The last week really has been a blur. Between getting ready for Gafilk, actually putting on Gafilk, and then immediately packing the car to start driving west for our move to Seattle, I haven’t had a lot of time for posting. But there’s a few thing I wanted to get down from the weekend.
An incomplete list of GaFilk highlights:
- Visiting Atlanta’s new International Terminal
When I went to pick up Susan from the airport (Sam’s flight having been delayed by bureaucracy), I left the hotel in what would normally be plenty of time…except that I forgot that all international flights were now landing at the new terminal. I also realised that I didn’t actually know where that was. Fortunately, there were signs, but it’s such a long way that I kept thinking I must have missed a turn until I’d see another sign directing me to continue. By the time I got there, I wasn’t entirely sure that the terminal wasn’t actually *in* Canada. Still, I got there just in time to meet Susan (and Morva and Alan) at the baggage claim.
- Bill Sutton’s “sound workshop”.
Since a lot of the people who normally help us out with sound didn’t make it to the con this year, we decided to make a virtue out of the need for volunteers and announced that anyone who wanted to learn a bit about running sound was welcome to come and learn it from Bill. Several people volunteered, so the sound went off without a hitch.
- Tim Griffin
I’d actually heard (though not really met) Tim Griffin at a previous convention on the west coast, but I’d only heard him do a couple of songs. He was our choice to do the Friday night concert, and he was amazing. He does educational music that is both informational and funny (or, sometimes, poignant), and has a great audience rapport. He also is just a really fun guy to hang out with and talk to, and he was always pitching in here and there where an extra pair of hands was needed. Great guy, and I was so pleased to meet him.
- George and Teresa as toastmasters
Two great people who are such a big part of Gafilk since the early days; they did a fantastic job both MCing and on their concert. Since most of the time you see them as part of larger bands, it was really nice to see them do some stuff with just the two of them.
I didn’t get to hear as much of them as I would have liked, but everything I heard was delightful. Thanks to Interfilk again for another wonderful guest. I did get to hang with Thom and Christina a bit during the weekend, and they were a lot of fun to talk to.
- Sam Baardman and Susan Israel
I already knew they were awesome musicians (that is, after all, why we invited them), but they are also just extraordinarily nice people. Their concert on Saturday was a delight. I’m often in and out of concerts at Gafilk because I’m always keeping an eye on what’s going on elsewhere, but I usually have one that I just allow myself to sit and take in without interruption, and I’m glad I did for this one, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a moment of it.
- Play It With Moxie’s banquet performance
If you’ve been to a Gafilk banquet before, you know what this was like. Moxie just gets better and better every year, and I danced and danced and danced. Thanks to everyone who endured my inexpert steps; I have far more enthusiasm than skill, but I never don’t have a good time.
- Larry Niven
Larry’s hour was spent between a reading and telling entertaining fandom stories, and it was a great time. He seemed to have a good time listening to all the music, and I’m so glad he could make it out as our SSG this year.
- Stray Dog jam
A hallway filk broke out during (and after) the stray dog party, which started when the two fiddlers in residence wanted to trade some licks and ended up with a huge crowd. (I had a conversation with one person over the weekend about “sing-y” vs. “jam-y” circles, and this was definitely the latter.) I was only around for a part of it, but everything I heard was amazing.
As usual at Gafilk, I really didn’t get a chance to play, because by the time open filk starts I’m usually ready to fall over. I never even took my guitar down from my room this year. But I did get to play one song, and it’s my personal best moment of the weekend:
- Getting to play my Talis Kimberley cover for Talis Kimberley
Just having Talis there was a treat for me, because she really is one of my favourite people in the world and I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with her. But one thing I wanted to do if I had the chance is play for her the one song of hers that I cover. So when i spotted her in a little circle near the registration table shortly after closing ceremonies, I stopped to listen for a bit, and then asked to borrow a guitar so i could play it for her. Amy was on hand to add Amyness, which honestly makes everything sound better than it would otherwise, and Talis liked what I did with her song.
(The song in question is “Harbouring Hopes”, which is the final track on her album Archetype Cafe. As I commented when I played it, “I’m sorry to say the song first came to my attention at a time I desperately needed it, and I’m happy to say that I haven’t needed it for a very long time.”)
There were some more personal non-music related highlights as well, but they all come down to “getting to spend time with people who are dear to me”, and if I started to list them I’d leave someone out. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed every single moment of every single conversation, every single hug and cuddle, and every single story.
And so another year is kicked off in grand fashion with a successful Gafilk. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen (I have the best concom ever), and thanks to everyone who came up to me and wished me and Larissa luck on our upcoming move. Gafilk has always been and will always be a family gathering, and I always feel blessed to be in the middle of it every year.