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I'm still here, really...

Hello friends,

I'm so bad at keeping up with this thing. Please forgive me...as an older Millennial, I'm much more prone to be on Facebook and Instagram. Something about me and LJ don't jive very well, and I can't put my finger on exactly why. NYC filkers, my apologies for missing the last housefilk on 1/22. I had just bought tickets for a wizard rock concert when I saw the email announcement. (Which, btw, why do lots of good things happen at the same time, and why can't I be in two places at once?)

For anybody that is still remotely interested, I'm finishing up my dissertation *knock on wood* this summer. Currently working on the filk chapter. I've got a tentative chapter argument now, but need to hold it to my chest for a little longer while I work out some wording. It took me a while to come back around to this particular chapter because I was figuring out my larger argument. That, and the longer you spend with a group, sometimes it's harder to find the right writing voice. I'm experiencing a similar reticence with regards to wizard rock, which I have to admit that I really like now.

I came back on LJ to review some of the discussion that happened after I attended my first filk con. It's amazing to think that it was 5.5 years ago that I started all of this. I'd also forgotten how wonderful all that discussion was.

If you're on the Twitter (@ayaesther), I usually tag my dissertation updates with #HoodedBy30; I also use the hashtag for a couple of posts on Instagram. (I turned thirty last September, so the hope is to defend before my 31st.) They usually just consist of daily word counts and things I'm reading.

Hope you are all well! 

New blog post about wizard rock...

Hey friends,

I wrote a blog post last week about a wizard rock song. As always, would love your thoughts and comments there.  https://ayaesther.commons.gc.cuny.edu/blog/


Nerdy Music Blog

Hi filk friends,

Letting you know that I'm doing biweekly nerdy music analyses on my WordPress blog (ayaesther.commons.gc.cuny.edu/blog). I'm rotating through filk, wizard rock, and new media musicals. The first post is up and on "Mal's Song." Would love your thoughts and comments there!


...And I'm back

Hello all,

I should wear the Cone of Shame for how long I've been away from LJ.  My goal is to clean out my inbox every couple of days.  Good luck, me.

Anyways, it was good seeing many of you again at OVFF, as well as meeting some new folks.  Thanks to all who sat for interviews with Jessica and I.  We gathered a lot of good comments for both of our research projects.  For those that are interested, here are the questions that we asked in interviews and at our Saturday panel.  Feel free to discuss below.

1) Do you use technology or the Internet to enjoy filk or communicate with the filk community?  How do you do this?
2) How would you describe your relationship with the Internet?  What types of tech do you use?  What tech do you avoid?
3) How has technology changed how you and your friends enjoy and participate in filk?  What are the technological changes that have had the biggest impact on the filk community?
4) How has filk changed since the launch of the Internet?  How has it changed since the launch of social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and blogging sites)?
5) Do you create filk?  If so, how do you disseminate it (Conventions, CD sales, Youtube, LJ, etc.)?  Why do you choose to disseminate in this/these way(s)?
6) People within fandom often operate in multiple spheres of fandom (i.e. simultaneously being a filker and a Lord of the Rings fan or being a filker and fanfiction author).  Are there other subsets of fandom outside of the filk community in which you participate?  Do you use different technology depending on what mode of fandom you are operating out of?
7) One of the effects of recent technology and social media that I (Aya) have noticed is the pluralization of fan musics (pirate rock, wrock, trock).  How do you view these other musics?  Are there other musics that lie outside of filk proper?  Do you listen to any of these or participate in their communities?  Would you consider these musics to be part of the realm of filk?
8) How do you, or people you know, participate in these newer musics and their respective communities?  Is it the same or different from how you participate in filk?


In the year (plus some) that I've been away, I finished up my course work and passed my comprehensive exams, and it's (finally) time to pursue my dissertation.  I've had a lot of time to think about how I want to approach my dissertation, and topic-wise, I've decided to expand it.  The first chapter or two will focus on the filk community, but I'm also looking to explore the relationships between filk and other fan music genres (and by extension, filkers and other nerdy/geeky musicians).  Questions 6-8 above are a few of my initial investigative questions.

My goal is to submit my proposal in late January.  Estimated dissertation completion date is Spring 2016.  Depending on how much research money I can gather, you'll see me at various cons around the country.  Next definite visit will be Contata.  I just submitted an application for a research grant, so depending on if that goes through, I'll try to make it to Conflikt too.  Other general cons on my list for this are DragonCon and LeakyCon.

Hope to see ya'll around!

Alas...it has been too long

Hello friends,

This is just a brieft entry to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking.  I haven't been posting this semester because my focus has been on my other research area - musical theater.  But the exciting news is that I may have something worth publishing in the very near future.  

Next semester, I should be able to turn back to fan-related things.  I'm taking a course on the Serial Narrative...topics include Doctor Who, which I'm squeeing a bit inside.  And maybe a bit on the outside too.  Earlier this year, Jessica and I tried to submit a panel on Sci-Fi and Music at this big music society meeting, but we were turned down.  We're now trying a different society.  Hopefully, they'll be nicer.  The paper that I wrote for that panel is related to fan musics.  

In terms of dissertating on filk, I have a dissertation adviser and a first reader!  They are two of my favorite professors.  Things are underway and I 99.9999% sure that this will happen.  It'll still be a year, however, before I can really kick into full-on research drive.    

Speaking of filk-y things, I realized that I planned in my head to go to ConCertino this year but have not actualized that into any concrete plans.  Anybody looking for a roomie?  *flashing sign above my head*

The Terrible Why question

Hello lovely folks: Long time, no post. So I just presented my paper on Firefly's "Ballad of Serenity" in class.  Like JUST presented...we're on break now.  I sort of got reamed by my professor over the issue of Why.  So I'll pose the question to you guys.  More broadly, why participate in fandom?  More specifically, why filk?  

I had a lot of trouble answering this question.  I was a fan before I was an academic, and this in a way "compromises my critical distance."  Yet, for me (a few of my classmates agree), this is a question like, "Why do you like music?"  Or "Why do you play music that is over 100 years old?"  Is it because this "Art" music is high culture?  What automatically justifies classical music over, say, filk?  Does a legit distinction exist?

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.  (I'm about to post something similar on the Filk LJ, so please excuse the redundancy...)

Request for your participation

Hello friends,

This is, as the title suggests...
a request for your participationCollapse )
Thanks, in advance, for your participation.  In an unrelated but sad update, I've been trying to get in touch still with the FFP people.  I recently sent a message to Karen Praxel/Hanks via Linkedin on Tuesday, but have not heard back yet.  My email lead with Darrin Kean dead-ended.  Le sigh...I'm disappointed
So, I'm catching up some episodes of the Nerdist podcast while I'm doing my data-entry job. I can't listen to all of them...sometimes they're just too crude for my tastes. But, TANGENT. About 55 minutes into their "Casa de Queso" episode, they go into an interesting discussion of the differences between the terms Geek and Nerd. You can listen to it here: http://www.nerdist.com/2011/08/24750/  I'm curious as to people's thoughts on that.  Could Hardwick and Co.'s conclusion on that matter be applied to the definition of filk?

As for the sad news...I don't think I'm going to be able to afford to go to OVFF this year.  School started last week, and methinks it's going to be a crazy time (grading papers, writing papers, visiting family, etc.).  I'm quite a bit bummed, but once I finish coursework (which is next year), it should be much easier to con.  You can count on me returning to the NE Floating FilkCon though! 
So for now, I am just copy and pasting a transcription of another mini-interview that I recorded with markbernstein.  Embedded within it are my personal reasons for constantly asking the above question.

MB: Unfortunately, [defining filk] tends to degenerate into a whole lot of hair splitting.Collapse )
*end of interview*

Before anyone else mentions it...I am familiar with madfilkentist's essay.  

I encountered an interesting article last week about defining the word "genre."  I am entertaining the idea of keeping the definition that filk is a genre of music.  But rather than wrestling with the left side of the equation, I want to work with the right side.  Meanng, what if "genre" needs to be better defined rather than filk?  It's just an idea that will probably end in a dead-end.  But my brain is urging me to pursue it...I think it's an early sign of academic insanity...
Well, College Humor already did it.

I find this quite interesting.  Anyone care to discuss it with me?  I experienced a variety reactions...