|Performer Showcase: Cylindrian Rutabaga|
Text and Photos by VERDE OTAARED
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".
|Last Updated on Sunday, 01 November 2009 05:10|