Monday, July 18, 2011

Benito Flores, July 24 @ 12 noon


Muzio Clementi
“Batti batti” dal Don Giovanni di Mozart

Andrea Padova
Waterscape in motion*

Ferruccio Busoni
Elegia n. 2 “All’Italia!” (in modo napoletano)

Gioachino Rossini
da “Péchés de Vieillesse” Vol. VII: Album pour les enfants dégourdis - n. 8 Barcarole


Gioachino Rossini
da “Péchés de Vieillesse” Vol. V: Album de chaumière - n. 5 Prélude inoffensif

Marcell Dargay
Légendes no. III “Le pianiste prêche pour soi-même”*

Fryderyk Chopin
Scherzo n. 2 in si bemolle minore - re bemolle maggiore op. 31

Alessandro Marangoni (Benito Flores in SL)
Born in Italy in 1979, studied the piano with Maria Tipo at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. Besides his musical studies he also graduated with honours in philosophy at the Università di Pavia with a thesis on Fernando Liuzzi’s philosophy of music. He was also a merit student of the Almo Collegio Borromeo, one of the oldest and most important European colleges. After winning several national and international awards, he has appeared in many important musical events in Europe, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, with performances in Rome at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, in Florence for the Accademia della Crusca, in Lucca for the Associazione Musicale Lucchese, for the Walton Foundation on Ischia, the Cittadella in Assisi, and the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, as well as at the Engadiner Internationale Kammermusik-Festspiele, Sagra Musicale Umbra, the Italian Cultural Institute in London, the Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, and St John’s College, Cambridge.

As a chamber musician he has collaborated with some of the most important Italian musical personalities and groups, including Mario Ancillotti, Vittorio Ceccanti, Fanny Clamagirand, Daria Masiero, Stefano Parrino, Quirino Principe, Carlo Zardo and the Nuovo Quartetto Italiano. He won great success in Spain with the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra and in Bratislava with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the great Italian conductor Aldo Ceccato.
He has recently started artistic cooperation with the Italian actress Valentina Cortese. He is the pianist of the Trio Albatros Ensemble, with which he has won international acclaim: they recorded a cd with Nino Rota's chamber music for Stradivarius. In 2007 he made a recording for la Bottega Discantica of the piano works of Victor de Sabata, for the fortieth anniversary of the great Italian conductor’s death. In December of that year he played in a recital at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, with Daniel Barenboim, in further tribute to De Sabata. In 2007 he won the prestigious Amici di Milano International Prize for Music. He has recorded all of Rossini's piano music and "Gradus ad parnassum" by Clementi for Naxos.

For more information, please visit

Prowess Rayna July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Prowess Rayna, Saturday July 16 @ 12 noon SLT


Prowess Rayna, a true artist on the piano, began playing at 3, composing at 7 & performing professionally by 14. Countless souls have been uplifted by her sensuous, passionate expression, fluid technique & beautiful melodies. Her reputation flourishes as she shares her evolving talents with live music lovers in SL.

Music Island Slurl

I am going to try to go back to posting the weekly events here on the blog. I haven't been doing that lately because the listings exist at http:/ but some people have asked me to also post the immediately upcoming events here... I'll try.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What is community in Second Life?

Recent discussions about a community conference in Second Life made me reflect on just what that community is to me.

My Second Life community doesn't have a capital city in California. It isn't limited by geo-political boundaries. Virtual community lives in the gathered consciousness of groups of beings from across the planet--sharing laughter, ideas, a sense of purpose or a moment of pure beauty.

The virtual community that I've come to love is usually a kinder place than the rest of life. We are patient with the crazy, the newcomer and we welcome and accommodate the disabled. We have the pioneering spirit, a lot of us like to make things ourselves (even if they come out a little lop-sided). Our entertainment is home-grown and our musical kitchen-parties and town-hall story-telling podiums have been equally graced by internationally renowned artists and amateurs who simply love the art.

We struggle and laugh with translators in order to make people who don't speak the same languages all feel included and marvel at how much we have in common, no matter how far apart we may have logged into Second Life from, how far apart we are on the globe. My Second Life community is less about the technology or business of virtual worlds and more about what people do and share within those worlds. I remember my first meeting in SL was held around one of Robbie Dingo's drum circles. Delia Lake was planning her "All About Water" exhibit (it still exists) and I was a clueless newbie all agog at the idea of a virtual drum circle with an international tribe of environmentalists meeting in this new world.

At Music Island we all throw our Lindens in the pot to contribute to the expenses of the musicians who perform for us. We know that we all don't have as much money to spare but we all are able to come together despite our wealth or poverty. That's the beauty of virtual community.

One day some of us might chance to meet each other face-to-face but because we've already met soul-to-soul, shared our thoughts and seen the colours of all our dreams, we don't really feel the need.

Second-lifers join hands across multiple sims in support of the Burma protest, Jan 2008.

SLCC 20011 - Thoughts on why virtual community gatherings should be, ummmm, virtual

I have been talking to some friends in Second Life about the upcoming SLCC (Second Life Community Conference).

For those of you that don't know what that is, some really late announcements have gone out for a gathering in California next month that purports to be a gathering of SL community. These annual conferences have been happening since 2005, all of them have been in the United States and most in California. This year's website frankly calls it the "Official United States Gathering" but the name Second Life Community Conference implies a greater, global, reach.

In 2006 when I first joined SL there seemed to be a spirit of making events in the SL of equal or greater focus but in recent years the F2F gathering has stolen focus. Inworld events have been more about streaming in content happening in the RL context. In an international virtual world community I find this counter-intuitive. Other virtual world events manage to reflect inclusivity more, eg: VWBPE (Virtual Worlds:Best Practices in Education) but most serve only a sectoral interest.

After 5 years of waiting for the community conference to grow up and embrace the international community that SL really is , I've become a bit intemperate and frustrated I guess. Why do I feel that the focus of a virtual world community conference should be in... virtual reality? (bear with me, I know it seems like a no-brainer).

  • we are an international community,
  • we tout the value of virtual spaces,
  • there is a global recession,
  • this year Linden Lab cancelled discounted tier for educators and non-profits leaving those valued participants short of cash
  • Second Life was founded on a somewhat Utopian ideal about bringing people together internationally in an affordable and inclusive way
  • we tout the environmental superiority of meeting in virtual spaces

All these (and many more reasons that I have likely missed) seem to me to indicate that the main annual meeting of the SL community should be virtual with regional livespace events ocuring as people choose and can afford to attend, augmenting and feeding into the international virtual gathering. I have no doubt that livespace meetings are wonderful bonding experiences for those that live near the event or who are privileged enough to be able to afford air-travel in these times. That is not the majority of Second Life residents.

It's too late to change things this year but each year it has been the same story of late news to the community and all the key decisions made. Yes there will be inworld events but organizers admit they will not be the focus. "Jump in and help", we are told.

I felt two ways about the suggestion from an organizer that in order to be entitled to have a voice in the future direction of SLCC, I become a worker bee at an event whose focus I feel is wrong-headed. Volunteerism is about choice. What are my choices or the choices of people who cannot be a part of the live gathering?

Are there just two unpalatable choices here: support SLCC or walk away & shut up?

Is there a third choice? Yes, let's talk about putting our efforts into another vision. How about throwing our own grassroots party in SL instead of gluing ourselves to media screens to watch the cool (rich) kids talk to each other. We can show our displeasure by saying "we just aren't interested in what you are saying to each other at an event you have effectively shut us out of". But even better we can develop a better vision of a community gathering based on the grass-roots organizing that SL is best for. I have been speaking to some of my colleagues involved with groups who are particularly shut out due to distance and economics, such as the disabled and First Nations people.

Who else is out there that might like to join this conversation?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What is group spam... or not?

Today I received the following message:

[17:05] Abbey Zenith: You have been ejected from 'Second Life Library 2.0' by Abbey Zenith.

I felt terrible, both hurt and angry. I had sent a single IM message to a group about a classical piano concert that I had been led to believe might be of interest to their members. It was a public service. Far from "needing" the group, I had to think about whether I could extend some invitations to other groups since core group members (1350 in group and 2000 on maillist) usually were sufficient to fill the sim. This seemed like a poor reward for my inclusiveness. I wanted to ban Abbey and five generations of her descendents from Music Island. And then I calmed down and considered why I was angry.

The history here is that a couple of years ago I had responded to a competition to propose innovative, educational uses of SL to be featured on Innovation InfoIsland, a project of the Alliance Library system. I created a museum of SL music with considerable hours of work and also programmed several concerts that filled the sim. However Innovation InfoIsland soon bit the dust and the museum exhibits that were so painstakingly created had to be retrieved in a mad scramble to avoid deletion by new owners eager for rent-paying tenants.

I was encouraged to remain in the group and publicize concerts to the group. I didn't publicize every concert, selecting those that might be of the most educational interest. At some point my ability to send notices was rescinded. My contact in the group had no idea why, I left it that she'd sort it out and get those rights re-instated. I shrugged and forgot about it and occasionally sent an IM to the group about a concert that might be of interest. Then today after one IM about a classical piano concert I was booted by Abbey Zenith.

I have booted people from my group also... when they have begged money of group members or advertised things for sale on the group. I have never booted anyone for IMing about a cultural or educational event that might be of interest to members. I apologize to members of the Librarians group that might miss news of concerts that might interest them. But, please feel free to join the Music Island concert group.

It seems that the leadership of the Library 2.0 group is unsure of what types of notices their members would like to receive. I suggest that they get together and articulate a policy. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to not insult and eject potential allies and colleagues.

Music Island museum of music with exhibits of virtual instruments, how-to's of SL music and connections
to leading musicians streams, bios, recordings, as it existed before its deletion.