Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Musical Roleplay, Mihangel Thespian

It is one thing to present a musician in the somewhat friendly and controlled environment of Music Island. Today on Jan 31 at 11 am SLT, the intrepid harpist ventures into Gorean roleplay, his harp becoming part of a roleplay adventures.

Goreans are among the more numerous and popular of the roleplay communities in Second Life, and one of the most controversial. The science-fiction/fantasy works they are based on by John Norman have found an international following despite being widely acknowledged as being rather poorly written and repetitive. Norman, a psychologist by profession, seems to be exploring the terrain of erotic imagination thinly disguised as fantasy. Politically incorrect, illogical, and a hodge-podge of cultural stereotypes, still it resonates with many followers who feel that the modern "vanilla" view of relationships between men and women represses our animal instincts. Taken as erotic fantasy the novels are tame compared to works like Ann Rice's "Beauty" series. Taken as a model for relationships in real life (as some Goreans do), the novels deeply trouble feminists as advocating second-place status for all women.

Taking music into this community of heavily armed warriors and scantily clad women avatars will be a walk on the wild side for harpist Mihangel Thespian.

The concert has been announced with the following set-up:


The Story:

Long days ago ago the story began... a ragged wandering harpist approached Laura's Head Merchant Fuzsea in the teaming port of Schendi. HIs harp strapped on his back, the minstrel's gaunt visage told a tale of destitution and his wary glances betrayed an aura of desperation.

As Laura's merchant oversaw the loading of rare spices and goods that would fetch a good price when safely brought to port in the North, the bard grew near, keeping well to the shadows. A corner of his gilded harp peaked out from its leather wrappings on his back, a tell-tale clue that this wanderer had seen better days. The Merchant's eyes narrowed thinking, "Surely there is a tale behind this odd one".

"Are you the Master of this ship? Will you be returning to Laura?" the Minstrel called out from his place among the crates.

"Ai" Fuzsea nodded, his face an ureadable mask as he eyed his girl sternly about her task of recording the loaded goods. He had taken to personally seeing that the cargo was recorded correctly, with none of her suspicious "mistakes".

"What price passage on this ship?"

"Five gold tarns. Tis a perilous journey and looking at your scrawny bones and hands unaccustomed to a man's work, I don't expect you could lend much work to pay your passage."'

The bard pulled out a thin purse and showed the Merchant the small collection of copper and scant silver within. "This is all I have and I must get to Laura!" The Merchant laughed and gave him a shove, "Then lad you must earn more coin or sprout wings and fly. Those coins are not enough for passage on a garbage barge, but thank you for the goodly laugh. It does my digestion good" and a healthy belch followed as the Merchant turned back to his task.

The Minstrel's shoulders fell. He gathered his cloak about him and he started back to the City. Pausing he looked back and saw the Merchant with his hand on his girl's collar, pulling her to her knees and snatching up her wax tablet angrily as he fingered the whip at his belt. This could be his chance to slip on the ship undetected. With haste and stealth he doubled back and secreted himself among the casts to be loaded.


It was several days out of port when the Minstrel was detected. Hauled to the Captain for judgement, the Merchant scowled and told his men to throw the impudent stowaway overboard despite the man's anguished pleas for mercy. As they tied him, one of the men said, "It's long nights and hard ones on the sea. Let him play for us before we cast him into the sea"

"Why should I play for you, you filthy villains?" cried the Wanderer. "You'll be killing me anyway".

The crafty merchant pondered. A happy crew was a good investment. "I'll make you a bargain, then lad. If you please the crew tonight, you buy a day's journey and another day of life."

Begrudgingly the man drew forth the harp and began to tune its strings as word spread and the men and scant passengers came up to gather on the deck in the moonlight. Once the hands struck the strings a change came over the musician as a magical light seemed to come to his face and his eyes wandered to a land unknown. So were the listeners transported by the sounds of the gilded harp and the tales of wonder told in music. As heads began to nod in sleep, it was clear that the bard had more than won his day's reprieve.

And so the game continued nightly until the ship neared Laura. While taking on supplies and unloading goods onto the river boats for transport to Laura on the final leg of the journey, the Merchant sent word ahead. He was bringing a captive to the City of Laura for the entertainment of the Citizens. If he pleased them, his freedom and passage was paid and his crime was forgiven. If not the Merchant would keep him as a captive on the ship for the crew's pleasure.


Join us for a Musical Roleplay!

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.

He is one of the most accomplished classical musicians performing in Second Life and is obviously a lot of fun and a very good sport.

(This concert is brought to Laura through collaboration with the MUSIC ISLAND CONCERT SERIES,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jan.24 Izabela Jaworower, Music Island Concerts


Izabela Jaworower, violin
Music Island
a program of favorite violin sonatas

Help Ensemble X Choose a Name this Saturday

Thom Dowd's Early Music Group presents a live concert of recorder music featuring Group X.

Saturday, January 23
12:00 noon SLT
Renaissance Island (Music Room)

For more information about the program, consult Thom Dowd's blog .

What is "Group X?" Merely a newly formed quartet of the most talented group of young recorder performers you will find anywhere. During their concert they will ask the audience to help them find a new name for their group. Come prepared with suggestions.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Students prepare for Performance Exams with Second Life Concert. SUN JAN 17 @ 12 pm SLT

Thom Coard of the Fribourg Conservatory in Switzerland manages to show off the skills of his recorder students to an international audience on a regular basis and all for the price of a good web cam and some broadcasting software.

I know that the students and student families appreciate the extraordinary opportunity he is providing. It is also a heartwarming experience for those of us in the Second Life community who love music. The pure sound of the recorder ensembles is a joy on a bright sea side day in virtual reality. The excitement and joy of the students is infectious and uplifting.

If you are interested in providing this kind of activity for your students or amateur ensemble, the great people at tech soup have provided a simple to follow set of instructions for using the Quicktime broadcaster into Second Life. You'll also need a scripted SL screen. (many free copies available) and the land permissions to put a media stream into your land. The texture used on your screen must be copied into the media settings on the land as that texture will be replaced by the contents of the video URL.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Music Series launched Thurs. Jan.14 @ 6 pm

AldoManutio Abruzzo has been a guest artist, a collaborator and a friend over the past year at Music Island and I am so excited that he is going to now be offering a new series of discussion and performance of new music over the next year. The New Moon series is planned to feature the best in SL new music, programmed and hosted by Aldo on the nights of the New Moon.