Saturday, October 31, 2009

Anek Fuchs, Oct. 31 @ 12 pm

All Hallow's Eve is a time when spirits walk and people light fires against the coming of the chill of winter. Join us for a concert of fire and magic appropriate to a night of masks and mystery.

A step outside of our usual Music Island fare but Anek is hard to classify. He has been called many things, even an alien, as he magically wanders a fretboard searching out the next piece of his soul, to share with you . . He has been burning up the grid since April 25th of 2008, shredding his way through the common barriers of genres and style in the SL music scene, for so long doing only guitar lead in a virtuoso style that could only be compared to Joe Satriani, or Steve Vai. He is not a musician that sticks to one or two genres or styles, he is a soul that requires a myriad of these flavors to be that which he is.

Anek Fuchs was recently nominated as best band and as best male musician in second life, and tied as best male musician with Maximillian Kleene according to musicians, venues, and the LEMA awards foundation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cindy Ecksol, Thurs Oct. 29 4:30 pm PDT

Cindy Ecksol has been making and teaching music with voice, autoharp, fiddle and a variety of other instruments for as long as she can remember. She is particularly interested in traditional music of many varieties, and her repertoire includes everything from Irish tunes and Israeli dance music played on autoharp to dark Appalachian fiddle tunes from the mountains of West Virginia. But her playful side can't resist amusing modern songs about real life, which somehow co-exist with folk songs from long ago.

Music Island concerts has been working with the US Public Affairs program Virtually Speaking on a series of Arts and Letters programs on selected Thursday evenings. This concert is a vibrant part of that series.

Note: To attend a virtual concert in Second Life you must download the free SL viewer and set up your free Second Life avatar account. If you are new in SL and want to be added to the Music Island group or want help getting to the concert, just search on Kate Miranda in the Second Life Search Engine and send me a message. Click here to teleport directly to Virtually Speaking.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Open Rehearsals: More Successful in Virtual Worlds?

"I feel that I understand music at a deeper level than ever"
"This was even cooler than an ordinary concert. Let's do this again."
"Now I understand how much goes into the preparation for a concert"

These were some of the comments from individuals in attendance at last Thursday's Open Rehearsal with the wonderful Schumann Duo.

The day hadn't started out so auspiciously for Kahuna Schumann who had been struggling with a bad head cold and knew he would be unable to perform at length on the oboe, if at all. Thinking quickly, and not wanting to disappoint the audience, Clarissima Schumann suggested that the event take the form of an Open Rehearsal.

It seemed like a format that might fit the Virtually Speaking format of informal conversations. In this case, about music-making. But I did have some worries initially, based on my experience in RL. In general, audiences who enjoy rehearsals are already fairly well-informed about music, understand what to expect in an open rehearsal and are so interested in the process, that the interuptions in actual music don't bother them. Inexperienced audiences are often confused and bored, somewhat frustrated by not understanding what is happening.

What made this work so well in SL?

I think two factors were crucial. First, we could hear every word that was exchanged by the working musicians as they were wearing headsets. What a difference from the usual open rehearsal experience of conversations dropping into inaudible whispers. Secondly, audience members in SL were busily typing questions and comments into the chat bar as the rehearsal was in progress, rather than waiting for the end of the session (and losing flow and context). Rather than wait for the end to answer, the musicians were occasionally able to take a break, catch up on reading the questions and respond as they moved music stands, picked up a new piece of sheet music or moved avatars about.

In short SL broke down the wall between the people making the music and the audience members listening through the combination of asynchronous and synchronous communication tools that the virtual world is able to provide.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CoMa Ensemble from UK on Sun Oct 25 10 am SLT

CoMA Ensemble, UK
10 am SLT
Sunday October 25, 2009
Contemporary New Music Ensemble

One of the best things about Second Life is that we are largely a community that enjoys doing things and creating things for ourselves. We aren't content to passively watch television or listen to what record producers have decided is the flavour of the day in music. Instead we are in SL: creating our own stories in roleplay or on virtual stages, listening to homegrown music, and creating our own brand of art.

Amateur musicians have a lot in common with Second Lifers in general and maybe that is why amateur music is such a "fit" in Second Life. This amateur ensemble has reached a high level of musical achievement and is not content to simply play standard repertoire. Instead they are exploring and giving a voice to contemporary new music. It is interesting to me--living as I do in RL in Canada--that my national radio service CBC drastically cut its new music programming, but in the leading edge virtual world community, new music is an area that many musicians want to explore. New music afterall is where music "lives". It is the hurly, burly of trying new ideas and seeing what works and what doesn't. It is where the action is in music in our lifetime. The rest is just a museum exhibition of treasures from the past, beautiful, but dead and stuffed.

So don't come if you are going to sit and grump about how you'd rather be listening to Mozart, but please join us if you'd like to listen to the musical achievements of some very dedicated musicians who are on the living edge of music.


All - improvisation

Kirkup - WaxWing Day

Preece - No Say No

Walshe - He Was She Was

Kirkup - Reaching Peak Twenty

Caulfield - Baarle-Hertog (an evening in the village)

All - improvisation

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Schumann Duo, Classical Music with an Edge. Oct 22 & Oct. 24

THURSDAY OCTOBER 22, 4: 30 PM SLT at Virtually Speaking (with special guest interview to follow)
THURSDAY OCTOBER 22, 6:00 PM SLT at Amadora Concert Hall
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24, 12:00 PM SLT at Music Island

Three fabulous and different opportunities to hear the great Schumann Duo this week. Veteran performers, the Schumann Duo are consummate professional musicians and music educators who enliven classical music with witty interpretations and scintillating commentary. How are they different? Piano, oboe and..... musical saw? But honestly the surprises just start there!

Clarissima is a pioneer and leader in the Second Life musical community. I met "Sisi" almost a year before Music Island was founded as we were both struggling to assist our colleague musicians, new to Second Life in learning to stream and helping with requisite tasks like making program givers for concerts. Now owner of her own full sim housing the Amadora Concert Hall, Sisi hosts her own series and informational events. So here are your choices this week for the duo. If you like a little information with your music, join us Thus. @ 4:30 pm for the Virtually Speaking series. An hour of music will be followed by an hour of public affairs interviews and commentary at 6 pm. This week with author Dave Pollard. If you like to dress up and enjoy the ambience of a formal concert hall, (and prefer music over public affairs), you might like to join the Duo at their own concert hall, Amadora. And lastly, if you prefer the seaside ambience of a summer music festival that typifies our own Music Island, join us Saturday at noon on Music Island. Whatever your flavour, you are sure to enjoy the Schumann Duo. In fact you may want to catch more than one of these all too rare gems that the Schumann Duo are so generous to offer us from time to time.

Not to be missed!

About the Duo:
The Schumann Duo. A real life married couple, Clarissima Schumann and Kahuna Schumann have been performng together professionally for the past 27 years as soloists, in small ensembles, and chamber music settings. Their eclectic mix of oboe, piano and musical saw has tweaked the musical sensibilities of SL audiences for more than two years. In Spring 2009, they teamed up with the Duo Appassionato to play a series of benefit concerts in RL to great acclaim by critics and audiences alike.

About Arts & Letters @ Virtually Speaking
On selected Thursdays, Music Island Concerts' Kate Miranda & Virtually Speaking's Jay Ackroyd present a blend of music and public affairs to lift our spirits, engage our hearts and minds and bring us together for the journey ahead. Live concerts use the global language of music to set the stage for the contemplation of important issues of our time with writers and publishers, scientists and educators, pundits and public officials. Follow the schedule of speakers at:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

AldoManutio Abruzzo, Fall Reflections, November 17

Saturday Oct. 17 @ 1 pm on Music Island, Sea Turtle Island

Music Island Artist-in-Residence, AldoManutio Abruzzo takes the stage this Saturday with some Fall Reflections in different shades and hues of natural splendor. Describing himself as a "recovering lutenist", Aldo has travelled centuries of music in his lifetime, incorporating the sounds of many periods and cultures into his musical musings on electric guitar.

Music Island fans will want to check out Aldo's new meditative CD download on the web.

Aldo and his friends Desdemona Enfield and Douglas Storey are also cooking up some mysterious surprises for the Solstice concert this year. I think we'll just have to wait for December to see what's under the .... ummmm..... winter holiday symbol of your choice.

Wondering: does "RL come first" in all circumstances?

Not for the first time I question the oft-quoted expression, "RL comes first!" Personally I think it is about the message and not the medium.

Second Life afterall is a medium, just as the web, television, telephone and the written word are media for human thought and expression. The quality, urgency and relevance of the "message" is the determiner of whether a phone message or an email gets one's attention first, so too with competing time demands in RL and SL. If SL has the more important content for me at a particular time, it definitely can (and I think should) take precedence over something less important in RL, or that can be re-scheduled in RL.

There are wonderful things in the meatspace that we call RL and there are also boring and trivial things. There are wonderful and important things in SL and there are also silly and trivial things. When something important is happening in SL, it definitely takes precedence over more trivial RL commitments for me. I do reorganize my RL to assure I can keep SL commitments. On the other hand my RL job and family are at the top of my list. Without the context of home and work, there could be no SL in my life afterall. One needs money to buy a computer and an internet service afterall. SL, to me is a volunteer commitment and I treat it very like any other voluntary obligation. I wouldn't skip work to go to a community ensemble rehearsal in RL, or a community Board Meeting but I do try not to schedule things that conflict with my voluntary commitments, and I'd understand that I'd get turfed out of the group if I missed too many meetings, rehearsals, events. Saying, "I'm just too busy to fulfill my commitments" does not make a good impression anywhere.

I take my SL friendships and obligations as seriously as my RL ones and I am a bit tired of those who do not. I am reflecting on this right now because a musician/composer who reserved a place on the Music Island schedule weeks ago cancelled within a few days of his concert citing "busyness", when I sent him a reminder message. And the same person has done this before. Am I wrong in thinking that this is just not acceptable? We all over-commit at times. As this is a young man at the start of a professional career, I hope that he learns soon that a reputation for reliability is a costly thing to lose.

Generally the musicians and other artists I have worked with in SL view their time/date commitments as seriously as those they make in RL. Sickness and technical difficulties may wipe out a scheduled concert but I have had musicians drive 100 miles to borrow a friend's internet connection and otherwise move mountains to keep a scheduled concert date. And I have taken a laptop to conferences and family gatherings in order to keep my side of the event up and running. . . which is probably why I am so irked when anyone treats an SL commitment as somehow much less important.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Sound Jeweller" MoShang Zhao, Oct.10 @ 7 pm SLT

MoShang Zhao finds sound beads and jewels in the streets, markets and sacred places of Taiwan. Selecting the bright, curious, and sparkling sounds he strings them together musically, weaving the whole with his own musical shapings on flute and electronic sax.

Live from Taiwan in Second Life at Music Island 7 pm SLT (Pacific Daylight Time).

IM Kate Miranda inworld to join the Music Island group.