All posts by Kurt

Kurt also takes horrifying stabs at fan art

Never one to be out-participated or observed, I’ve also been taking my own chances with fan content. I was hoping to get a chance to do this yesterday, but I was running around all day doing exciting and Christmas-y things. I suppose you can consider it a Boxing Day gift, if you would like.

So, without further ado, I present my (incredibly) humble version of “The Heart Carol” from the episode “Hearth’s Warming Eve” (Se 2 Ep 11).

I felt inclined to do this song because of the holiday theme. I might go off into more fun/adventurous places and songs in the future. The SATB arrangement was done by Reedmace Star (Posted to Everypony Sings). I performed it all on alto saxophone (the bass was recorded with an 8vb filter, because my tenor is packed away in the other room and I didn’t feel like transposing. This is why it sounds so filtered). Everything but the bass part was done in one take (my transposing chops are really rusty), hence the suckitude in some places.

So… there you have it. My attempt at a fan art. Happy holidays and Happy New Year to you all!

-kurt

 

***I’ve been thinking about doing a cover of “Smile” lately… What do you think of a full version of the song in this vein?***

Tag Blog: Covers of Covers of Fan Content

Tag Blog - Series 2
Tag Blog is an idea inspired by TAGJournal and Dr. Susan Lepselter at IU. We write blog entries about the My Little Pony fandom, then ask someone else in the community to write a follow-up and tag the next person in the chain. There are currently two concurrent series, one started by Jason (Series 1) and another by Kurt (Series 2). This is the first post of Series 2 by Kurt.

Covers of Covers of Fan Content

by Kurt Baer (ResearchIsMagic.org / Indiana University Bloomington)

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One of the things I love most about the brony fandom is the place that original fan content holds within it. Brony-made content is created, circulated, and adopted in ways that I’ve never seen in other fandoms, with content made by bronies becoming in many ways as central in the fandom as anything officially released by Hasbro. Stories, songs, and art based on the show are created, which then serve as the basis for new works as they are used as inspiration, covered, or adapted by others in the fandom (which themselves serve as the basis for still more works or even, eventually, incorporated into the original show as a nod to the fandom). These references —even just considering the ones based within the fandom itself without touching other references to other shows, fandoms, etc.—build upon each other into an incredibly dense network of ties that serves as part of the shared “stuff” allowing the brony community to distinguish itself as a community. As someone that has never done much within any fandom studying the ways bronies create a sense of community in digital space, I’m very interested in and curious about the ways these references are used. As a music scholar and a musician, the way the happens within the brony music scene particularly fascinates me. While I’m definitely not aware of many of the best examples of this sort of covering, re-covering, adapting, and ‘intertextual’ linking, I do know it is pretty awesome and (from what I can tell) it seems to be very important to a lot of people.

As an example among MANY: The other day, I came across this video of the song “Brew: The Prequel” by Shwabadi on Youtube.

Which is A) a pretty solid performance and B) a cover of this song by Rhyme Flow/ DJ Flowny

Which is a rap version sampling this song (one of my personal favorites) by Lenich & Kirya

Which is an gypsy jazz version of the song “Pinkie’s Brew”

Which is from Friendship is Witchcraft, a FanDub of MLP:FiM.

That’s some Inception shit going on right there… AND. ITS. AWESOME.

*Mad props to all the creators of these videos. They are all incredibly awesome*

Genres of Fandom: How Does One Brony?

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I’ll admit that I’ve never really considered myself to be a part of any fandom.  I’ll often obsess over a game or a television show and I’ll often find myself creating works—be it art, music, or some sort of game—around these media. However, beyond maybe talking with a few of my friends about the shows/games/movies/whatever, I’ve never really joined in any sort of group of people devoted to any of these things. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why that is.

Coming into this particular study, I am very interested in the expressive works—art, music, memes, costumes, stories, games, videos, etc.—that are coming out of the fandom (which are totally sweet, by the way) and the stigma that is often attached to being a brony (which is the opposite of sweet). Since Jason’s last post begins to deal with the latter of these issues, I’ll think I’ll make my first official post on the former.

Looking through sites such as Equestria Daily, checking out fan art, listening to music, and spending way too much time playing Canterlot Siege 2 when I should be grading, I became very interested in the ways that the different genres/types of creations that bronies make and consume are similar to or different from the types of things created in other fandoms.

Ponies+Tower defense game= Glorious time vampire
Ponies+Tower defense game= Glorious time vampire

While the work created within the brony community is original/awesome, the forms and genres that these works take conform in many ways to those that arise in other sorts of fandoms. For instance, fanfics and fan art take somewhat similar shapes regardless of specific fandom; cosplay is pretty well a universal sign of fandomness; and it even seems like there is at least one tower defense game has been created for every game, show, or movie out there (which is very unfortunate for my productivity… this post was supposed to come out yesterday by the way).  Even being able to talk about (and study) fandom as a general “thing” suggests to some extent that there are specific ways of being in (or, perhaps “doing”) a fandom that have developed over time and, as people become fans of different things, they continue to express themselves in ways that are associated with being in fandoms in general—cosplaying, writing fics, etc.

My questions along these lines, other than perhaps whether or not my observations hold water, are about how the content created around/by the brony community relates to other fandoms you have had experience with (beyond the fact that the MLP:FiM community focuses on MLP). How does one brony? How are the things that people are creating similar to those of other fandoms? How are they different? For instance, I’ve noticed that several previous comments on this blog have talked about the music that bronies are creating (this is particularly awesome to me, as a musician and music researcher). Where several people have commented on the musical aspect of the brony fandom and Equestria Daily (which has been one of my major resources in checking out brony creations) has no fewer than six different music sections in its “media” menu, I haven’t seen as much emphasis on music in other sorts of fandom sites that I have been to. I also found it interesting that Equestria Daily didn’t have a cosplay section until this past August, which certainly doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a lot of cosplay going on, but is still interesting.

Also, on a somewhat related note, I am hoping to write at least one of my next posts on music being made by bronies and will thus be listening to a LOT of music in the very near future. Any suggestions, thoughts, or comments as I go about this would be awesome. What are your thoughts on the music coming out of the brony scene? Which genres do you like to listen to? Who are the best artists? What are the best songs/works? What are the worst ones?

Thanks for reading and for any comments that might come out of this. It’s been great to hear everything you’ve had to say thus far. I think I can also speak for Jason when I say that we’re very grateful to all of you for everything you’ve done to help get this blog started.

-Kurt Baer