invasion of the filk

I’m in San Jose on a work trip this week. On Thursday evening I was in the hotel lobby waiting to go out to dinner with some friends when I couldn’t help but notice an influx of people.

We suspected this group of people was here for a convention of some sort, and that theory was soon confirmed with an event schedule listing “Open Filking.” And yet, that didn’t exactly answer all our questions. After a weekend of research and observation, I think we’ve learned the basics.

The convention in question is the Consonance Convention. As the site describes, it is “the San Francisco Bay Area filk convention.” Filk is generally considered folk music, usually with a science fiction or fantasy theme … or about computers or cats. Filkers, then, are the people participating in this musical movement. Furthermore, if our hotel parking lot is any indication, bumper stickers appear to be an important trademark of filker vehicles. Here are some additional resources, if needed.  After seeing some names and pictures in my research, I realize I rode the elevator with some famous and influential filkers this weekend.

Now that I’ve laid the foundation, I trust you’ll enjoy some example filking.

4 thoughts on “invasion of the filk

  1. Sorry if we scared you! We generally keep an eye out for folks going ‘um, what?’, but things can get a little hectic during the conventions themselves.

    Both the videos you’ve linked are from the ‘open filking’ — people sitting in big circles and making music together. We also have organized concerts, which make up our ‘scheduled’ programming, and a lot of other events. Much fun is had by all.

  2. Hey Seanan,

    Thanks for the post! Seeing as how I was in town to check out cool toys at Cisco, and have attended a number of tech conventions myself, I can certainly relate to being in a one of those crowds that makes people go `um, what?’. 🙂 Everyone certainly was friendly enough. Thanks for opening my eyes to a whole new culture!

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