|Primcutter Exhibit: Building Musical Representations for Education|
Text and Photos by SIFRIYA DEVIN
The University of Kentucky Libraries is hosting a new one man exhibit based on the work of resident builder Oriscus Zauberflote, also known as “Oz”. In real life, Oz is known as Dwight Newton, the public information coordinator for the University of Kentucky’s School of Music. With his extensive background in music, Oz decided to focus his Second Life explorations on the musical representations found in-world. These explorations inspired him to begin building musical instruments and other musical related structures as the University’s island developed many builds under his supervision. As his talent developed, Oz’s building scope grew to include many full size structures; most of which were based on historical real life buildings.
Due to the wide range of Oz’s building interests and patterns, he decided to call the exhibit “Primcutter: A Virtual Exhibition of the Primcutter’s Art.” This title speaks to the complex nature of building structures faithful to real life examples yet within the limited realms of a virtual world where the larger number of prims results in lag and a negative experience for users. Oz prides himself on being able to build items and structures in a more prim friendly manner.
The exhibit consists of three main areas of interest. Inside the W.T. Young library a rezzing platform provides fully detailed miniature versions of the original structural builds completed over his years of Second Life involvement across the grid. Several of the buildings completed were based on historical European structures, such as Vermeer’s house or the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. Outside the library in the front lawn space is a large truck holding a huge, fully working carillon of bells. This is the largest example of Oz’s passion for creating realistic musical instruments in a virtual manner. The rest of his musical representations can be found in the third portion of the exhibit which sits on a huge platform that hovers directly over the top of the library. This portion of the exhibit is also the most interactive.
The platform is a display area dedicated primarily to showing examples of his many historically accurate musical instruments. While the detail of each instrument is complete in its accuracy, Oz notes that he has not been able to “match an animation with every instrument.” That part of the design process is still in progress as several instruments are so unique in historical context and design that “an animation would need to be created from scratch to get the simulation just right.” Oz works on the musical instrument recreations with business partner FreeWee Ling, the other half of Kithara Associates, which is dedicated to “research and development of musical instruments in SL.” While a few instruments may end up generating profits, most of their instruments are not for sale as they are mostly focused on the educational purposes and uses behind each instrument. Oz explains that “our work at this time is fully for the purpose of learning and sharing.”
One other portion of interest to librarians across the grid is a full size replica of the Gutenberg press. Oz’s real life family background is steeped in the printing trade which inspired him to create a representation of this most important printing artifact. The entire exhibit will be open from November 2009 through January 2010. For further information please contact Oriscus Zauberflote directly or explore the following links: