Jump to content

Featured News

  • entries
    970
  • comments
    1,284
  • views
    349,135

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

Entries in this blog

Tara Linden
Parker-Static-MM_2.jpg

Parker Static-Riley at BBW Heaven Beach Club

This week we are featuring Parker Static-Riley, who has been singing an impressive and stylistically broad repertoire in Second Life for a decade. Her stage presence is sweet and uplifting, and she has performed at many major SL events like SLB Music Fest, Music Faire, and more.

Check out her music on her SoundCloud and find more information on her official website.

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I heard about SL in 2007... I came to SL knowing I wanted to sing after watching an episode of MTV’s True Life about a girl who performed in SL under the name Keiko Takamura. I joined and like many people, I was so confused at Welcome Island. I logged out and didn't come back for 1.5 years. I came back after seeing a rerun of that episode, this time with a little more patience. Lol! Here I am! 

Q: What initially drew you to music?
A: In RL I grew up in a family of singers... Legit, everyone in my family sings. So singing was just a normal part of life for me.  When I really discovered my passion for music, I was four years old leading songs in the choir. Music is my passion, it’s just a huge part of who I am.

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians?
A: In no particular order, just to name a few... Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, Adele, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston.

Q: If you could open for any musician/group, who would it be?
A: Stevie Wonder, because he is one of the few legends of music who is still alive, and he is one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Q: What are your favorite genres of music?
A: I love them ALL but being from Nashville, country, gospel, soul, and R&B all have a special place in my heart. However, I cover all genres at my shows.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: Second Life is a marvelous platform that allows us to share and touch people all over the world with song. For me, it's being able to make people FEEL. Whether it's happiness, sadness, a memory from childhood, or laughter at me being silly. As long as you FEEL something, I'm good with that.

 

Thank you, Parker!

 

If you or anybody you know would like to be featured in Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

 

Tara Linden

Jed Luckless @ ClubDynamite-2.jpg

Photo Credit: Kissmy Spicoli

This week's featured artist is Jed Luckless, who has been providing us with upbeat and improvisational guitar jams since 2009! With over 600 shows under his belt, his immense music archive is filled with enough tunes to get you through the rest of winter and then some.

Please check out his website as well as his YouTube channel.

He also has some great videos of inworld performances: Nantucket Yacht Club, The Cave, & Hippiestock.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I first became aware of Second Life in 2009. I heard there was a live music scene happening there. At the time I was playing in a Grateful Dead cover band, and I was honing my skills on that music so I wanted someplace I could recreate the complete Dead show experience. I did a search in Second Life for Grateful Dead and stumbled upon a {region} called DarkStar, which had a complete recreation of the Dead’s stage setup, and I knew I had found my place. That was my home for many years and I played a lot of shows there. After a while, I branched out into playing more of my original music.


Q: Your music draws from a variety of styles, what subgenres do you think would be appropriate to describe it as?
A: My style really is all over the place, which likely comes from being exposed to all kinds of music by my parents, from classical to jazz to showtunes. My own musical tastes gravitated initially toward hard, classic rock, like Led Zeppelin, then later progressive rock like Genesis, and eventually jam band music, which is typically how I describe myself now: jam band inspired, which reflects the large amount of improvisational jamming I do at my shows.


Q: How many years have you been playing guitar, and how did you get into it?
A: I picked up guitar around age 15. I think it all started with the Partridge Family. I wanted to be Keith Partridge and I loved the idea of driving around in a bus playing music. An early love for guitar heavy rock bands like Kiss, Aerosmith and AC/DC also propelled me to pick up the six-string.


Q: Tell us about some of the musicians who had an influence on your style.
A: I mentioned a few of them already, but not the biggest one which is Phish. Not too many people even know who Phish is, but they have such an eclectic mix of styles in their music and that’s what first drew me in. It might surprise people to know that I first saw Phish live in 1992 and have seen hundreds of their shows over the past 30 years. They do a lot of improvisational jamming too. My tours and shows in Second Life are very much patterned after the way Phish and The Grateful Dead do it, with a run of shows set up around a theme like “Winter Tour 2021” and stops at various venues across the grid over a few weeks or months. The concerts themselves are typically a two-set format with a setbreak.


Q: Do you have to adjust any effects like distortion, whammy bar, pedals, etc. while streaming in a way that is different from a performance in the physical world?
A: I would say that if anything, I have to change the way I perform in the physical world to replicate what I do in Second Life, since that is where I have really developed my act and my sound. When playing in Second Life, I use in-ear monitors and an on-stage mixer that allows me to put drums, keys and other instruments through my looper to create a kind of one-man band. It’s really hard to do that on a physical stage with the typical amps and monitors that a bar or club has set up. In Second Life we also have an amazing particle light show by Moondance Parx. If only we could make that work in the real world!


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I think the answer is right there in your question. Community. The group of fans and friends that come to the shows and the interaction I have with them and they have with each other is really what it’s all about for me. It’s very similar to the vibe of a Dead or Phish show, and that’s the goal. It’s not just about the music, it’s about the scene. That’s why we have a set break, so people can socialize and connect. I totally love that I’ve been able to build a community around my original music and I couldn’t have done that without Second Life. But my shows are only as good as the energy the crowd brings to them. The more connected we all are the more the circuit hums and the more likely it is to be an electric experience for everyone.

 

Thank you, Jed!

If you or someone you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

FLY PROFILE 2 (1).jpg

Photo provided by Fly Kugin

This week's featured artist is Fly Kugin, an immensely talented violin player who injects a classical flair to jazz, rock, pop, and music from all over the world. She enjoys both solo performances as well as dual-streams with many talented SL performers.

For more information and to hear her music, check out her official website and SoundCloud

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I discovered Second Life five and a half years ago. I had a new laptop and was searching for games. I discovered an advertisement on the internet about Second Life, so I downloaded the viewer and created an account. It happened by accident via the internet.


Q: At what age did you start playing violin, and do you play any other instruments?
A: I was at a fine arts high school when I started playing the violin and have been playing since then. At the same time I also started playing the piano. In addition to the violin and the piano, I can also play the flute and the ukulele.


Q: Are there any aspects of playing the violin that are specific to this instrument and not found in other string instruments?
A: I was at high school when I started playing the piano and violin, as I stated above, and in the beginning the violin was harder for me to play than the piano. This is because I had experience with the piano in middle school. I had a small keyboard and was playing melodies and the piano was initially my first musical passion. At the beginning of my professional classical music education in high school, my main instrument was the violin and everyone in my class had to play the piano. I still loved to play the piano at the time, as I was more familiar with the violin, but one cannot get the sounds as easily on the violin than on the piano. But my high school violin teacher started to give me very emotional pieces to play. An example of such a piece is Pietry Illyric Tchaikovski's "G Minor Canzonetta." This particular classical piece went straight to my heart and was so emotional. After this, I started to practice the violin more. Within four years I realized my violin skills had improved very much. I applied to university with the violin as my piece for the entrance exam to the music program, and I passed! At this point, the violin was my main passion. In music I really cannot compare any instrument, but I was wrong because you have to be patient with instruments. I was not patience with the violin, so in the beginning the piano was my main piece and I practiced it more. I believe that there is no instrument that is harder than any other: all instruments can be played if you have time, patience, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to learn the instrument.


Q: What are some of your favorite songs to cover on the violin?
A: There are too many to count and name! But there are a few that I feel really passionate about. These pieces are: Lara Fabian's "Je T'aime," Queen's "Show Must Go On," Tomaso Albinoni's "Adagio," and Lucio Dalla's "Caruso." I am always adding new covers, but I cannot ever stop playing these four pieces.


Q: Tell us about your creative process as it pertains to instrumental music, like how you convey ideas and feelings without words.
A: This is hard to explain, as it is about feeling. For example, if the song is about losing someone, I put myself into the song so to speak and I think about a time when I have lost someone and put that emotion into playing that particular piece. If the song is a funny song, I remember a time when I was having fun as a child and put that particular feeling. My feelings are reflected with my violin fingers when playing. Music is a reflection of feeling, so the audience will feel the pieces as well. If I feel happy I will play happy music, If I am sad then the music I am playing is sad.


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: For me the most meaningful aspect of the SL community is the music. Because music is life for me. Music is the place or object where I realize I am real when I am in Second Life. Music makes me feel so alive.  I could make music in any location or in any time zone, but Second Life provides a great opportunity for me to share my music to strangers and friends who are around the world. This is important because there are so many people around the world who have different perspectives about music, so getting appreciation from many people from different backgrounds and cultures gives me confidence and makes me very happy.

 

Thank you, Flyqueen!

If you or someone you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

Lexus Sqaure.jpg

 

This week's featured artist is Lexus Melodie, who has been performing soulful indie folk in Second Life for about a decade. Her interest was piqued by the creative and entrepreneurial sides of SL, and she even met her RL husband inworld! She's been writing songs about experiences from both of her lives ever since.

Please check out her Youtube channel for some RL content, as well as some inworld performances: Cafe Musique, this glamorous closeup, and a birthday concert.

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: Back in about 2008, I was working in London and a friend showed me an article about Second life and the people who were making money with land and making clothing etc.  I had already played Sims for a few years and it felt like the ultimate upgrade. I spent a year making clothing until I rented a store at the classic old SL venue Guthries, where I got my first taste of live music in SL. I never looked back.

Q: What instruments do you play in addition to singing, and at what age did you start practicing music? 
A: I play guitar for the most part these days, but I've been pretty musical since the age of 5, when I started playing trumpet, piano, and later, cello.  I was lucky enough to live somewhere where music education is free. I feel like music has always been in me. Guitar is the only instrument I hadn't had formal lessons for, so it's my bit of fun really.

Q: Tell us about a few of the musicians who have influenced your style.
A: This is a difficult one... I love so much music but I'm probably influenced quite a lot by the angst of Alanis Morrisette, the heartbreak of Amy Winehouse... the melodies of SIA and a whole lotta soul music.

Q: What do you think is the best show you've ever played in SL, and what made it so special to you? 
A: After 10 years on and off of playing music in SL it would be almost impossible to pick a single event, but the thing that makes it so special in SL are the people who come out and listen to the shows.  They could just plug in the stream on their land, but they make the effort to come out and support the venues and the shows. They make me feel like my words mean something in a world in which it's hard to be heard sometimes. It's a relationship... I perform, but they give back so much... it would impossible to do it without them.

Q: What advice would you give to other musicians and artists who are struggling to find inspiration these days? 
A: Don't be afraid to step away from music, whether it's for a week or a month or longer... sometimes you just need to refresh and give yourself the time to get inspired again. Listen to the music that used to make you sing aloud in the car, or dance around your room with a hairbrush mic.  


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you? 
A: Just that.... that it truly is a community. For all the good and the bad... we come here to escape and end up mimicking reality. We might not want to be physically near people but you still want the other parts of the community, friendships, and even commerce that SL has to offer.  It's a really special place that has been important to an awful lot of people for a million different reasons. It's slife as we know it.

 

Thank you, Lexus! If you or anybody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

 

Tara Linden
Zak Claxton MM.png
(photo of Zak Claxton taken at Lutz City of Templemore)
 

This week's featured artist is Zak Claxton, whose smooth and easygoing tracks range from indie pop to alternative rock. With over a decade of experience playing music in SL, his shows have an atmosphere of heartfelt exuberance that makes every person in the room feel welcome.

Please check out his music and videos!
http://www.zakclaxton.com
https://zakclaxton.bandcamp.com/releases
https://theystolemycrayon.bandcamp.com/releases
Video for "Blew the Dust Away"

1. When/how did you hear about Second Life?
The shortest possible answer is that in fall 2006, my friend and former bandmate Mike Burns called me to chat one day and said, “Have you heard about Second Life? Duran Duran has an island there.” None of these words made any sense to me at the time, and I had to have him explain the entire concept of a virtual world. I was living here in the Los Angeles area, and the woman I was seeing lived in Seattle. We’d been taking trips back and forth to spend time together, but Second Life seemed like an ideal way to be able to hang out and feel like we were connecting beyond the aspects of emails, texts, and phone calls. I told her about it, and we signed up together on October 12, 2006. At that point, I had no idea that music performance was at all possible in SL. On one of our early virtual dates, we looked in the event listings to find something to do, and noted that a person named Keiko Takamura has hosting some kind of concert, so we went and checked it out. My professional background and career is in audio technology and musical instruments, so it didn’t take long at all for me to try doing my own livestream shows in world.

2. What instruments do you play?
My primary instrument for all of my SL performances is the acoustic guitar, supplemented by occasional harmonica. As a singer-songwriter, I find that keeping things simplified and streamlined helps keep the focus on the song itself. My SL shows are 100% live, with no backing tracks or prerecorded material, though I think all SL music performance styles are appropriate and welcomed. In real life, I’ve spent nearly my entire life as a performing musician, and my instruments also include electric guitar, bass, piano/keyboards, and the art of music engineering and production.

3. You mentioned on your Bandcamp that you are also in a band. Could you tell us about some of the pros and cons of solo work vs. being in a group?
I love playing in bands, but there is a massive difference between the process of being a solo artist versus a member of a band. The biggest difference is that to do well in a band, it requires a serious time commitment among a group of people for rehearsal, and there are also the challenges of having to balance the differing goals and musical styles of multiple people. As a result, there’s often a lot of compromise, and when you hear about bands breaking up due to “creative differences”, that’s a real thing. As a solo artist, I have the benefit of playing whatever music I choose to, and it’s much easier to hop onstage by myself and do my thing. That being said, the fun and camaraderie of being in a band is something every musician should experience at some point. I am currently a member of a recording project called They Stole My Crayon, along with Christina Lee and Bunny Knutson. Our debut album came out in 2016, and we are slowly working on a sophomore release.

4. You said you've been playing music in SL since 2006, wow! What are some of your favorite aspects of the way the music scene has evolved?
When I got started in 2006, live music in Second Life was still a relatively new concept, and the entire community of SL music performers was maybe 30-40 people. Over the years, that’s grown immensely. There are now hundreds and hundreds of people who perform live shows on a regular basis in SL. I would also say that the quality of overall talent in SL has gotten better and better over the course of time as more and more serious real life musicians discover SL and bring their music shows in world. In terms of the music scene beyond the performers, the challenges that SL-based live music venue face have remained the same. It’s a difficult task to operate a live music spot in SL and be able to break even on the expenses. Also, like anything done successfully, it requires a high level of organization and coordination between the artists, their management, their fans, and the venue’s staff. I’ve been very fortunate to have had excellent support from many SL venues, and I’m always grateful to them and do whatever I can to help them do well.

5. Tell us about some of your biggest musical influences.
If I answered that question completely, you’d run out of room on this web site. I started on piano at age three and guitar at seven, so I’ve had over 40 years to accumulate musical influences. Some of the big ones that are manifested in my own original music and my SL performances: Neil Young, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Kurt Vile, Sun Kil Moon, R.E.M., and many others. That being said, my personal tastes as a listener are extremely wide. I am mostly into new indie folk and indie rock artists and bands, both hard/edgy and soft/introspective, and I seek out new music constantly.

6. What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
I have to give you two of them. First is the aspect of it being a real community. I have attended a number of SL Live Jams, where members of the SL music community get together in a physical location along with fans and friends, and do multiple days of live performances. I’ve attended those events in places like San Diego, Orange County (CA), Nashville, and Minneapolis. I have gotten to know people via the SL music scene who have become lifelong friends, and I highly value those relationships. The second aspect is the fact that a person like me has been able to cultivate a worldwide following as a musician. I would not have ever been in a position to do all of the touring and promotion that it would traditionally require to have music fans throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, but due to SL, that’s exactly what I’ve done over the past 14+ years. Second Life is a great platform for any musician who wants exposure to a global audience who is eager for good music.


Thank you, Zak!


If you or someone you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form

Tara Linden

tone MM top.png

Tone Uriza at Blues Seduction

This week's featured artist is Tone Uriza, a local blues legend in his home state of Arizona and an active Second Life musician since 2007. 

Check out his website to listen to his music and learn more about his lengthy performance career.

He also plays at his own club, Blues Seduction (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rainy Valley/238/227/21) every Saturday at 7pm SLT.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I found out about Second Life in January of 2007. A friend of mine that played drums in my hometown, Kyle Bronsdon (aka Kyle Beltran in Second Life), sent out an email to all of his musician friends and fans about a virtual club that he had created. He said we could all come and see his avatar perform on our computers. The catch was it required creating a Second Life account. Because some of our peers were technically challenged (mostly baby boomers) most just ignored the email. But I did not. You see, I began studying digital electronics in 1976. From 1980 to 1989 I worked for a digital electronics research and development corporation as a line tech and later as a senior technician for reliability engineering. Needless to say, I used computers on a daily basis for testing line product as well as new designs from engineering. All the while playing music professionally at night. In 1990 I quit my day job and went full-time as a professional musician and sound tech. Meanwhile, I began raising a family and wanted to stay close to home while my wife worked by day as a computer aided drafts person for a missile corporation. Her job required a computer so we got our first PC in 1995. I became fascinated with it and started building and fixing PCs for myself and others. So when Kyle emailed about Second Life I had come to a time when I was not playing in the real world much, so I said yes please to SL. And I was so happy I did. It came very naturally to me as I was also a casual gamer. My experience with sound tech made it easy for me to set myself up with a stream and start playing to a worldwide audience. I left for a short period to take care of health issues, but it’s all good now. I came back in December of 2019 and started getting bookings right away. Soon I was able to set up a club of my own. I like having one as a backup in case I have a cancellation or just feel like playing when nothing is scheduled. One of the great aspects of Second Life is the flexibility. Real world performers and clubs don’t have nearly as much flexibility. I play several venues now on a regular basis, and I have Blues Seduction, which is the name of my club.

Q: How did playing music become a part of your life? 
A: Well that's an easy one. It runs in my family. My dad played guitar, my uncles played guitar, my maternal grandfather played guitar, my mom played piano, and her mom played guitar as well. An interesting fact about my maternal grandfather: he played guitar and sang in the brothels that peppered the Arizona-Mexico border at the turn of the last century. So when I asked my dad for a guitar at 9 years old, he immediately said yes, took me down to Sears, and got me my first guitar. I’ve been playing ever since. That would be 56 years. Well except when I had to have carpal tunnel surgery. LOL.

Q: Are your band members also SL Residents?
A: Only one, but the band was retired a few years back in the real world. His name is Marx Loeb aka Speelo Snook in Second Life. He DJs in SL these days. My friend Kyle is also still in SL and sings/plays piano in his own club, Meatspace.

Q: Blues music has been interpreted in so many different ways, how do you personally describe it?
A: Historically, everyone knows where and when the music came to fruition. But it has transcended history to become a major thread in the fabric of American life. The blues are nothing more than a good person feeling bad and having a musical language or vehicle to communicate that, and possibly rid oneself of the feeling. It can also be a very celebratory type of music, such as the blues from the New Orleans area.

Q: Tell us about the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame experience!
A: The Arizona Blues Hall Of Fame is a virtual place where musicians and supporters of the blues can pay homage to the outstanding achievements of the great players in our state who have used their music and notoriety to promote and preserve the blues heritage. I am humbly honored to be included as an individual player. Additionally, my band The Torpedoes was recently inducted this year.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I think that would have to be how much they support one another and care for each other. And it allows all kinds of collaborations by musicians that would have never come together otherwise. But there are so many, it’s hard to name just one. All I know is that I love to play for people and Second Life has been a blessing for my soul. Thank you, Linden Lab.

 

Thank you, Tone!

 

If you or somebody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

Donn Devore MM Logo.jpg

Donn Devore at Gonja Land

 

This week's featured artist is Donn Devore, a talented multi-instrumentalist who creates electronica and post rock inspired by the paranormal, his spiritual experiences, and more. He even has an album of Brony music!

Please check out his official websiteBandcamp, and an extended YouTube set.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?

A: It was around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2006 when I saw a news story on tv about SL and virtual worlds. I had been playing WoW for a couple of weeks but I wasn’t that interested in quests and monsters. SL seemed more interesting: with an economy, virtual real estate, you can fly everywhere, meet people, make out with them, have a laugh, and no one is trying to kill you. I explored SL for a year before I decided to perform. I saw musicians performing for crowds of 80+ listeners in a sim and thought, I can do this! So I learned how to set up a Shoutcast audio stream and started playing gigs, singing cover songs and playing acoustic guitar. That was in October 2007 and it’s been an interesting ride. 

Q: What types of instruments do you play?

A: I play guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, organ, drum machines, and various electronic devices. I’ve played guitar and keys since I was about 9 years old, I took lessons as a kid and studied music in college. I performed in metal and hard rock bands all through high school and college but was always creating electronic music in my room with synthesizers and drum machines. I worked as an audio engineer in recording studios for many years so that experience helps with the technical aspects of performing a live stream show since it’s essentially a live broadcast of a studio session. 


Q: While there are so many types of music software, do you have a favorite or do they each serve different functions?

A: It depends on what kind of project I'm working on. I’ve been a Protools operator for over 20 years in recording studios. It’s the most stable DAW and is especially good for recording acoustic instruments and bands, and it’s better at synchronizing with video or film. But in the last 5 years I prefer to use Logic Pro and Ableton Live for electronic music production. Ableton is a loop-based digital audio workstation which lends itself well to electronic music, letting me trigger samples and loops in real time to create a song from sections instead of a pre-recorded track that plays the same every time you play it. I use Logic Pro for a few specific instruments because it has the best sounding Hammond B3 organ and electric pianos in the game.  I perform using Ableton Live and Logic Pro in combination with real keyboard synthesizers. With Ableton Live I can create song arrangements on the fly using an 8x8 grid controller like a Novation Launchpad, triggering different loops that play the various sections of a song. It gives me control over each individual instrument in the mix. I use drum pads and note repeat functions to play live drum fills, create transitions, and dial in delay and reverb effects on the fly. Or, I will let the loop run for a while and I’ll play melodies or improvise solos on keyboard or guitar.

Q: I'm a fan of electronic music and I really enjoyed your album Telepathic Alien Communication. Did you have a strong reaction to the Pentagon releasing UFO videos? Although it quickly faded to the background with all the 2020 madness! 

A: Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the album.  As a fan of the paranormal and ufology I appreciate this question, and I could speak for hours on UFOs and the decades of government cover up. We’ve known since the 1970’s that UFOs have shut down nuclear launch control systems like Malmstrom AFB in Montana and visited military bases in the UK. Other countries have released video and information about UFOs. Our military has known about them since the 1940s going back to the Roswell crash and the Mt. Rainier sightings or the Phoenix Lights in 1997 and other more recent events like the Tic Tac videos released by the Pentagon. I’ve followed many of the authors and speakers in the UFO community that have advocated for disclosure for many years so it wasn’t really a surprise, but it was an odd time to drop that information on the public given what we’ve all been dealing with in 2020. Most people either didn’t notice, didn’t care, didn’t believe it, or said “I’ve been saying this for years and I told you so!” I’m probably in that last group. But we should always be skeptical since we've been lied to and they have reversed their position on this topic many times in the past.

My personal contact with aliens was through a series of shamanic experiences. With the intention to quit smoking cigarettes in 2015 I used psilocybin mushrooms to help me overcome my addiction to nicotine. In those ceremonies I communicated with different alien-like entities. This is a common report from people who travel in these spaces. I composed most of the songs for that album as a result of those intense experiences. I spent the next three years recording and mixing the songs, all the while suffering from serious health problems as a result of a toxic mold exposure. This album project was part of a long healing process for me and the ‘aliens’ gave me encouragement to continue on the path, to find ways to heal myself from a painful chronic illness, to tell my story and help others. I’m in a much better place now, despite the current pandemic, since through that crisis I have learned many different methods for maintaining my mental and physical health. Music is a part of that along with a healthy diet, yoga and exercise. 


Q: Where would you suggest starting out to someone unfamiliar with the SL music scene?  

A: For listeners, the fastest place to find music inworld is through the live music listings in the search tab. Search for live music events inworld and go to lots of shows. If you want to get onstage and perform, search for open mic events. It doesn’t matter where you start, just go to lots of different places to listen and watch what people are doing, and you’ll get a feel for the environment and find a place you like. Make some friends, talk to hosts and venue owners. The scene is like a small town with hundreds of musicians and dozens of live venues where we all play on a weekly or monthly basis. There are many live music announcement groups you can join inworld to get artist info and landmarks for all the shows happening or upcoming.


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you? 

A: Sharing a few precious moments of live music with other humans listening from around the world is meaningful. Music relieves stress and reduces anxiety for the listener. It transcends language, political and cultural boundaries, it can lift spirits, make you cry, make you laugh, make you dance... It can have an emotional impact on the listener, remind them of the beauty and joy in the world, and how awesome it is to be alive. When someone tells me they have been inspired by me or my music to improve the quality of their own life, that's meaningful and makes me proud of what we are doing here.

 

Thank you, Donn!

If you or somebody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.
 

Tara Linden

Music Mondays: An Interview With Amforte


Music Mondays

AMFORTEPROMOSL (1).png

Image provided by Amforte

This week's featured artist is Amforte, whose dedication to music started when she was a child, growing more potent with time as she became familiar with various styles. This singer songwriter is not afraid to bare her soul, and her music is an energetic and comforting reminder that there is always someone who can relate to what you're feeling.
 

Please check out her official website to listen to her music and see what's she's been up to! Below are some links to follow her inworld.

AMFORTE (AMFORTE Clarity):: 
secondlife:///app/agent/16f3fc26-7d2b-4e89-9de2-0cd96303df2d/about

SL Music Group
secondlife:///app/group/6e7b8cdc-46a2-6ccd-dd97-f15423689378/about

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I heard about Second Life from a friend who was already performing online. It wasn't long before I signed up and started performing. This was all back in December of 2008.

Q: How did you start playing music?
A: I was eight years old when I begged my father to let me take piano lessons. Years later, I picked up a guitar and started to learn how to play and write music. I have never turned my back on music ever since. I started performing in SL as a guitar player and vocalist and never actually played the piano for 12 years until recently. I introduced piano to my concerts and haven't stopped.

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians?
A: There are so many bands/musicians that are my favorite, but these are some of them: Radiohead, Billie Eilish, Coldplay, U2, The Verve, Garbage, Alanis, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Cranberries, and many more! I don't just like one genre of music. I listen, love and sing to country, rhythm & blues, pop, rock, edm, jazz, blues, and I don't stop there. Music is my life. It moves me and it's my therapy.

Q: Tell us about one of your best songwriting moments.
A: To me, emotion has a lot to do with songwriting. I have to feel something. I remember a few years ago, I experienced such heartbreak, and ended up writing a song in a matter of minutes. My emotions took over and I ended up writing one of my best songs.

Q: Do you have a favorite SL venue for performing?
A: All of the venues that I have performed in within SL have been amazing. Although I've had to cut my schedule down a lot, I will still be writing music and performing in SL. I have been working on my second album that should be released in December 2020, or early January 2021. I am also working on a couple of film projects: one is a web series called GHOST SLAPPED that will be out sometime early in 2021, and the other will be a short film (and perhaps my first feature film) later in 2021. Anyone interested can follow these projects or my music in the links shared here.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: The most meaningful aspect of SL to me is reaching out to the community and sharing my music with the world, virtually. There is a community here that relates to my music, and some find comfort in it.

 

Thank you, Amforte! Here are some more links to her projects.

AMFORTE MUSIC RL LINKS:
Subscribe: www.REVERBNATION.com/AMFORTE
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AMFORTEMUSIC
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amforte/?hl=en
AMFORTE FILM PROJECTS:
www.GHOSTSLAPPED.com
 

If you or anybody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

 

Maven final.jpg

Photo courtesy of Mavenn Resident

This week's featured artist is Mavenn Resident, who imbues familiar songs of intimacy and romance with an unrestrained passion that can be both soft and powerful. She pulls from a range of styles, and you'll hear everything from ballads to folk and some blues rock.

Please check out her music here.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I had been on another chat program previously when a musician friend of mine mentioned he was going to start performing in Second Life. He asked if we would be interested in following him into the program and checking it out. There were several of us and within weeks we were running our own venue, and hosting incredible artists.

Q: What got you into music, and do you play any instruments in addition to singing?
A: I have always been an avid music listener and just casually sang, school performances, and was in a band for a short period as a teenager. I was always singing along to the radio enough to drive my children mad. I was involved in school orchestra growing up and played the oboe. It wasn’t until I was in Second life for about a year that I began to sing in any kind of regular way. Now singing is so much a part of my life, I wouldn’t want to live without it.

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians?
A: My favorite musical inspirations are David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, and of course, Beth Hart.

Q: What advice would you give to other musicians who feel frustrated by the restrictions of our current circumstances?
A: This is a perfect time for both observation of the zeitgeist and self-discovery; keep living in your art, and be thankful weed is more widely available.

Q: What is your favorite memory of performing in Second Life?
A: My first show in Second life was at a venue built much like a regular brickhouse pub. Optimus Prime tp’d in and couldn’t fit inside the Pub so he sat outside on the lawn to listen and the chat hilarity ensued with the audience. That’s when I knew I loved the camaraderie and inclusive nature of the platform.
 
Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I absolutely love getting to know the other artists by having so much access to them. Having your regular favorites perform so regularly allows you to watch them grow in their art. I adore being an audience member with my audience as well. The scene is a fascinating and thriving community SCENE when you take the time to observe and get to know the people, free your soul and drift away.

 

Thank you, Mavenn!

If you or anybody you know would like to be featured in Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

jack slade MM.jpg

This week's featured artist is Jack Slade, whose moving and relatable songs are inspired by his life. From his humble beginnings to the Army and beyond, his voice highlights the beauty in the seemingly ordinary and is sure to leave an impact.

For his music and bio, check out his website here.

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: Someone who heard my music told me that I should sing in Second Life... I don't remember when. Around 2014?


Q: How did you start playing music and do you play any instruments in addition to singing?
A: I started playing guitar in the Army in the 80's and began writing songs not long after that.


Q: What is your favorite genre of music?
A: . I don't have a favorite genre of music... but I prefer songs that come from the heart or that touch mine.


Q: Who was the last person you saw perform in SL?
A: The last person I saw perform in SL was Lexus Melodie or Mimi Carpenter.


Q: Tell us about your album, Beautiful.
A: My album , Beautiful, is a not very well produced CD that I created with a few songs that I've written over the last 35 years... not much more to say about it, really lol.


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I would say that the most meaningful aspect of SL music is how far reaching it can be... to sing to people in France, Germany , Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Japan... all at one time, is amazing.

 

Thank you, Jack!

If you or anybody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form

Tara Linden

Music Mondays: Community Appreciation


Music Mondays

Red Singer.jpg

(Photo by Melony Parker)

In just a few months, Music Mondays has been an incredible journey of getting to spotlight the part of life where music and SL overlap. A space filled with people of all ages, from all over the world, who play a broad spectrum of genres.

I hope newcomers have felt inspired to take to the stage, and that maybe even some veterans have dusted off their virtual gear. I also encourage musicians from lesser known styles and every type of avatar aesthetic to feel excited about sharing their creative outlets.

As always, if you or somebody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please sign up here.

altitude 1_001.jpg

(Photo taken at the Altitude music venue)

 

 

 

Tara Linden

Mimi Carpenter Live at Actually Love by Ares.png

(Photo courtesy of Mimi Carpenter)

This week's featured artist is Mimi Carpenter, who brings us energetic acoustic reimaginings from various genres, and original material, both subtly encased in her French accent.

Please check out her music on the following platforms.

SoundCloudYouTube, Twitter, & Facebook

She also has a calendar of upcoming events.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I first discovered Second Life back in the summer of 2006 (yes... it's been quite a while... haha). It was on a rainy weekend while I was doing an internship in Salzburg, Austria. I was browsing the internet, looking for an online community and I found Second Life, which was free to sign up for. I tried it out and made my way to the Help Island.

Q: How long have you been playing music, and what got you started?
A: When I was about 6 years old, my mum asked me which activity I wanted get into. Could have been judo, ballet, or whatever else that was available in our area. I said I wanted to learn music. I hesitated between violin and piano for a while and I ended up starting with the electronic organ and music theory!

Q: Tell us about some of your favorite French musicians.
A: Naming some of my favorite musicians is always a difficult task for me in general. If I could name a few, I'd say Noir Désir, MC Solaar, Jacques Brel, Daft Punk... 

Q: I absolutely loved your cover of "Realiti" by Grimes, I never would have thought that it would translate to acoustic so well. What is your approach when creating an acoustic version of a song from a very different genre?
A: I am glad to hear that you loved it! I usually do enjoy covering songs that are sometimes less expected. That's why I like covering male songs as well to make it different. It's something I really have a great time doing as I get excited to bring something more unique to the table, whenever I'm able to.

Q: Who is that little yellow bird next to you? Do they have an SL presence?
A: I do like cute things, so this is a cute little chick I found when I traveled to Seoul with one of my previous jobs. Unfortunately no, he doesn't have a presence in SL but that's a good idea. I may consider that, thank you haha. For many years since I started performing in SL, I've had my pink piggy, Maple! He's been around and got a mesh update a few years ago as well. His name is inspired by Canada, where I had wanted to move to for a long time and where I've now lived for close to 3 years.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: What's awesome about SL is that I've been able to keep a following over the years from all over the world, and I'm able to go on singing for them, no matter where I live. I've lived in about 7 different countries. I made many friends thanks to SL and live music and enjoyed attending Live Music meet-ups in Europe and in North America. It's a shame we cannot travel at the moment but it's definitely one of the best things that has ever happened, thanks to SL live music.

Thank you, Mimi!

Join her group at secondlife:///app/group/aa81b6f9-fe5b-c995-d688-f689489bd716/about

If you or someone you know would like to submit material for Music Mondays, please fill out this form. Have a great week, everybody!
 

Tara Linden

Tally Mercury copy.png

(photo courtesy of Tally Mercury)

This week's featured artist is Tally Mercury, who gives us a mix of original music and covers that are made distinct by the contrast of his powerful voice with featherlight acoustic guitar.

His music can be found on many platforms through his Linktree, and don't forget to check out his videos. For more information, please visit his website.

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I first heard about Second Life by working in the education sector. Some colleagues of mine were investigating how SL could be used to enhance digital learning. As a graphic designer, I got involved as I saw an opportunity to be creative and make clothing, so I started doing that back in 2009.

Q: How long have you been playing music?
A: I've been playing music for as long as I can remember. I think I have been singing for as long as I have been talking lol. I started singing properly when I was 16 though, in a church setting. They sang quite modern songs, and that is when I started to play the guitar, too! I had played many instruments before that, but the guitar seemed to sing with me, so I've stuck with it for the remaining 24 years!

Q: Name some of the musicians who have been most influential to you.
A: There have been so many over the years and from such an eclectic mix. I grew up listening to classical music, through to Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, to Michael Jackson. When I was 16 and started playing guitar, I got into a lot of rock music. Nu Metal particularly, like Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park, but over the years, there have been certain musicians that have always stuck with me. Jeff Buckley is probably my biggest inspiration. He inspires me with my vocals and with my songwriting. The guy was a genius. I just wished he had lived longer - I often wonder where he could have taken his music.
In Second Life there have been a few musicians that have had a big impact. Skye Galaxy really helped me to use more emotion and create more atmosphere in my performances, but there have been people like Saintess Larnia and Lexus Melodie that have always driven me forward and encouraged me too. Phemie Alcott is also a great emotional performer.

Q: Do you feel there have been more concerts this year since the pandemic started, and do you think the atmosphere at inworld shows has changed?
A: There are definitely more concerts inworld, but there are also more artists performing. I have seen many new artists either join SL for the first time or start performing for the first time. I've seen some artists that haven't performed in years come back to the scene, too!
I don't think the atmosphere has changed. There has always been a very strong music community in Second Life. I think it has grown, so we are seeing larger crowds now, but it's still the same positive vibe as always, and I find it very exciting to see it thriving still, even after performing here for 11 years.

Q: Tell us about an "A-ha!" moment when something about playing music clicked for you.
A: I remember playing a concert in Second Life at a sim called Burrow that my good friend Harlow Heslop owns. After the show, I got a message from someone who was there for the first time. She told me how she had been brought along to the concert by a friend because she had been feeling down. She had recently come out of an abusive relationship in RL and was struggling to put things back together again, but she said that when she heard my music, she felt her soul heal. I mean, what an incredible thing to hear from someone. So I guess I realised a few things from that moment. 1. How important my music is, even when I don't think I'm doing anything significant, or those days when I feel like I'm rubbish and should give up, that despite how I'm feeling, my songs could just be helping someone through a dark moment and show them some light. 2. Never underestimate how much putting your own emotion into your music can translate over the airwaves. I always try to feel what I am singing, so that those listening can feel it too. It makes for a more intimate performance and it becomes way more than just listening to someone sing. It really is a performance. Listeners cannot see me, they can only hear me, so I have to give it that something 'else.'

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I think the friendships I have made. The people who have committed so much time and money to help the music scene thrive for as long as it has. The late Garrett Lutz was a huge inspiration. He believed in the live music scene in SL. Even up to the point of when he passed away, he was still supporting the scene here. Places like Templemore (Lutz City) owned by Luis Lockjaw and Whata Conundrum, that has just celebrated 10 years of being a live music venue in Second Life. How awesome is that! I will never get over how dedicated people are to the community and how much they invest in keeping it alive. It's why I keep coming back, and can't imagine a life without it. I love every single person that has ever come to a show and supported the artist and venue. I love how we all need each other, The artist, the venue and the patrons - we can't do this without everyone involved. What an amazing family to be a part of!


Thanks, Tally! He is also in a band called Neon Fiction. Keep an eye out for them, as they hope to play more gigs in SL soon!

If you or someone you know would like to submit content to be featured in Music Mondays, please fill out this form. Have  great week!
 

Tara Linden
image0.jpg
(Photo courtesy of Phemie Garfield)
 
This week's featured artist is Phemie Garfield, whose earnest and uplifting blend of folk and indie rock will energize the start of your week.
 
Please check out her music here
 

Q: When and how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I heard about Second Life on New Year's Day at the dinner table with my family. My brother asked me if I'd heard of it and how it's not a game but a world where you can just socialize with people and create things, and there was live music, which made me so curious to check it out!

Q: Some of your songs come to a really powerful crescendo, is that of particular symbolic value to you?
A: That is a really interesting question! Yes, I think I've always been a fan of dynamics and expression and power in music. When I'm writing music there is a cathartic release of emotion. I feel things very deeply and sometimes talking about it is so uncomfortable, but with music I can express it safely. It's like riding a wave and that crescendo is probably my way of riding that wave of anger or passion or sadness or hurt or joy. I've always loved anthemic rock, like U2 for example.

Q: How did you first become interested in playing music?
A: It really started in high school after a few years of devouring records that my big brother would play for me and listening to my dad's old vinyls that I would sing to in my bedroom. I started piano in 5th grade and learned how to sight read very quickly, and then in college learned acoustic guitar. Once I graduated college, I moved home and somehow started jamming with a friend and then it turned into a rock band that I sang in for four years. We toured regionally and I loved every second of it.

Q: What instruments do you play, and do you have any favorite models?
A: I play piano and guitar.  I think it's fair to say that Tori Amos was a big influence especially with how she wrote piano. Vocally my role models are Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Bono, and Sia. 

Q: Tell us about some musicians and/or artists that have influenced your style. 
A: Bono and U2 were a huge influence on me. He had this passionate soaring voice that just carried you into another dimension. They were heartfelt and something felt so true and authentic about his voice.  Tori's Amos' style was delicate and yet strong, deep but accessible. Her music is beautiful yet when you read some of her lyrics they are edgy, dark, and full of pain, and you can tell she was working out some deep stuff. Joni MItchell... Well, she was just a goddess genius of lyricism and melody. Her voice was warm and could move you, and her melodies were so imaginative. All these people taught me that it isn't enough to just sing, you have to give yourself... It has to come from deep within. The music has to come from your heart and you can't be afraid.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music scene to you?
A: The SL music community is one of the most accepting and welcoming communities around. If you have an original to throw out there, they welcome it. If you aren't the best singer in the world but you have heart and you give your time to people, they will come and listen and they will stay the whole hour. It's just wonderful to see. People love to hear a live performer just giving their all and they give budding musicians a chance to be heard and to practice their skills. Also, hearing from people who IM me and say things like, you really helped me through my night, or you really made me feel something is so awesome. To know people from around the world are listening! That is so cool.

Thank you, Phemie!


If you or somebody you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

Music Mondays: An Interview With Levi Zuzu


Music Mondays

Levi 4_001.jpg

Levi Zuzu at The Burrow

 

This week's featured artist is Levi Zuzu, whose modern take on 80s synth pop, rock, and jazz is the perfect soundtrack for some cinematic musing.

Please check out his SoundCloud and stay tuned for his new album, which is in the works.

 

Q: When and how did you hear about Second Life?
A: It has been a minute! I was looking for a new game to play with a more realistic touch, and later on I found Second Life. 

I bet it doesn't sound very exciting when I say I found it through Google but living in Germany you don't have too many English-speaking people, so I was also happy to be able to connect to other people. This way my English was also going to be kept crispy! 

Q:  Do you play all the instruments in the recordings, or do you collaborate with anybody? Tell us about the instruments used in the music you shared.
A: Oh yeah! My starting point is the piano, a Yamaha upright felt piano with a very close mic so, and an absolute classic, the Fender Rhodes Mark 1 stage piano.  When it comes to my synth sounds, it's either me crafting the sound on my computer or my Roland Dx7 Synthesizer. It doesn't get more 80's than that. Oh, and lastly drums, a Gretsch drum kit! 

Q: I also listened to the Djane Batista remix of "I can feel myself" and really enjoyed it. Is this the first time someone has done a remix of your music? How does it feel hearing someone reinterpret something you created?
A: That was the first time! I was just so surprised. Never saw this one coming. I have to say it made me proud. 

Seeing that my music inspires someone, and they even go to the lengths of remixing it, is a huge compliment for me as a musician. 

Q: Your style seamlessly incorporates elements from diverse styles, from an 80s synth vibe, to a jazzy cover of "Roxane" by The Police, and toned down r&b. How did you acquire such a wide range of tastes?
A: Good question! I guess my taste in music has to do with how I grew up. It's always been 80's and classics from back in the day from various genres. I've always been incredibly curious when it came to music, and my parents were always very passionate about it as well. So I guess that's how this came about. I  started with music quite young. Got my first drum kit at the age of 3, piano followed shortly, along with singing. And later in life, even career choices were all around music. 

I have always loved covering songs and giving them my twist. That's also what I do on Second Life. Sometimes I slip in my originals but since my album isn't fully finished I try to mix it up.

Q:  What are some of your favorite musicians?
A: There are so many good musicians out there that have inspired me and continue to do so, to this day. But my top list would be: Prince, George Michael, Nat King Cole, D'Angelo, Phil Collins, and lastly, Thomas Newman.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music scene to you?
A: I think the connection to people. It's wonderful to be able to touch someone emotionally, give them a smile, or just a good minute of escapism through music. 

 

Thank you, Levi!

 

If you or somebody you know would like to submit content to be featured on Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

Tara Linden

Holly 2_001 copy.jpg

Pictured above: Holly Giles at ~No Strings~

 

This week's featured artist is Holly Giles (pronounced 'Jiles'), a smooth crooner with an eclectic style hailing from Australia. She likes to sing country, rock, and pop from classic to contemporary and can be found at her venue ~No Strings~ each Tuesday and Saturday at 8pm SLT. (slurl for venue: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Areumdeuli/226/27/80)

Please check out her music on her website as well as this video.

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: In 2011 I joined an online chat platform called IMVU due to some personal stuff that forced me to be at home and unable to work. I ended up staying for 5 years. I heard about SL from some people at IMVU who were trying to convert some of us over, haha. I created an SL account in 2015 and kinda used both IMVU and SL for about a year until I decided that SL was more to my liking, with people around my own age. I was in SL for about 2 years before I even KNEW there was a Live Music Community lol, so once i discovered that, I gave away my IMVU account to a friend and I have never looked back.
 
Q: I really enjoyed your renditions of classic country songs. What drew you to that genre?
A: My music is actually very mixed genre, with country music only taking up about one third of my song list. I was raised on classic country music with my mum having her own band in my childhood, so I learnt my love of country from her and I always say that classic country is my soul music lol. But I do love all music so I tend to sing what I love, from classic country, classic rock, 90's pop and country, through to modern pop like Lady Gaga.
 
Q: As with any artistic style, country music has evolved so much over the last century. Which decade/era is your favourite, and why?
A: Oh that's easy. I love the old country. The Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn era of country. These country legends are like storytellers. Every song has a story. Every song has a purpose to it. I don't know how else to explain it. I can have my heart broken and find my story in a classic country song. I can feel overjoyed about something and find my happiness echoed in a classic country song. While I love all music and listen to even the most modernist of pop music, I personally just don't get that feeling from it. I get the happiness of an awesome beat, or well-written lyrics but yeah, not that feeling.
 
Q: If you could open for any musician (alive or deceased), who would it be?
A:I think a lot of people who follow my music would expect me to say Dolly Parton right now, and I thought I would too, but you know, I think I would LOVE to open for Bette Midler. Wow, what a musician she is. I think if I opened for Bette Midler, I could sing anything I wanted to before she took the stage. I could sing some James Brown, followed by a Dolly Parton song, followed by some Creedence lol. I wouldn’t be restricted to one genre, like I would be if I opened for Dolly, I feel.
 
Q: Do you ever get stage fright before performing in SL? Describe your preshow ritual.
A: OMG. I only started singing, I mean really singing in Second Life AND real life 2 years ago. The reason I never sang before is that I suffered MASSIVE stage fright. I would freeze up and my voice would go shaky if I tried to sing in front of anyone. It took a lot of help and compliments from online friends for me to get the courage to sing in Second Life. My very first show I was so nervous that I felt sick. But by halfway through I suddenly forgot that I was nervous and I just sang. I found the talking part a lot harder than the singing part lol. Now, I don't feel any nerves in Second Life, but am working on my nerves in RL lol.
 
Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: Without a doubt, the part I enjoy the most is singing a song and seeing in local things like “OMG I love this song!” or "Oh wow, I haven't heard this song in years!” I love getting requests, I love sharing my love of music with others. I love talking about how my mum used to sing this song or that song in her band while I slept under tables at the local pub. I love that 2 years ago I couldn't sing this song or that song, but that now with some practice under my belt, I can blast that song out like it's nothing. I love just being able to sing and the fact that people want to hear me sing still blows me away every time I open my mouth.

 

Thank you, Holly!
 

Tara Linden

Mike00 Carnell 02 copy.jpg

(photo courtesy of Mike00 Carnell)

This week’s featured artist is Mike00 Carnell, bringing us rock music with an infusion of upbeat blues guitar from Hamburg, Germany. For his performances in Second Life, he is usually accompanied by Henrietta the goat, pictured above. (She also has a RL counterpart.)

Check out his SoundCloud for some fun bops to start your week with!

Q: How and when did you hear about Second Life?
A: A friend from Skype told me about SL in 2007 and after a few weeks I decided to create an account. Her name is Amelle Loon.

Q: What instruments do you play and what brands/models do you prefer?
A: My main instrument is the guitar. At the SL music jams I also play bass and cachon/drums or percussion. The main brands for guitars I use are Fender, Gibson, Taylor and Martin and for amps Fender, Marshall and Roland (RL use).

Q: Your SoundCloud says you live in Germany. Can you tell us about some cool German musicians that people in other countries might not know about?
A: I’ve been to SL music jams or meetups in Germany, Netherlands, England, and USA, and I have met a lot of great musicians at all of them. The ones from Germany are Aminus Writer, Lani Aboma, Wolem Wobbit, Mark Taylor, Edy Rau and more. By now I call them all RL friends.

Q: I remember hearing "Without You" by Harry Nilsson and how much I loved it, and then my mind was blown even more when I heard "Si no estas tu," the Spanish version. Have you ever had a moment like that? How many languages do you sing in?
A: I know the feeling of suddenly hearing a song you know in another language. My preferred language for songs is English for some reason. In SL I sing in English and German. Some people are kinda surprised to hear songs in German in SL, which makes me smile.

Q: Tell us about the most memorable show you've played or seen in SL.
A: The most memorable shows are always the dual (greetings to KevinMThomas Carpool) or multi-streaming shows when you interact with one (or up to three) other musician(s) to create a full band live sound. It is so much fun and also challenging to all jam together.

Q: What is the most meaningful part of the SL music community to you?
A: The most meaningful part of the SL music community is that people from all over the world are connected together, and due to the time zones you can listen to live music almost 24/7. You can listen to all kinds of music, many languages, and accents. 
Especially these days, it’s very nice to have SL live music, you can still play gigs or listen to other musicians, being around people without risking anything.

 

Thanks so much, Mike00!

 

If you or somebody you know would like to be featured in Music Mondays, please fill out this form. Wait times on hearing a response will vary, as we have received an enthusiastic response from many talented musicians (to our delight, of course!).

Tara Linden

Gabriel da Silva 2 (1).jpg

(photo courtesy of Gabriel Nyoki)

 

Bringing us hard rock from Porto, Portugal, this week's featured artist is Gabryel Nyoki, who comes from generations of musicians. His foray into playing music started with playing covers until he amassed a loyal following, who then asked to hear more of his original songs. He is now creating and recording music as part of a power-trio and has gone on RL tours in the UK and Europe!

He has an abundance of online sources to hear his music:

Official website: www.gabrieldasilvamusic.com

VEVO

YouTube

 


Q: When and how did you hear about Second Life?
A: A magazine around 2007. I only joined later when I bought a faster computer.

Q: Your bio on your website says that you come from a family of musicians. Are there any similarities between your musical style and theirs?
A: My father's father built and played almost all instruments all by himself. Most of my family, my uncles, aunts, and cousins play and sing a variety of genres, but not rock.
My father was dedicated to electric guitar so eventually I dedicated myself to hard rock, my favorite, although I have over 3,000 gigs in different genres and instruments.

Q: Your music is incredibly polished and well-produced. It's clear that you've been honing your craft for a while. Could you tell us about the brands/models of instruments you use and why you prefer them?
A: What I use is humble, I am an electronics and IT engineer and experienced a long curve of courses both in music theory and music production, bringing the best I can out of each to my own flavor.
I have two electric guitars, a steel acoustic, a nylon acoustic, one rock bass guitar, two Yamaha keyboards, a vintage drum set, and I invest a lot in the digital audio world inside Apple products.
My main guitar and the one heard in my latest album is actually a PRS made of paper!

Q: You've signed with an agency and have toured in the UK and Europe. Did you have to cancel any real world shows due to COVID? And has the pandemic affected your ability to practice with your band members?
A: Yes and yes. All plans were canceled.
 
Q: You hail from Porto, Portugal. Do you feel that Portuguese rock has any characteristics that differ from rock music in other cultures?
A: In some genres yes, not in rock, no. And my music is 99% in English as we tour in different continents and not specifically for Portuguese people. Portuguese people enjoy international rock a lot!

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: Being able to connect directly with different people around the globe so fast.
I share and learn so much, and that is priceless. Everyday I extend my fan base through rock fans around the globe with Second Life, and I love delivering them good vibes and entertainment. We have over 10k fans in SL.

Please take a look at his calendar for upcoming Second Life concerts. He suggests the Solarwinds Music Concert as it is moderate.

More of his content can be found here:

Facebook SL

Facebook RL

Music video

Flickr SL

Twitter: @gabrieldamusic

Instagram: gabrieldasilvamusic

Thank you, Gabryel! 

 

If you or someone you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

 

 

Tara Linden

Suzen Juel MM.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Juel Resistance)

This week’s featured artist is Juel Resistance (you may know her as Suzen Juel), whose creative output consists of soulful music as well as dreamy visual art.

Please visit her Spotify and this awesome RL video of her playing music. We hope you check out her calendar to catch her live inword!

She posts some amazing photos in a variety of styles on Flickr, and more information can be found on her website. If you’d like to experience some of her artwork inworld, head on over to Altered.

 

Q: When and how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I was playing an online game with a friend called The Sims Online. He told me to check out Second Life, so I did. I created Juel Edison and explored the vast spaces and just couldn't figure out what to make of it.  While I was exploring I met another friend that I kept in touch with and eventually I just lost interest. In 2005 my SL friend said, “JUEL, COME BACK, there is live music in SL now!” I told him he was full of s*** haaa, and I came back as… well, me.


Q: What instruments do you play, and how did you first become interested in music?
A: I had a thing for the organ at my grandma's house when I was about 4ish. It had all those fun bossa nova, samba, cymbals sounds, so I'd putz around on it, playing what I would hear on the radio. Mom would sometimes play it with me, she had taken lessons when she was young.  I lost interest… at about 13 I found a guitar in my grandparents’ attic, a tiny one. I ran downstairs: “PAPA!” He smiled and said, “I made that the year you were born, it's yours… go play it!” I loved that guitar and I was going to learn it… so I got some books and taught myself for a while, eventually taking lessons until my guitar teacher asked me to sing and play “Delta Dawn.” I slowly packed up my little guitar, walked home, and never went back. I was mortified. SING? I'm NOT going to SING in FRONT of YOU! OMG! That was that.  I really haven't put it down since. I also have a ukulele that I love, but I don't really play it as much. I dabble around on harmonica and also have my mom's banjo, which I would like to learn as well. Oh, and I whistle, that's important too!


Q: The painter Wassily Kandinsky was known to experience synesthesia and expressed hearing music as he painted, associating colors with distinct musical notes. As a visual artist, do you ever feel that your paintings are informed by your music, or vice versa?
A: It's interesting that you bring up this question! When I was a preteen or so, I would listen to music, what kid didn't, right? My mom had come into my room and asked what I was doing. So I said without hesitation, "I'm drawing the sounds: this is the bass, this is the drum, this is the guitar," She just said, “Ok… interesting.” I didn't find out until many years later that this is synesthesia. It has had a profound impact on my art and music. I often paint in what I'm seeing or hearing from music with a good bass line, like trip hop. It's full of vibrant imagination to me.
My own music doesn't really make me see colors, more shapes...closing my eyes when I perform is like a putting up the big screen theater, haha.


Q: While there have been many incredible female Blues and Americana figures, the mainstream image of the "greats" of these genres is predominantly men. Please share some underrated female musicians that you feel we should know about.
A: I'm a sucker for female songwriters. Lucinda Williams tells some soulful stories in her lyrics. She's relatable, she gets it. Holly Williams. Mary Gauthier. Rory Block. Beth Hart. They all have serious soul, edge, and guts.


Q: A huge obstacle to gender equality in the arts is the notion that many see female/non-binary experiences as only interesting to them, but male experiences as universal. Do you try to make your work universally appealing, or do you aim for a niche audience?
A: I do quirky little cartoon drawings called 'inkies.' They can have curly hair or long hair and they always have a shirt on. Someone once asked why they are all female and I said, “Nooo, they aren't, they are gender neutral.” And as I'm grinning, I realized  that no one has ever questioned this before in my inkies. As far as music goes, I write what I write and hope someone else finds it relatable, I hope someone feels something. I hope people find a little release, be it funny or sad or any other emotion. I tend not to create things to be universally appealing, it's quite personal and very much a niche audience.


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: That we are a global community all in one little world called Second Life. We are music and art driven, we support each other with all the unique gifts we have. It's a great community that I fall more and more in love with every time.
 
Thank you, Juel. Keep it up!

 

Tara Linden

Nina Setner.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Nina Setner)

This week’s featured artist is Nina Setner, an incredibly talented singer with a broad range: jazz, cabaret, vintage and current pop/R&B, musical theater, and opera. She is a lifelong lover of music and has studied vocal performance in university, record stores, and beyond.

Her music can be found on her YouTube channel, as well as SoundCloud.

Q: When and how did you find out about Second Life?
 
A: I'm an oldie in SL--I'm coming up on my 13th rez day this October, which seems particularly insane to me. Back in 2007, my life changed radically because I'd had my first child earlier that year. Going out with the girls had been replaced with staying home with the baby, so all of a sudden I found myself without much of a social outlet. One night we happened to be watching a now ancient episode of CSI with a storyline in which SL featured, I was intrigued, and here I am--though to be fair, I would say that in addition to the life-changing relationships I've made along the way, it's the music first and foremost that has kept me here. It has always been my touchstone, in both lives. 
 
Q: You sing in a wide variety of styles, two of which are jazz and cabaret. For people unfamiliar with these genres, how would you describe the difference? 
 
A: Oh wow, great question--I'll do my best! In the simplest terms possible, jazz is a musical style, and cabaret is a performance style. Jazz requires a lot of imagination and willingness to experiment and be fluid with rhythm, time signature, melody--but often within a pretty strict framework. In order to excel at it, I think you have to be brave and give into the process. You can't scat sing or improvise 8 bars timidly--you have to go in with your whole heart. Cabaret on the other hand is a more intimate performance setting, as opposed to a larger theater or arena, etc. It can be free form (on the piano bar end) or it can be scripted ahead of time in a more formal cabaret club, but in both settings, singers are enjoying a rapport and a connection with their audience, either by telling them a story through songs they've chosen ahead of time or engaging with them off the cuff. Cabaret singers commit hundreds--thousands, actually--of songs to memory, because in a setting like that, you need to be ready and able to sing requests from multiple genres, jazz certainly being one of them. 
 
Q: You mentioned that you are a mother. How do you balance your creative outlets with raising kids, and do they like music as well? 
 
A: I was a regular in the club circuit here in Chicagoland where I reside in the days before I had my kids.  When I stumbled into SL, I had NO clue about the live music community or potential opportunity to continue performing at a high level, but thankfully I found out pretty quickly.  While they were little, I had to keep my schedule incredibly light--one, maybe two shows a week tops.  As they've gotten older and can entertain themselves for an hour (though everyone who follows me regularly has heard my kids in the background *far* more often than I'd like over the years!), I've been able to increase that show load. My kids are young  musicians as well, but neither of them enjoy singing. Apparently they're “too shy.”  I keep hoping that'll magically change one day.  Fingers crossed!
 
Q: When books are adapted into films, there are always purists who say the source material was better. Has there been a film adaptation of a musical that you feel should only be experienced live in the theater?
 
A: Another fantastic question. I think musicals that are more on the visual spectacle end--for example, The Lion King--I think that those are best appreciated live and in person. It's difficult to transfer the director's vision to the screen in those circumstances. I'm also a bit of a Sondheim fanatic/purist, so while I've been really happy to see his work getting the wide exposure and recognition it deserves through film adaptations of Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd, nothing takes the place of seeing Sondheim done as Sondheim intended. On the flip side, some musicals transfer brilliantly--the film version of West Side Story is still, for me, the one to beat.  I have yet to see a live performance of it (or any other movie musical) that I liked more. 
 
Q: Did you study music or are you self-trained?
 
A: At this point, it feels like I've been studying it my whole  life. I started playing piano as a young kid and added voice lessons to the mix during my early teen years. Those piano lessons really helped shape my ear and broaden my repertoire beyond what I even understood at the time (I was playing Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and songs like it back in high school out of random piano collections I'd pick up at the local music store--who knew I'd still be singing those songs 30 years later?) I did study music in college--I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and hold degrees in both choral music education and vocal performance, and I'm still studying today--that never stops!
 
Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
 
A: So, so many things. What SL and the music community in particular have added to my life and work as a musician is sort of incalculable. But I think reaching out over thousands of miles, making those connections and sharing your art and your passion with people you never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise? I think that's pretty damn special. I hope we're here for years to come.


 
Thank you so much, Nina!
 
Don’t forget to check out her calendar for upcoming performances, and her group in SL.
 
 
If you or someone you know would like to sign up to be featured in Music Mondays, please fill out this form. For more information, take a look at our official announcement.

Tara Linden

This week’s featured musical artist is Komuso Tokugawa, whose work defies easy categorization. His style has evolved over many years of studying music to the molecular level and is also deeply informed by his travels and different cultures.

KomusoLesPaulRed300dpi (1).jpg

(Photo Courtesy of Komuso Tokugawa)

 

Q: When and how did you discover Second Life?

A: In 2005 I was in Australia researching game based learning and heard about SL. At the time they didn't allow international signups. Eventually they opened it up and I signed up. I quickly discovered there were a handful of musicians live streaming into SL and that sounded interesting (literally!) so I got to work (with the help of some great SL collaborators) and started jamming too. There are a few of those original musicians still jamming in SL too!

 

Q: You describe your music as Bitstream Boogie and Bluestronica. For those not familiar with these terms, could you please describe them?

A: I have a lot of musical interests, and I like doing mashups of different genres to create new hybrid musical genres to go with my experiments into new sounds and instruments. Bitstream Boogie I'd describe as a mix of groove-based Mississippi Hill country blues blended with world music roots rhythms and sonic experimentation around a core of blues tone. Bluestronica is a mix of electronica grooves with electric blues. I've also done a lot of ambient music work.

 

Q: What drew you to these genres? Any albums you would suggest?

A: Great question! If I had to describe my style in a short sentence I’d say it’s all about Groove, Tone, and Story. The groove is the heartbeat of the song, the tone is the emotion expressed through instruments/voice, and the story is the composition and arrangement flow that takes the listener on a journey. Any music that has those three elements captures my mind, body, and spirit.

There are so many great influences but to pick a few: 

-Ali Farka Toure & Ry Cooder - Talking Timbuktu

-Morcheeba - Who can you Trust?

-Younger Brother: A Flock of Bleeps

-Atomic Skunk & Bluetech - anything by them

-The Blues Roots: Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Hound Dog Taylor, Etta James, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and so many more.

 

Q: What instruments do you play, and how did you start playing music?

I sing and play slide guitar mainly (with a dose of finger style and pick), harmonica (mainly in a rack), Shakuhachi, and electronics of different types via different control interfaces. I developed a dynamically controlled AI rhythm section as backing for playing online in SL.

My parents had an extensive record collection so I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and big band music. Then one night I was trawling the airwaves on my radio (a device we had back pre-internet days) and out of the static came this sound I'd never heard before - the crying sound of a blues harmonica and it captivated me with the emotion. I'd found the weekly blues show from a university radio station, and I was off on a musical discovery journey.

I'm mainly self taught but I've since done a music master’s degree. My experience being a self taught musician has also been behind my development of music education apps like https://harpninja.com/. I'm currently in the alpha testing stage of a new web app I'm developing to help musicians practice more efficiently and effectively.

 

Q: Your music draws from musical styles found all over the world. How did you learn about these?

A: A big part of it was the uni radio station I mentioned before, they had specialist shows of different genres you never typically heard: African, folk, world music, etc. When I went to uni there I volunteered for graveyard announcer shifts and spent them exploring their eclectic album library. Since then I've lived all over the world (now in Tokyo) and have explored many musical cultures.

 

Q: What aspects of the SL music community are the most meaningful to you?

A: SL music has always been the "killer app" of SL to me due to its effectiveness in bringing diverse people together to create long term virtual relationships through the high bandwidth emotional channel of live music. 

Some examples:

-Venue owners like Dr. John Kane, owner of Dr. John's Music Park (and also a great musician!), where I've been performing a weekly gig every Friday night since 2013.  There's been a bunch of other great venue owners and promoters over the years (RIP Circe Broom).

-Real time music jams/collaborations with other musicians, like fellow SL musicians Hathead Rickenbacker, Noma Falta, and others. An example of one real time networked live music event in a custom juke joint set I made, filmed by the late great SL Machinima artist Osprey Therian (RIP).

-The audience relationships. I'm forever grateful to anyone who's willing to listen to my musical experiments, and happy it can help soothe their soul. It's as much musical therapy for me as it is for the audience. Many of them are long-time SL'ers who I've never met in real life but we come together via SL to have a high touch emotional connection experience via live music. 

-One of my audience wrote this about me which I think describes my style best: “Komuso Tokugawa’s approach to the blues is unique. The rough-around-the-edges sound is often described as ‘dirty’, ‘grungy’ or ‘alternative.’ Highly experimental, Komuso takes influences from world music and wraps them around the emotionally charged blues core to create his sound.”

 

Please check out his music below!

 

Websites

https://komuso.info/

https://sonicviz.com/

 

Audio Links

SoundCloud

https://hearthis.at/sonicviz/

 

Videos

https://komuso.info/category/videos/

Tara Linden

Novel Popinjay MM Logo.png

This week on “Music Mondays,” we are featuring Novel Popinjay, a Second Life veteran who creates rap and hip hop tracks that encompass a broad range of moods and tones. His music is perfect for a long summer drive, with some songs being smooth and dreamy and others infused with an upbeat tempo and lyrics laced with confident and candid expression. He is adept at sampling snippets of dialogue and speeches that make it easy for listeners to visualize each detailed moment. 

Definitely check out his SoundCloud and music video to experience it for yourself! 

Q: When and how did you discover Second Life?

A: It's been so many years, I don't even remember how I got on here. I’m 14 years on SL.

Q: You described your music as rap, trap, and hip hop. For those unfamiliar with these genres, rap and hip hop are often seen as interchangeable. In your words, how would you distinguish them as two unique categories?

A: I feel rappers more so want the fame and money, and hip-hop is more so emcees and they love the craft. I feel like I possess both hats. I love the craft and I also have that flashy trendy vibe with my music.

Q: How did you first get involved in making music, and what instruments and/or programs do you use?

A: I record in ProTools. I mix and master my music as well as my artist’s music. I co own a record label with ym hollies called Hoolyville Records. Hoolyville Records consists of 10 artists.

Q: Tell us about the musicians that have been the most influential to you.

A: Sade, Tony Tony Tone, Papoose, Eminem, TI, Donell Jones, R. Kelly, 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, and Big L, in no specific order. I love all genres of music actually and have no favorites. I appreciate different styles for different moods.

Q: What aspects of the SL music community are the most meaningful to you?

A: Live performances, urban DJs and strip clubs. Also shout out to the brothers Kappa Theta Phi!!!

Q: What advice would you give to a young musician who is just starting out?

A: Take your craft seriously, be consistent, humble, hungry, and professional.

 

Thank you so much for sharing, Novel Popinjay! We look forward to hearing your voice continue to evolve and flourish.

Tara Linden

Last week we announced the beginning of Music Mondays, a new weekly initiative to spotlight the diverse talents of the musicians of Second Life. 

Our first featured musician is Quartz, whose eclectic style is sure to have something for everyone. Some of you may already know of him, as he has been a Resident and fixture of the SL music scene for quite some time. A talented multi-instrumentalist, his musical style is classic, indie, and progressive rock. As with any devoted artist, his style has evolved over the years, and we encourage you to check it out.

Music-Monday_SimplyQ.png

(Photo courtesy of DupliCat)

A selection of his music is available on ReverbNation and HearNow, as well as some videos on YouTube.

Q: What was the first record you ever bought?

A: Hmmm... that's a toughy. I think it was Quadrophenia by The Who. Might have been Pink Floyd’s Animals. First Queensryche EP? The soundtrack to Heavy Metal? I still have all of these.

Q: When and how did you discover Second Life?

A: I saw a show on TV about SL and I thought "That looks cool!" After I signed up, I found out you could actually perform music to an audience. Double cool. And off I went...

Q: What instruments do you play and how did you first become interested in making music?

A: Keyboards, electric guitar (lead & bass), acoustic guitar, drums, voice, still working on harmonica. How? I took, I think, three or four guitar lessons when I was young then I stopped. Then out of those, I figured out how to play "Squeeze Box" by The Who. After that, I couldn't stop. Still can't. Once I start working on something, I just go and go. I don't know what I'd do without music.

Q: Describe your favorite experience as a musician in SL.

A: It's hard to pick one. Out of recent memory, it's doing the Pink Floyd tribute shows with Skyfire (ParticleTom Nova and Lexi Marshdevil). Tom & Lexi are so talented and creative and their particles look stunning with the music of Floyd. I love that we can combine two arts into one show. Stay tuned... Pink Floyd's "The Wall" show is coming soon :) My other favourite experience is dualing with Max Kleene. Sadly, I don't have time to dual a lot, but I really enjoy my shows with Max; we're just two crazy Canucks having fun. I highly encourage you to check out dual shows (2 or more musicians). It's a very cool experience.

Q: If you could open for any musician, who would it be?

A: Peter Gabriel. I'd actually be happy having a tea with him to say thank you for all he's done. An artist beyond time and scope.

Q: What aspects of the SL music community are the most meaningful to you?

A: The support of the fans in SL for live music and the arts. In RL, it's so hard to generate an audience appreciative of performing artists to come to the shows. I have some really great fans that come out consistently and support me & the SLive Music venues. I'm very grateful for all of them. I've been told I have some of the best fans out there by venue owners. That makes me very happy.

Q: Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, there's been a lot of talk on the internet about how all the extra time at home we have could be put to creative use. That can feel like a lot of pressure, and it's important to acknowledge that it's okay to just focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this uniquely stressful time. What are your thoughts on that, and has your creative output been impacted by these circumstances?

A: My creative output has remained pretty much the same. I keep the same hours. I do miss being able to play with my RL band for live shows. But for everyone to be safe, those will have to wait. I did finally get my EP finished though. And up on the Spotify/iTunes thingy. So maybe my output has been impacted. I'd rather everyone stay safe and do their best to help others stay safe. This will be over. Might not be next week. But it will pass.

 

Quartz would also like to give a shoutout to his management team. His manager, DupliCat, has been by his side from the beginning, and he would also like to give a huge thank you to Liz Harley, Laurie Alexis and the entire Keys Management Group (KMG)

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us, Quartz!

Please check out his calendar for information on his upcoming shows.

Tara Linden

Announcing Music Mondays


Music Mondays

Music-Monday_tri.png

(Photos by ๖̶̶̶̶ۣۣۜۜζ͜͡ ƝЄƛԼ๑̶̶ۣ.Ryanna •{ The ImageMaker, and Roman Godde)

We are very excited to announce a brand new initiative that aims to highlight the many talented musicians of Second Life. Our virtual world has a thriving community of artists who span a vibrant range of styles. At any moment in Second Life, you’ll find live music performances occurring across the many clubs and venues that are a key part of the fabric that makes up the Second Life community. We feel that the music scene in Second Life deserves wider recognition and promotion -- and that’s why we’ve created Music Mondays. 

Beginning next week, we will be spotlighting a different musician in a blog post published each Monday. This is your chance to discover and celebrate the musicians of Second Life as we share insightful background information, interview questions, and links to their music and/or videos. As many of you know, there are hundreds of music oriented regions and venues in SL. We hope to spread awareness of this active scene, as the calendar of live performances is brimming with excitement. In the near future, we’ll start to showcase some artists on our recurring talk show “Lab Gab,” too!

If you would like to be featured, or have a recommendation, please fill out this form.

 

×
×
  • Create New...