Cylindrian Rutabaga (Grace Buford in real life) writes songs and performs in Second Life and the regional Southeastern United States. Her musical style is a blend of folk, pop, blues, and soul. I interviewed Buford via Facebook.
Verde Otaared: Can you give me some background? How did you get started performing?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: My interest in music began at 4 years old when I started piano lessons. For years after that I performed at Local and Regional piano competitions until I took a break from music all together for about 12 years. I didn't begin songwriting till I was 33 years old. It came from a simple desire to tell stories set to music and communicate in ways that I couldn't in spoken word. Since penning my first song I have performed at selected events in the local Atlanta & regional area. I love performing and connecting with an audience.
Verde Otaared: Your shows are usually a mix of original works and covers. What styles of music do you like to perform?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: I am a big fan of progressive rock music. Queen, Rush, Queensryche, Spock's Beard, Neil Morse, Pink Floyd. I also love old U2 music from the 80's. Performing...I love to play music that is more thought provoking lyrically and musically diverse.
Verde Otaared: What drew you to Second Life, in general, and as a performer?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: I had a terrifying experience at an open mic that caused me to rethink being a solo female performer out in bars. The same week that I had this experience, some friends of mine in a chat program I performed in told me about Second Life. Those friends went on to become Russell Eponym, Mel Cheeky, and Neil Morrison in Second Life. I logged in, created Cylindrian Rutabaga and performed for the first time in January 2006. I loved the "live" aspect of performing inworld and interacting with audiences from the safety of my own home. It was very therapeutic for me and had it not been for Second Life, I may not have gone back out performing in local venues.
Verde Otaared: How often do you perform in SL (per week for instance) and in real life?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: I used to perform a lot in Second Life, 6-7 shows a week. I have reduced that to maybe 2 shows a week now due to my returning to school for a Web Design Degree as well as teaching a lot of music at a local music school. I perform inworld every Sunday at one of two locations that alternate weeks, Molaskey's Pub 1st & 3rd Sundays and Avilion Mist 2nd & 4th Sundays.
In real life I perform whenever opportunities arise. Sometimes I'm playing 6 shows a month in real life, others I may play once. I'm playing a few local fall festivals in my area with my daughter who is also a songwriter. I don't like to perform in one area too much in a short amount of time because the audience draw decreases with frequency of performances. Same rule applies to Second Life performances as well.
Verde Otaared: You are a busy person! Do you have time to 'play' in SL or socialize? If so, what sorts of things do you like to do?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: I do not have much time at all for play in SL. This fact saddens me greatly because I cannot really socialize with people as much as I used to and for a people person like me...this is really difficult. When I had more time, I was an explorer. I would read about sims that had interesting content and go visiting them. I loved the NASA Space Museum and actually used it as a resource when homeschooling my children. I like to experience content that is uplifting, educational, and enlightening. I want to log out of Second Life feeling as if I have made a large deposit in my emotional and intellectual "bank". I do miss having the chance to relate with people outside of the performance and maybe one day I'll have more time to spend "socializing" again. For now, the best way for me to socialize is on Facebook or face to face.
Verde Otaared: You have several albums on iTunes (I will add in all the details in the article). How do you SL performances affect your album sales? I know that I heard about you first through SL. I imagine there are many more like me.
Cylindrian Rutabaga: SL performances are responsible for the majority of my download sales & CD Baby purchases. Its a great way to get exposure to an audience that is not restricted by geographical area. Living Stories, River, and Cylindrian Virtually Live all available for downloads on iTunes under Grace Buford. River is my only hard copy CD available on CDBaby.
Verde Otaared: The songs you write feel very personal. What inspires your song writing? Have events/people/places in SL inspired any of your compositions? Which ones?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: People and Life as I see it are my inspiration. Many people from Second Life have inspired songs. Labrynth and Embracing the Tapestry were both inspired by the curator for The Angel Dorei Museum, Mariposa Upshaw's testimony of being the mother of an autistic child. Her email to me describing her life and her love and acceptance of her son were so moving to me, I couldn't help but write songs. Not Just a Fragment was inspired by the life tale of a friend and fellow musician, Beth Odets. She shared some her experience with me and I felt moved to write a song of hope and encouragement to her.
Verde Otaared: How can your fans learn about upcoming performances and album releases?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: I am very easy to find on the web. GraceBuford.com is my hub with links to MySpace, Facebook, Reverbnation e-mail signup, & CD Baby to purchase the River album or download Living Stories. I also have a group in Second Life, but I know how group limits really restrict people, so I always offer for people to friend me on Facebook (as long as they introduce themselves to me) a
s an alternative to joining my group, Cylindrian's Grace Notes.
Verde Otaared: Anything else you would like to share with RezLibris Readers?
Cylindrian Rutabaga: One of the most amazing things I have experienced in Second Life recently has been The Virtual World Story Project. Here is a project that I can find myself returning to over and over again. Using the virtual world to immerse people into a story and allow them to relate to a character and essentially become part of the story. I was so inspired during my first "Story Quest" and think that so many other could be as well. This is a must see in Second Life. Visit tvwsp.com for more information on the "quests".
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Interview by MARIMAR BERCHOT Machinima by PIA KLAAR Pictures by PI ILLIOS
Brent Renard was born in Mexico and discovered his talent and love of singing at a young age. He is a “tenor leggier whose repertory includes baroque, classicism and bel canto.”
Renard is also the founder and owner of Opera Joven. Opera Joven is “a real life, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and diffusion of Culture, Arts and Education (see website: www.operajoven.com. Opera Joven was founded in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1999.
Renard now lives in Spain and directs seminars on, “The Opera, Explained”; this helps an audience better understand and enjoy the opera.
Renard has brought his talents and Opera Joven to Second Life. He is director of Opera Joven. All profits from his concerts in Second Life are used for the support of Opera Joven projects in Second Life. I have attended a few concerts that Renard has held on his sim in Second Life – Jalisco. His concerts have range from classical music to Mexican traditional ballads. Reynard’s vocal talents have also drawn a loyal following in Second life.
The Jalisco sim that he has built in Second Life encompasses a replica of some of the sites from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Jalisco is the land of Tequila, Mariachi’s, and charro’s (cowboys). His goal is to promote awareness of the Mexican culture and specifically the culture of the state of Jalisco. I spoke to Renard at the Center of Psychotherapy in the Jalisco sim. The director of the center is his partner, Kubrick Wylie, Clinical Psychologist.
Marimar Berchot: Hi Brent.
Marimar Berchot: Thank you Brent. Can you give us some information on your background?
Renard: I am Mexican, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. That is why we promote this state in Second Life. I am very passionate about Jalisco. I enjoy its heritage, its culture, its cities, everything.
Marimar Berchot: When did you discover your talent?
Renard: Do you mean my singing talent or being able to scratch my back with my feet?
Marimar Berchot: Well, both, LOL.
Brent Renard: jajaja, well it doesn’t happen that way, but first thank you for saying that about “talent”. It’s not like one is sitting there and then all of a sudden one discovers that they can sing. It’s more the result of a formation process. I have been attracted to singing since I was a young boy.
Marimar Berchot: Have you had any formal training?
Brent Renard: Sure, I took singing lessons at around the age of 14, along with other types of music classes.
Marimar Berchot: Where have you performed in Real Life?
Brent Renard: My debut performance was in 2000 with my own composition.
Marimar Berchot: So you’re also a composer?
Brent Renard: Yes, I am
Marimar Berchot: Can you tell me about Opera Joven and what it is?
Brent Renard: I founded Opera Joven in 2000 in RL. It is a non-profit organization and is acknowledged by the Mexican government. Opera Joven is dedicated to the promotion and awareness of Culture and Arts. It specializes mainly in the cultural heritage of Mexico and the State of Jalisco. We have staged several plays in RL; most of them my own creations, but always multidisciplinary with music being the common thread. We have been supported by many levels of government in Mexico, enterprises, and organizations, etc.
Marimar Berchot: You mentioned something in regard to plays?
Brent Renard: Well, rather than plays, they are Operas, with an orchestra. The titles of these plays are listed on the Opera Joven website along with detailed information on each play. The information on the website is also featured in various languages.
Marimar Berchot: When did you decide to visit Second Life and create such a beautiful sim?
Brent Renard: The truth is that when I entered SL, I did not intend to create this project. I entered SL because I was curious and I become aware of the potential in this virtual platform. I then became interested in introducing everything that we had developed in regard to Opera Joven via this new technology. In that manner, we innovated in SL, by performing live concerts which would promote Opera.
There are many musicians in SL, but at the moment, I am not aware of any that perform concerts like I do. I perform live Opera on a regular schedule, not just once a year. There might be opera singers here, but they use recordings instead of holding live performances. It just isn’t the same experience. I believe that when you attend a virtual concert it is a different experience. You know that it will be unique because it is a live performance. It’s that added value that we have tried to give to our concerts. It gives the music in the virtual world a legacy.
This complements the spirit of Opera Joven which is to promote the arts through innovation by using the best available resources and trying to have a different offering. We are very proud of having a Mexican organization that can accomplish this in this manner in SL. This makes us unique in real life as well.
SL is the metaverse with the most population and there is no other association of this type in SL with real life antecedents that offer live Opera. Did you also know that we recently started hosting events, rather, live concerts where I am accompanied by a pianist? There are other classical artists that perform live but not any singers. In that sense, we have wanted to enhance by having a live performance by a pianist which affords other possibilities, even though it increases our costs. Nevertheless, this is something that we would like to continue doing.
There will be other interesting events in regard to live concerts, but we will announce those in the future when everything is ready.
Marimar Berchot: What kind of promotions do you use to attract SL residents?
Brent Renard: Well, for more complicated things, because the idea is that we to have all events be interesting, we use SL communication channels, group notices, chat, our newsletter, the web, and the Google calendar. We have profiles in several social networks, especially the ones that are related to SL. We also do event promotions. We have a team that takes care of that and they have established affiliations. That’s why we count on Moby to direct the communications part and PR. We have tried to contact many Hispanic groups, Hispanic sims and Hispanic associations which we have found. Some have replied, but others have not. Our intention is to collaborate, even in the simplest manner. For example, we have performed searches of sims with Mexican content in order to establish a network. Anyway, we haven’t been able to accomplish that yet; it would be nice to have that one day.
As we have immersed ourselves in SL various new ideas have emerged and we have tried to realize more complex projects. I am a professor in RL and an investigator in anything pertaining to culture and art. As a matter of fact, I am working in RL today in respect to the protection and diffusion of cultural heritage. I thought it would be a good idea to use this virtual platform to create reproductions of the elements most representative of the state of Jalisco. This would enable dissemination, not only to Mexicans but to persons all over the world connected to SL.
Marimar Berchot: That’s a good idea- more people will become familiar with the state of Jalisco that way.
Brent Renard: We are able to obtain Lindens through the opera concerts and our strategy is to reinvest the Lindens in other projects here. So, when we were able to, we bought a sim with the SL discount that is given to non-profit organizations. Little by little we have built what you see here. Some things have been paid for with very generous discounts and with other contributions from people who like the project and have decided to collaborate with us without benefit to them.
The rest - our teams working on the sim, building and administration of the sim is taken care of by Kubrick. So with all this clear in our minds we have been able to fulfill our goals. Marimar Berchot: Is there something else that you would like to tell our readers?
Brent Renard: We have tried to create and promote not only the buildings most representative of Jalisco, but also the scenery, the monuments, art, culture, regional dress, etc.., The classic form of defining patrimony is by using physical objects – buildings, monuments, landscapes, etc. In this way we publicize the intangible part of patrimony - tradition, stories, history, recipes, legends, food and music. In other words, it’s widening the definition and promoting patrimony on a larger scale.
Interview and machinima by PIA KLAAR Photos by PIA KLAAR and VERDE OTAARED
I first had a chance to see Suzen JueL *Resistance* perform at an event hosted on Karuna (the NLM funded HIV/AIDS sim). My purpose in attending the event at Karuna was to be part of the opening for Cafe Ristretto. What I stumbled upon was an amazingly talented performer. A crowd of about 40 people had gathered that night to hear JueL perform her "special blend of tunes." The next day I met with JueL again, this time to interview her.
Suzen JueL, a.k.a. JueL Resistance, is a self-taught musician who has been performing since 1979. A poet and artist as well as a musician, her music weaves these talents into a personal style that reflects her love of words, images, and color. Suzen plays acoustic guitar and has a venue called Living ROom #13, which is an art gallery and live music venue in Second Life. Her creative roots stem from her family of French musicians, artists, and writers. She moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1989 and played music there for about ten years. She then had to put it aside. Here is her story:
At her Art Gallery and LivingROom #13
Pia Klaar: Hi JueL. JueL Resistance: This is my Art Gallery. Attached is Living ROom #13, for live music....but we do live music in this room as well.
Pia Klaar: Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
JueL Resistance: I live near Minneapolis now. I became interested in playing music as a young child...about five years old or something. I come from a long line of artists, musicians, and writers. They did it for fun. We played.....guitar, banjo, or accordion. My Grampa Jule played all kinds of instruments and his brother made violins. My Grampa Jule also gave me my first guitar. He had made it by hand about the time when I was born. He was also an artist; so is my mom.
Pia Klaar: Did you take music lessons?
JueL Resistance: When I was about 11 years old, I took lessons for guitar and my instructor asked me to sing while I played. I left. That was it ...taught myself guitar from then on. There was no way I would sing in front of anyone, ever.
Pia Klaar: But you perform now in front of a crowd. What changed?
JueL Resistance: It doesn't seem to paralyze me with fear anymore.
Pia Klaar: I saw you perform the other night at Cafe Ristretto. You are amazing. Have you always been a performer?
JueL Resistance: I raised four step-boys and my music went on hold for 10 years. I used to force myself to suppress the words that came to me....... If I felt a song coming, I would do something to UNINSPIRE it. Saddest thing I ever did. But the boys needed me more than I needed the music at that point. Although I had a great following in the Twin Cities at that time.
Pia Klaar: So how did you get back into music?
JueL Resistance: Once the kids got older, moved out, and started becoming independent, I picked up my guitar again. But the reasons are another story...I am also bipolar and that plays a HUGE part in my creativity.
Pia Klaar: Can you explain?
JueL Resistance: OK... two things happened. Like I said, the boys got more independent and I was able to free up some time, for me, again. I had been medicated during those ten years for my bipolar. It was hard to stop but I knew I didn't need all those meds...I had a whole person in me...who was being suppressed by medicines, so I quit. At first it was terrifying...I thought I needed meds to help me sleep and do things for me. Then this energy started to happen. It was like I had been black and white for ten years. Slowly, I become colored again; first an eye, then a finger, then my mouth, each strand of hair...and after a time.....I wrote a song. First one in about ten years.
Pia Klaar: Is this the time when you became involved in Second Life?
JueL Resistance: This is the second part of the story.... (the number two is key here). A friend of mine introduced me to SL and then to music in Second Life. The more I played songs, the more songs I wrote, and the more songs I wrote, the more gigs I got. This was the second time around for my music to happen in Second Life.
Pia Klaar: So you entered SL as a musician?
JueL Resistance: In 2004 I entered Second Life but there was no music. I didn't understand the whole SL thing at all. So I quit, because it seemed kind of boring to me.......I didn't get into building...and well... so I quit. Then a friend said there was live music in Second Life . I couldn't even comprehend that.. who would have thought that? So I joined a second time, but this time to do music.
Pia Klaar: What year was this? JueL Resistance: That was in 2005. Music was just beginning... the live music scene. There were about a half dozen or more people doing live music at that time. Today there are about 400 or more performers who are involved in music to some extent.
Pia Klaar: Now do you perform only in SL , or in RL as well?
JueL Resistance: Both. I'm much bigger virtually, because of what Second Life has become for me, and for my fans.....that I can draw a large crowd from all over the world. But...in Minneapolis, I'm only getting my feet wet again......starting over.
Pia Klaar: Do you play with other musicians here in SL?
JueL Resistance: We duo stream. Ricardo Sprocket, Tukso Okey, Cylindrian Rutabaga and I have all streamed together at different times. I can't hear them, but they hear me and follow what I do. Either playing with me or harmonizing to my songs.
Pia Klaar: But you cannot hear them? JueL Resistance: The first person on the stream never hears the others. But to the audience we sound as if we are singing together and we are. Sometimes one of us records it so we can hear how we sound and work with different things. LOTS of rehearsals.
Pia Klaar: You mentioned earlier that being bipolar plays a large role in your creativity. Can you explain?
JueL Resistance: I am constantly into something with creativity. If I'm not writing songs/music/lyrics then I'm working on poetry or art. If I'm not doing that, I'm deep into my photography. If I'm not doing that...it's all 'feeling'........ then my mind is becoming some sort of SOUP.
Juel Resistance: It is as if the ingredients are falling into my head.....it's more like I am given some words.....and I have to figure out how to arrange them, into a song; kind of like a puzzle in a sense. And when all the right ingredients are together (various forms of inspiration) and that last final ingredient enters .... that is when the song comes......if that makes any sense to you.
Pia Klaar: Total sense.
JueL Resistance: I call them Blackbirds sometimes, I call them a lot of things......the words, like a bunch of Blackbirds flying around my head....words. If you're lucky.... you catch one.. . and it holds like a POWER SURGE of creativity. I used to have a tiny digital recorder that I would spew my words on that if it came while driving somewhere. It's such a fascinating thing, isn't it? How creative people work. I find most creative people are multi-gifted
Pia Klaar: Yes, I agree.
JueL Resistance: Musicians are often writers. And because synthesasia is a common thread in creativity .....we also SEE things others do not....therefore we paint or draw as well. And since we have a natural eye for detail.....photography makes sense.
Pia Klaar: Can you tell us a little about your art?
JueL Resistance: It's like a different sense of creativity, another outlet for me, another healer in my life. Music heals....art heals..it all heals. I didn't study art, so I really don't know the history of art and I don't have huge influences on it..I did it, because it helped me express. Picasso...I was VERY Intrigued with though... his colors sucked me in for they are the same colors I use.......so his brilliance fascinated me...the abstractness of his art. I never painted with the intention of anything....someone else liked it..... so that 'liking' grew to galleries in SL wanting my art as well....it was mainly.... and is mainly...to express stuff that I need to get out.
Pia Klaar: One last question to wrap it up. What do you see the future of music here in SL? Do you think it will continue expanding as it has? JueL Resistance: One will never know. My hopes are that it becomes more quality and less quantity. My hopes are that those that never even heard of live music in SL... will find a way to the shows of the great musicians in SL. There are 70,000 or more people in Second life at its peak times and 12-50 at a live show. There are SO many live shows...and the Live Music Events doesn't separate the Karaoke Performances from the DJ's, from the Musicians, from the Spam in LIve Music with stores and things advertising. It's difficult to find a great musician in SL......I've gone to seven venues in an hour sometimes.
Pia Klaar: Yes, I have had the same experience. But I have also gone to some really amazing performances in SL.
JueL Resistance: Yes! And when you find a great performer, you become a fan and it always is good.
Interview and Photos by VIENNA JAMES Machinima by PIA KLAAR
Niagara Falls is best known for its romance, drawing honeymooners from far and wide to its majestic beauty. So it is no surprise that this is the place from which one of SLs most popular performers, Maximillion Kleene, hails from. Performing in SL since December 2006, his group membership exceeds 1400 members and grows steadily with every show. Max is a down-to-earth guy who knows how to touch the heart of his audience - magically creating a one-to-one feeling, as if he is singing right to you. His vocals entwined with his smooth acoustic guitar oozes a natural romantic vibe that leaves you begging for more. Max was influenced by mainstream rock such as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC but has found his niche in a variety of acoustic favorites such as Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Simon and Garfunkel and does justice to the Foo Fighters, Blind Melon, Snow Patrol, Coldplay and will often throw in some Tom Petty, Duran Duran, Billy Joel and many, many more. Max’s set list is always creative, never disappoints and he loves to do requests.
Max took piano lessons at a young age but stopped when he hit his teen years and didn’t really get into playing guitar until he graduated high school and started college where it came naturally to him – he learned to read music and played at campfires and eventually with bands in the local bar scene. Second Life has given Max the opportunity to experience the spotlight and become a solo artist which has inspired him to move solo performing into his real life. I caught up with him after a recent gig at the Home Expo to learn more about this successful artist, and my good friend, Max Kleene.
VJ: How did you first hear about Second Life and what inspired you to start performing in SL? MK: I found out about SL from an article in Rolling Stone Magazine. It was about live music in SL, but I was more just interested in checking it out. After I stumbled upon my first live music event, I thought, "hey, I think I can do this...” It was basically going to the live shows and listening to the live musicians at that time that inspired me to give it a shot. VJ: Were you nervous? MK: First show? Very nervous, yes. Now... I like the nervous feeling... I don't find it bothersome...it's kinda like, "showtime" feeling. Make sense? VJ: mm hmmm! I heard you had a surprise birthday party thrown by your fans recently? Were you surprised? MK: Yes! If I was suspicious, I would have figured it out but I wasn't...so questions about, "what are you doing? Don't you have a show?" I didn't find out of the ordinary. VJ: No doubt a memorable evening! You have played so many venues in SL. Which events or venues were most memorable for you? MK: Old Salts Pub was the first venue I saw live music, so playing there was nice. The Hummingbird Cafe was the very first place I streamed and will always be the most memorable shows. Playing benefits like Relay for Life and Lance Armstrong Foundation, I always find exhilarating as a performer. It’s a nice feeling singing and playing for a good cause. VJ: It’s amazing to be able to perform for people all over the world too - have you ever been surprised by the range of nations in your audience? MK: Not really. I find it amazing, but I kinda knew about the potential to play to anyone, anywhere that had a computer and an internet connection. I love that I've made friends with people in so many different countries. VJ: I know that you are always going to open mics and are very supportive of other performers in SL. Do you think the live music scene is flooded right now or that there is plenty of room for growth? MK: I think the music is growing exponentially. I don't feel it's flooded... It can only be so big and can only grow so fast. I'm in a lucky position in the live music scene. I log on, I play shows and people come to listen. I don't have a formula. I just try and do the best 1 hour show I can do. VJ: Have you ever performed at a live SL Convention or plan on attending the San Francisco convention in August? MK: I don't have plans to attend the convention in San Fran in August. I have a Montreal meet that I'm looking forward to and a Texas meet in Oct, Montreal in July. I haven't ruled out San Fran, just seems unlikely right now. VJ: Quite a distance huh. MK: Yea, and it's a lot of trips in a short time, but you never know :-) VJ: Tell me about the meets - have you been to one before? MK: I've met Mimi Carpenter, HatHead Rickenbacher and Dolmere Talamasca for little get-togethers and jams in the past. Indianapolis was a very large gathering. about 15 or so SL musicians and about 15 more SL listener/fans. This July will be another large scale SL/RL Live music event. We're expecting about 15 or so musicians...so far we have about 50-60 live music fans registered to attend and we're hoping for about 100 in Montreal, Quebec July 24 -25 so it's shaping up to be a fun event. VJ: That sounds awesome! I have to say, singing duets with you Max has been a highlight of my Second Life, and I love to hear you sing with other SL artists like Stella Silvansky. I imagine you must have to juggle duet requests all the time – how do you work it out? MK: I LOVE dual streaming with musicians in SL, one of my favorite things about SL Live music. I do it as often as I can. I've dual streamed with so many SL Artists; I will do it as long as they let me! VJ: Wonderful! Max, most of our readers are in the library field and I noticed on your MySpace page that you mentioned your favorite books were Alex Garland's ‘The Beach‘, Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Michael Crighton books. Are you an avid reader and do you get a chance to do much reading with such a busy schedule? MK: I wouldn’t call myself an avid reader. There was a time I did a lot of reading and those were my favorites. I read the Hobbit and tried to read Lord of the Rings but I found it a hard read. People tell me, read through, and don't worry about understanding everything but I'd read pages and pages, and not know what's happening... VJ: LOL, I found Lord of the Rings to be a hard read also. About performing - I know Second Life has helped you get comfortable with doing solo performing - do you test out original tunes in SL to gauge how they might be go over in RL? Spending any time in the studio? MK: Songwriting continues to baffle me. I'm trying to develop, but it's not coming very easy, hence no time in the studio. I have software to record rough demos of ideas. Performing while sitting at your computer is really great - not only by having an audience, but to develop as a performer. VJ: What is one of your most requested songs? MK: Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and Jason Mraz’ I'm Yours are very popular. VJ: Would you mind singing one for us? MK: Sure Vienna! Click hereto view Max’s performance machinima! VJ: Beautiful, thank you so much Max it was great talking with you! MK: You too Vienna!
To catch a Max Kleene show, search for Max under Live Music events and be sure to get there early - the sim will fill up quickly! If you’re a venue owner looking for some great exposure, contact Max’s manager, Kat Vargas, for booking information. Try to allow for at least 80 avatars!
On the wonderful Infotainment Island lies the Museum of Music. The Museum of Music, affectionately known as MuMu, provides focused exhibits of many musical genres and is currently housing two such exhibits: The British Invasion and Hard Rocking Women. The British Invasion exhibit focuses on groups like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, while Hard Rocking Women focuses on artists like Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar, and Courtney Love. Both exhibits examine the impact these bands and artists have had on music and the world around them. The pictures in each exhibit link to notecards or to web sites that offer more information about each particular band or artist. Each exhibit also includes some wonderfully personal touches, like teenager bedrooms in British Invasion and a swanky bar in Hard Rocking Women.
The entrance to the Hard Rocking Women exhibit.
This wonderful resource is the brainchild of Abbey Zenith and Bucky Barkley. Both had worked together to open the Library Gallery on Info Island. After a year, the gallery was turned over to the art librarian group to manage, but Abbey and Bucky were ready for another project. Abbey explains, “We tossed ideas around for another project and thought that a venue to provide information on music that incorporated visual and technical elements would be a great fit for Alliance Virtual Library.” And she was right! MuMu is very popular, which begs the question: what will happen to the Museum of Music with the consolidation plans? Abbey reassures us that “a venue as popular as the MuMu is likely to be kept.” Bucky further explains, “I think the MuMu will move to Info Island. It will benefit from consolidation. It will be in a more obvious location…If it doesn’t go to Info Island, I will resurrect it elsewhere.”
The exhibits themselves are fascinating. How do they come up with these ideas? “Music is such a huge topic,” Abbey divulges, “we tried to concentrate on niches that we felt we could present well and which would be of interest to the public.” Bucky adds, “A big part of who has been chosen stems from our personal interests and experience. The first show was Bebop, and that had a lot to do with my wanting to benefit from my father's knowledge. He was in the thick of Bebop in the 50's and 60's -- went to shows in LA, and bombarded me with the music when I was a kid growing up in the 60's. I had the fortune of being able to sit with him and really hash out an important part of jazz history.”
While the exhibits inside are impressive, the design of the museum itself is quite extraordinary. Bucky Barkley is the one to thank for that; he designed and built the whole thing. How did he come up with this design? “The idea was to have something that had a big concrete loft feel to it,” Bucky explained, “The outside glass is a visual continuation of the walls I did for the Jazz Cat nightclub. It is basically a big empty shell that can be filled with purpose-built sets.” Bucky also reveals that he learned a lot of his building skills through trial and error and “by making a lot of mistakes that nobody will ever see.” He offers some advice to future builders: “I think a lot can be learned by going out and looking at a lot of bad pre-fabs (what not to do), and by taking on small things that work (what to do) in a small amount of time. Work up to the larger stuff.”
Asked about their favorite parts of the MuMu, both Abbey and Bucky describe the depth of the information presented. “I love the idea of making it work as something that can be browsed, but also something that can go deeper,” Bucky replies, “You can walk through and get the gist, or you can start clicking and go to web sites, leaf through album covers, get bio info, and see videos. There are layers there for the explorer.” Abbey focuses more on the possibility of individual experiences in the museum: “I would have to split that between the technology that allows people to view a video clip while others around them can view different clips simultaneously and the chance to create museum-like settings where visitors would feel that they had stepped into a certain period or place… A visitor can peruse the information and feel immersed in the setting but the addition of video and music completes the experience.”
What the average teenaged girl's room looked like during British invasion.
As for the future of MuMu, Abbey Zenith, a well-known and very active librarian in Second Life, will be stepping down as co-manager of the museum. This means that Bucky will soon have a new partner in crime, Kim Trevellion, and they have some great plans for MuMu. Bucky explained, “Kim and I will delve into different genres (starting with New Romantics) and will take full advantage of our overlapping skills. We span editorial, visual/building, tech, writing, and research. I've worked with her first hand on a couple of other projects, and feel really fortunate that she'll be involved with the MuMu.”
The Museum of Music is worth the time to explore. It’s fun and informative, and it’s a great place to learn more about music.