‘Filk’ singer combines love of science fiction, music

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    By AMBER FURST

    amber@du2.byu.edu

    The Life, the Universe and Everything symposium, that took place last weekend, featured a guest “filk” singer to entertain guests of the symposium and anyone in the Wilkinson Center Terrace last Friday.

    Michael Liebman, 44, came to the symposium to help pass along the art of “filk” singing and share with people things he has experienced from traveling around different conventions and from life in general.

    This is the fifth year that Liebman has performed at the BYU symposium, and he said he enjoys his time in Utah.

    “This is one of the few places that I have been a guest at and they treat me like mini-royalty. There are a lot of wonderful people here and I have great friends who work here,” he said.

    The term “filk” came about in the mid-1950s when the word folk was misspelled at a science fiction symposium. Since then, the term came to signify singers of folk music who also enjoyed science-fiction.

    Liebman, a legal word processor from Atlanta, started his own group of filk singers in Atlanta. It meets eleven times a year and is called the Georgia Filkers Anonymous.

    “The popularity around these events is that anyone can attend and be accepted for who they are, no matter your race, creed, religion, whatever,” he said.

    For the next several months Liebman will be performing at different symposiums all over the country. He is not paid for his time but instead receives free accommodations for the most part and a membership to the symposiums.

    “I’m here because of my love of songs and science-fiction. Storytelling through music is something that anyone can participate in and I really enjoy it,” he said.

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