The final day of OryCon had come at last, and with it my concert.
Before that, though, we packed up the room and lugged the suitcase out to the car. and then went to the main stage room to see Alexander James Adams’s set. He was in great form, and it was a treat to see him play twice in 3 weeks1, and a great time was had by all. His Sleepy Hollow song (whose title I forget) was especially electric.
At noon, it was time for the Band Scramble. This is an event that seems to be really big here in the Northwest…everyone’s name goes into a hat, and bands are formed by pulling them out at random. The new group then has 24 hours to decide on a song to perform together and knock it out. Due to this that and the other thing, our band2 (consisting of myself, Andrew Ross, Cecilia Eng, and Amanda Morris) never did get together to rehearse, so we very quickly convened in the hallway for half a dry-run of Andrew’s song “Can’t Stop The Signal”, which is to the tune of “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray, and works well for this because each person can take a verse. Cecilia elected just to play the guitar, as the song wasn’t in her range in the key we were doing it, but that still gave each of the others a turn at the mic. It started out a bit ragged, but we threw ourselves into the “Hello, SHOWTUNES” energy of it and it came together all right in the end. The second band up featured Char McKay, Alexander James Adams, Steve Dixon, and Callie Hills, and it was really lovely. The final band3 featured Debs & Errol and Danica Dixon, and they went the extra mile and apparently, not understanding the rules of the contest, went and *wrote* a song to perform the night before. It was a lovely piece about Howl’s Moving Castle, and I hope that it might resurface because it was really lovely.
The next event was to be the song-writing contest, which I was one of the judges for, but since only one person had submitted a song, we let him sing his song and then awarded him the prize.
Next up was my concert. This was my first concert here in the Northwest, and the first one I’d done in over a year, and I’ll admit I felt a bit rusty at the start. I also made the last minute decision to sit rather than stand, which I regret now because I wasn’t really comfortable. Oddly enough, the songs at the top of the set list were ones I’d been specifically practising, and they were shaky, where as the back half of the set list was mostly songs I do often enough I hadn’t been specifically rehearsing them, and those went much better. The set list was:
Party of Four
Accept No Substitutes
Son Of A Son Of A Vor Lord
Ceci N’est Pas Un Chanson (Dave Rood)
Guinevere (Robin Batteau)
You Stay Here (Richard Shindell)
One Trick Pony (Paul Simon)
Ozymandias (Dave Weingart)4
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Stars)
Year of the Cat (Al Stewart)5
Space (Ben Wakeman)
Someone who was in the audience will have to judge how well it went over all. Like Mr. Tanner, I only hear the flaws. But I think it went reasonably well once I got past the first couple of songs.
Once I was done with my concert, I did what I usually do after a concert. I went to the bar and ordered a stiff drink. I had an hour to kill before my final panel, which was titled “PC vs Mac vs Linux vs Unix”, which we spent very little talking about because it’s not a fundamentally interested thing to talk about for an hour. Both myself and my co-panellist agreed that computers are tools and you select the tool that’s best for the job at hand, and then went on to talk about the history of the personal computer6, and what’s on the cutting edge of development for user interface design7. Despite the fact that we spent very little time on the topic at hand, we had a lot of audience engagement and everyone seemed to like the conversation, so I’ll call it a success.
At this point it was 4pm and we both have to work tomorrow, so we reluctantly begged off a dinner invitation and hit the road. Three hours later, we were home, ordered pizza and watched a couple of episodes of Pawn Stars, which was about precisely what we had enough brain power to process.
I had an absolutely magical weekend. Much thanks to the concom, and particularly Daniel Reitman and Andrew Ross, for inviting me and giving me so much to do across a broad spectrum. I made some new friends, had some interesting conversation, and quite honestly had the time of my life. I’m already looking forward to coming again next year.