter-filks to perform for an upcoming show, they discovered Draco & the Malfoys. Shortly thereafter they attended a Harry & the Potters show at a local library. After the Death Hallows book release that summer, they decided to try their hand at writing some of their own songs. With the online release of "Voldemort Made Me Crap My Pants" the Humdingers were born.
Since then they've played numerous local shows in central NC with the Moaning Myrtels, the Butterbeer Experience, The Whomping Willows, Gred & Forge, Hawthorn & Holly, Tonks & the Aurors, Bella & LeStrangers, and many other touring wizard rock bands. They've performed at various conventions including Portus, Con Carolinas, Leaky Con, Infinitus, RavenCon, and even mainstage at Wrockstock 2010, and 2011. Their songs have been featured on a variety of charity compliations including Sirisuly Smiling and Jingle Spells 3.
They perform in a wide range of musical styles from old-timey, to 50s do-wop, to 80s new-wave, to straight rock. Most of their songs have a comedic bent, poking fun at characters or situations in he HP books and movies, or turning seemingly innocent situations into lewd ones.
They regularly host wizard rock shows in central North Carolina, often in their home in Cary. They have been know to borrow members of Hawthorn & Holly and Gred & Forge for backing vocals, electirc bass, and percussion.
New Voices Guest: Patricia Wake
If there were a TV show about a time-traveling vampire pirate with a tragically dysfunctional love life, this would be its soundtrack. In subject matter, Patricia is inspired by her love of sci-fi, fantasy, mythology and paranormal legend, as well as the mundane horrors of ordinary life. Musically, she falls squarely in the genre of Whatever Comes To Mind On Any Given Day, with an eclectic style drawn from the realms of Southern Gothic, Post-Punk and Traditional Celtic Folk.
Originally from Dallas, Patricia now lives in Pittsburgh, and funds her musical activities by sewing clothing and accessories for her fellow time-traveling vampire pirates. You can find her CDs and handmade items at patriciawake.etsy.com, and download music at patriciawake.bandcamp.com.