Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The pianist Music Island audiences know as "Benito Flores" to make North American premiere through Music Island connection

Alessandro Marangoni, (SL Benito Flores) will be appearing next October 2010 for his North American debut, opening a prestigious Toronto chamber series with a solo recital.

His talent is fundamentally what fueled this successful step along his career path. His affable concerts, love of Second Life and effective links between his RL and Second Life careers all made this possible.

About a year ago, Toronto Star critic, John Terauds gave Alessandro's new Rossini CD a rave review. I sought John out at a concert he was attending as a critic and told him of Alessandro's "secret identity" as a Second Life performer. After a series of emails back and forth, John was able to attend a Second Life performance (albeit not Benito's) and he wrote a great little article about music in Second Life. Benito was able to connect with him via telephone to give him his thoughts about SL music.

This was the beginnings of an idea for a series of concerts here in North America. Well we are still looking for additional activity, I have two contracts in hand for Benito (Alessandro), enough to build on.

I hope that this success inspires other Second Life musicians to make connections between Second Life and first life careers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Akito Kuramoto returns November 28 @ 8:30 am SLT!!!!

Someone asked me what concert I was most looking forward to this fall recently. It was a hard question as each concert brings something that is uniquely special to it: a new performer, a much-loved selection, a novel use of SL, educational value, etc.

However, from a personal point of view, I am most looking forward to Akito's concert this coming Saturday. Akito is not only a fine violinist, his concerts inform and inspire in so many ways. Akito gave the first ever concert at Music Island and became one of my best SL friends and one of the guiding spirits of Music Island in it's formative days. His style of informal introductions of the music that combined education with personal reflections on the work, set the style which has made our concerts unique and inclusive.

The fact that Akito is an amateur musician who plays at a professional level, has inspired audience members to get up from their armchairs and pick up an instrument--either one they used to play, or one they have always wished to learn to play.

Akito has been away from SL for a hiatus of about a year now due to professional commitments. He has said that this concert will be a one-time affair, so don't miss out on one of SL's shining stars. A new member of our audience wandered into the sound check and was entranced by the sneak preview saying, "Sneaking into the sound check was better than any SL concert I've ever been at!"

Program :

- Adagio from Sonata #1 BWV 1001 for solo violin, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
- Concerto No. 8 in A minor for two violins, by A. Vivaldi (1678-1741)
- Meditation from Thaïs, by Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
- Violin Concerto in A minor BWV 1041, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
- Chaconne in G minor for violin, by T. Vitali (1663-1745)
(faure - bis)

PROGRAM NOTES about the pieces & composers

• Adagio from Sonata #1 BWV 1001 for solo violin, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

The Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001–1006) is a set of six works composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It consists of three sonatas in four movements and three partitas composed of dance-based movements. The complete set was composed during the 1720 period, and first published in 1843.

• Concerto No. 8 in A minor for two violins and strings, by A. Vivaldi (1678-1741)

L'estro Armonico op. 3 ("Harmonic Inspiration" in Italian) is a collection of twelve concertos for 1, 2 and 4 violins written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1711.
It largely augmented the reputation of Vivaldi as Il Prete Rosso; (The Red Priest). The collections were mostly put together in a chronological order. These concerti are often called concerti grossi due to their use of a concertino-style ensemble (solo cello is often used).
J.S. Bach later transcribed concertos from this work for harpsichord solo (no.9, no.12), for organ solo (no.8, no.11) and for four harpsichords and strings (no.10).

L’Estro Armonico, Op.3, Concerto No. 8 in A minor for two violins and strings, RV 522
* 1. Allegro
* 2. Larghetto e spiritoso
* 3. Allegro

• "Thaïs" is an opera in three acts composed in 1894 by Jules Massenet with a French libretto by Louis Gallet, based on the novel of the same name by Anatole France.

Act 2, scene 1 :
Exhausted after the feast, Thaïs expresses dissatisfaction with her empty life and muses on the fact that one day, old age will destroy her beauty. Athanaël enters at this vulnerable moment, praying to God to conceal her beauty from him. He tells her that he loves her according to the spirit rather than the flesh, and that his love will last forever, instead of for a single night. Intrigued, she asks him to teach her the ways of this love. He nearly succumbs to her physical charm, but succeeds in explaining to her that if she converts, she will gain eternal life. She nearly succumbs to his eloquence, but then reasserts her nihilistic worldview and drives him away. However, after a long Meditation she changes her mind.

• The Violin Concerto in A minor by J. S. Bach (BWV 1041)'s 3 movements are :

* Allegro moderato
* Andante — with an ostinato style theme
* Allegro assai

(Note : the Clavier Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058, is an arrangement of this concerto with piano or harpsichord.)

The motifs of the theme of the Allegro moderato appear in changing combinations and are separated and intensified throughout the movement.

In the Andante, Bach uses an insistent pattern in the bass part that is repeated constantly in the movement. He focuses the variation in the harmonic relations.

In the final movement, Bach relies on bariolage figures to generate striking acoustic effects.

• Chaconne in G minor for violin, by T. Vitali (1663-1745)

In music, a chaconne (Italian: ciaccona) is a musical form whose primary formal feature involves variation on a repeated short harmonic progression.

Originally a quick dance-song which emerged during the late 16th century in Spanish culture, possibly from the New World, the chaconne was characterized by suggestive movements and mocking texts. By the early eighteenth century the chaconne had evolved into a slow triple meter musical form. The chaconne has been understood by some nineteenth and early twentieth-century theorists—in a rather arbitrary way—to be a set of variations on a harmonic progression, as opposed to a set of variations on a melodic bass pattern (to which is likewise artificially assigned the term passacaglia), while other theorists of the same period make the distinction the other way around.

After the baroque period, the chaconne fell into decline, though the 32 Variations in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven belong to the form.

Tomaso Antonio Vitali (March 7, 1663 –May 9, 1745) was an Italian composer and violinist from Bologna, son of Giovanni Battista Vitali. He is well-known for his Chaconne in G minor for violin and continuo, which is generally thought by musicologists to be a musical hoax (it is presumed that the composition was originally composed by German violinist Ferdinand David).

Despite its dubious provenance, the piece has been ever popular amongst violinists.

The Chaconne first came to the attention of violinists when it was published as Vitali's work in a collection of pieces (Die Hoch Schule des Violinspiels) edited by the virtuoso and close friend of Mendelssohn, Ferdinand David, and issued in 1867.
What is known is that the stern and majestic G minor theme was extensively revised and made progressively more difficult in each successive variation, transforming it into a gripping tour de force of staggering technical difficulty. For this reason, it was selected as the opening work on the bill when Jascha Heifetz presented his debut recital at Carnegie Hall, and indeed, one could hardly imagine a more impressive curtain-raiser.
It is just as unclear whether David (who was highly regarded for his advocacy of Baroque music, largely ignored throughout the nineteenth century) wrote the Chaconne himself or possibly assembled it from a variety of motifs by obscure figures of the high Italian Baroque. But this convoluted puzzle doesn't end there. Another violin virtuoso, Frenchman Léopold Charlier, produced an alternative -- and if possible, even more taxing -- edition in 1911. Charlier not only enhanced the technical demands of the violin part, but also made significant improvements and added new harmonizations to the piano part, whilst reordering the sequence of the variations so that they become progressively more complex as this astounding piece unfolds.
One striking feature of the "Vitali" Chaconne's style is the way it wildly changes key, reaching the far-flung territories of B flat and D sharp minors, uncharacteristic of the Baroque era, and key signature changed typical only in Romanticism.


Biographical Notes:
I have been presenting live violin recitals in Second Life since june 2007, and after a hiatus since july 2008 I am returning for a one-time recital today, november 28th 2009. I hope I will get the chance to perform at least several times a year in SL.

In first life, I have been studying violin in France for 26 years. I have the chance to be able to work with a great professor, who communicated me a real passion for violin. I also could study in famous international training and master-class sessions. It was a honor for me to win a few years ago, a first Prize at the international Leopold Bellan music competition in Paris.
I am now performing concerts and tours as an amateur, with various French symphonic and chamber groups, thanks to the musicians I know and meet.

I didn't choose music as a professional path and I want to keep violin in my life as a passion, but I always had the dream to become a solo performer. Second Life gives me the chance to make this dream come true.

Therefore, playing for you is a challenge and makes me very happy.

Thank you for listening !
• http://www.myspace.com/akitokuramoto
• My SL group : Akito's Backstage List

What time is the concert in MY time?

This week a relatively new SL'er asked me what time a concert was in her time zone crediting with me with mental telepathy as I had no idea where she was in RL and also more math ability than I have to be able to convert from Second Life time to any time zone on the planet.

Later in the same weekend I received an IM from someone who I had patiently talked through time conversion with the prior week, only to have her arrive 5 hours late for the concert, not realize her mistake and message me, "I thought there was a harp concert now".


It may be that I have been in SL too long as I am getting a bit irritable about people who will not take responsibility for figuring out how their local time relates to Second Life time or who pout and wish that the rest of the world would accommodate to THEIR time.

We live in an international world within Second Life, and at any Music Island concert, we can expect to have people from many of the world's time zones represented. They all manage to get there at the same time because they have figured out how their local time relates to SLT (adding or subtracting the time difference) or they use a time converter or world clock widget to keep them on track.

Anyone who has had to read international flight schedules, plan an international conference call, or figure out when to call a relative in another time zone has had to do this as a routine order of business.


It is Pacific Time and it is located in the upper right hand corner of your SL viewer window.

Why is it called SLT? It says PST.

Once upon a time it used to be called and labelled SLT and it has stuck.

Why are notices time-stamped with GMT if the world runs on SLT?

I have NO IDEA. Personally I wish that Linden Labs would either stop time-stamping notices totally or do two things, time stamp them in SLT and put the time stamp at the bottom of the notice well away from the time of the event and clearly labelled as a "sent" time. Currently when a notice goes out the reader sees one time listed for the event and a totally different time right underneath (the time-stamp). It is VERY confusing, but we have to learn to cope until if and when this is fixed.

How can I check SLT when I am not inworld?
Get yourself a handy-dandy desktop world clock from: http://www.timeanddate.com

I hope this helps. In the meantime I have set up two world clocks on Music Island so that I hope when people appear hours after the concert, they are able to review the time and make adjustments for the future.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mihangel Thespian Nov. 22 @ 12 pm SLT

So you think you know what harp music is like? Come and let Mihangel surprise and entertain you with all that a harp can express in the hands of a master of the instrument.


Mihangel (Angel) is proud to be one of the rare breed of harpist who happen to be male!

Living in Wales and working across the globe, he is an accomplished performer, who has played since he was five years old, plays both the Welsh lever and orchestral harp, he has worked hard to show the breadth of his instrument.

Playing a fairly wide repetoire - from traditional Welsh folk music, pure classical pieces by Debussy et al to the more complicated works to Karl Davies and Salzedo, Angel has performed in many of the worlds larger venues - Millenium Centre,Cardiff; Royal Albert Hall, London; Sydney Opera House, Sydney to name but a few.

Angel has recorded with several orchestras and ensembles and hopes to release a solo album of his work soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Astronimus Randt, Nov. 19 @ 4:30 pm SLT

THURSDAY NOV. 19 @ 4:30 PM
Original jazz compositions
Electric violin & flute

@ Virtually Speaking

Astronimus began his career as a musician when he was a child, singing in choir and playing the violin. Soon after this, he picked up the guitar and began songwriting and composing. He began playing professionally at the age of 15. In college, he majored in composition and minored in applied violin. He’s worked in recording studios as a musician and in production/engineering. Astronimus has also performed in musical theatre, both on-stage and in the orchestra pit.

MUSIC ISLAND CONCERTS @ Virtually Speaking
In a new joint venture with the Virtually Speaking series featuring important thinkers of public affairs, a series of concerts will bring the global language of music to set the stage for the contemplation of important issues of our time

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Atheene Dodonpa, live @ Music Island Nov. 14, 1 pm SLT


The haunting voice of Atheene Dodonpa thrills audiences with the sounds of early music, accompanied as needed on lap harp, hurdy gurdy or other ancient instruments. The Finnish artist has developed a considerable following among Second Life's Early Music community.

Atheene graduated from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland. The emphasis in her career is on early music (eg. medieval, renaissance and baroque), and she has performed concerts throughout Europe and taught in several music institutes in Finland. Instruments played: Voice (soprano), recorders, symphonie, bowed psaltery, bells, kantele, medieval harp, tenor rebec and loriman pipe.

Her RL CD release can be sampled here.

Or purchased here.

Attend the concert on Music Island.
To attend concerts at Music Island you must first create a free account in Second Life

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Benito Flores at Innovation InfoIsland 8 am Thurs. Nov. 12


DEDICATION: "In Memory of Italian Soldiers fallen for Peace in international missions - and to the families that mourn them"

selections from: Scarlatti * Rossini* Clementi

Brief bio:
(Alessandro Marangoni) A graduate of the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole and the Università di Pavia, Benito has also done advanced studies at the famous Almo Collegio Borromeo. The winner of national and international awards, the young pianist is a rising star in Europe with an international recording contract on the NAXOS label. His recordings and appearances have received both critical and public acclaim. Performing occasionally in Second Life for the past two years, his appearances have placed him at the top rung of professionals performing in Second Life.

For more information, please visit http://www.alessandromarangoni.com/.

About Music Island concerts @ Innovation InfoIsland.

Music Island Concerts is proud to be a part of Innovation InfoIsland. The Music Island Museum on Innovation Island houses the two year history of the popular classical and art music series as well as a space to showcase SL's best classical performers with links to their websites, streams and/or recordings.

Nel 6° anniversario della strage del 12 Novembre 2003 a Nassiriya, la comunità italiana ed internazionale di Second Life si ritrova per il terzo anno consecutivo nel ricordo dei soldati italiani caduti per la Pace.

Il programma di quest'anno vede la presenza dell'artista italiano, il pianista Alessandro Marangoni, giovane emergente talento che si è esibito anche alla Scala di Milano, che ha scelto di dedicare il suo concerto del 12 Novembre in Second Life alla memoria dei soldati italiani.

Una sobria cerimonia di commemorazione chiudera' la giornata con la deposizione di una corona d'alloro al monumento ai Caduti di Nassiriya, in Haean.


8 AM SLT ( 17.00 ora italiana )

Concerto per pianoforte di Benito Flores - Alessandro Marangoni

musiche di Scarlatti, Rossini, Clementi
12 Novembre 2009@ 8 AM SLT
Second Life - Innovation InfoIsland

1 PM SLT ( 22.00 ora italiana )

- Cerimonia di Commemorazione dei Caduti Italiani nelle missioni internazionali presso il Memorial Place "Caduti di Nassiriya".
12 Novembre 2009 @ 1 PM SLT
Second Life - Haean, Memorial Place

Monday, November 2, 2009

Young Zeid plays Vivaldi's "Fall" Nov 7 @ 12 pm SLT

Music Island audiences have been hearing one of the Four Seasons throughout 2009, beginning with Winter on New Year's Day played by Izabela Jaworower, the other half of Duo Appassionato. Young and Iza have delighted us each season with another one of the four concertos that make up the famous Four Seasons suite by Vivaldi. The final installment, Fall, will be played by Young Zeid on Saturday Nov. 7 at 12 pm SLT (Pacific Time) at Music Island in Second Life.

On December 19 the Duo will take the stage to offer the whole suite to finish up the year in fine style with a classical season gift.


Xi Yang (Young Zeid in Second Life) began his distinguished music career when he was a student at the Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China where he studied both violin and viola Performance. He had his first solo debut when he was 9 years old. By the age of 12 he made an average of 200 solo appearances a year in China. He won the National Violin Competition in Shanghai and made his solo debut with the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra. He then, toured China with the Beijing Youth Symphony as a soloist and concertmaster. At the age of 17, he was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Jacques Tibaud International Violin Competition in Paris, France. The youngest violinist entered the competition for that year which earned him a place in the Encyclopedia.

Arriving in the United States, Mr. Yang won a National Strings Competition in Arkansas and has performed numerous solo recitals, chamber music concerts and gave master classes to young string players from many public schools and colleges. A graduate of Indiana University School of Music, he studied violin and chamber music ensemble, from baroque style to modern composers, under the guidance of James Buswell, Nelli Shkolnikova, Josef Gingold and Rostislav Dubinsky. "Mr. Yang has all the ability and potential to become one of the greatest solo violinists in the world today..." ( Isaac Stern 1987, Indiana University )

Mr. Yang was the Principal Violist for the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera and the Principal Viola with the Symphony of the Americas. He is also the Assistant Concertmaster and a guest conductor, soloist with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra. He has performed for Two Presidents of the United States, President Clinton and President Bush Snr. and been requested to perform by celebrities such as Donald Trump and Sylvester Stallone. He has collaborated with highly regarded classical artists such as Isaac Stern, Placido Domingo,Luciano Pavarotti, Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, as well as some of the great pop stars such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Bary Manilow...among others.

A well established violinist and violist in the Triangle area and beyond, his students are age from 7 years old to adults. He is a member of the Arcangelo Piano Quartet www.arcangelopianoquartet.com and Duo Appassionato. www.duoappssionato.org

Fostering the next generation of musicians is important to Xi Yang. He is the founding music director and conductor of the Youth Symphony of Florida.

General information for those unfamiliar with live concerts in virtual reality. Concerts are streamed live from musicians homes or studios together with informative introductions and or notes for the audience. Virtual concerts are social and interactive. While there is no charge to attend a concert at Music Island, donations to the musicians and/or the venue are always gratefully received at the concert.

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