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The Incredible Second Life Orchestra

by Netera Landar
Published December 30, 2011

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Sometimes when you’re covering one story, it leads to another. This was the case when I was shooting photos of the Metaverse Music Expo. Eleanor Medier, a fellow Second Life journalist, and I, were lining up the best camera angles when we were invited to see Bones Writer, Lillith Siamendes, Jimmi Rubble’s new project. Never one to turn away from a lead, I accepted the teleport. Eleanor did also.

As my computer adjusted to the new location, my eyes could hardly believe what I was seeing. Surely it can’t be a complete symphony orchestra in a bandshell? But it was. Bones Writer, a session player for 35 years, mentor to numerous Second Life musicians, and the owner of Trax proudly stands before us ready to share this musical masterpiece. We were sincerely impressed.

“I’m a musician, so I always wanted to do something more,” explained Writer. “I’m trying to make instruments to teach music and Reslez (Steeplechase) wanted to do something to consolidate the music industry here. I’ve been running Trax for five years. Hundreds of people have been coming here. One hundred and sixty are involved in music.”

One thing that has bothered Bones is that more people seem interested in jumping on a pose ball to dance, then learning about music.

Through their united effort, they have created a 3D orchestra of interactive instruments hoping educational institutions will include it as part of their curriculum. Bones was responsible for the band shell’s form and Lillith textured it. The trio hopes to be able to export the orchestra to other live music venues and other grids.

Lillith explained that the interaction at this point would be to touch an instrument and the action would direct you to a wiki page: interactive education with a click of the mouse. The other application has even greater potential and that is encouraging symphonies to record an individual track and then email it to Bones. The musical submissions could then be presented on Second Life. Someone sitting in a seat and physically moving the instrument is also possible. They are capable of doing what can be scripted, such as having a string quartet with piano accompaniment.

“We’re having fun with this,” Bones mentioned. “We’re not trying to sell anything. This is going to take a lot of time to finish. We’re rather ambitious about our ideas and we’re going to have to try to build everything keeping in mind the ability to import.”

An interesting side note is that Bones is going to have a show in real life New York this year. It’s a rock musical by the people who produce the Trans-Siberian Orchestra based on “The Tale of Two Cities.” He’s been finishing rewrites and is in the process of raising capital.

“It’s always a waiting game. Everything takes time to come together,” he added.

Bones Writer is also the co-founder of “SecondLife Musicians for Kids” with Rastaman Sorbet. It is a group of musicians that have decided to use their abilities and talent to do something extraordinary and help raise money for Childhood Cancer research. They are partnered with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to make this possible.  (www.alexslemondae.org)

 

 

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