became an integral part of the Los Angeles area filk scene in the 1970s when she first discovered fandom. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 80s and recorded “Crystal Singer” — the first tape published by Off Centaur Publications — in 1981. Cynthia recorded several more of her own projects with OCP, and wrote for and performed on numerous others.
Her contributions as a songwriter and performer have been equalled by few. She is a master song-crafter, and has written more than 1,000 songs. More than 300 have been published on tape and CD collections or in songbooks by Off Centaur, DAG, KFH, Dandelion Digital, Thor Records, Wail Songs, Flowinglass Music and her own label, Unlikely Publications.
Her songs can be funny, touching, memorable and haunting — and, yes — even ‘ose. Many have been parodied (Who can forget “Fuel to Feed the Drive”) while others, such as “Crimson and Crystal”, “Fever Dreams” and the “Gay Vampire Boogie” have become filk classics widely performed in filk, folk, and pagan circles. Some, notably “Black Davie’s Ride”, “Ruby Wine” and “Dark Moon Circle”, have even been picked up by professional folk and rock performers.
Cindy has also done music programming for Bayfilk and Consonance, as well as handling filk programming for several non-filk conventions. Even when she is not on staff, she can be counted on to pitch in and lend a hand. To date, she is the only filker to have been honoured as a GoH at Baycon, and she has been filk GoH at numerous other cons including OVFF, Arisia, Miscon, Silvercon, Coppercon, and the English filk convention Fourplay. In filk circles at cons, Cindy is often called upon to moderate because she has a talent for keeping things moving without being obvious about it. She has the gracious ability to encourage the newcomer to take a chance, and creates an atmosphere of open sharing of music.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Cynthia McQuillin is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame, this nineteenth day of April, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Eight.
Photo credit: Cover of CD, This Heavy Heart