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Editorial: Performing is Key’s Passion

by Netera Landar
Published October 7, 2012

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Key Drammond listened to his sister’s friend play an acoustic guitar during a dinner reception, at a very young age. Her voice was angelic, along with her soothing guitar, and it motivated him to become a singer and guitarist.

“I tried learning the piano from my sister and a few formal lessons,” said Key, who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is currently living in Los Angeles. He works in manufacturing and quality engineering.  “I drove my brother crazy while I practiced scales, coming out of his bedroom, he asked me to knock it off.  That ended my interest in piano for a time.”

Key took music theory in high school and later enrolled in music notation and voice classes. He returned to learning piano and picked up classical guitar courses. Next came Jazz choir for a semester and a chance to see Larry Carlton speak at a graduation ceremony. Larry is one of his favorite jazz fusion guitarists.

During those early performance years, he was involved in Hawaiian acts, college events, private parties, weddings, attempted multi-track recording, event catering and a solo career.

Key has performed at numerous live venues in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Using his Aloha Island roots, he blends styles from Kalapana, Cecilio and Kapono, America, Crosby Stills, Nash and Young, Laura Nyro, Michael Franks, John Mayer and The Beatles. He shows a fondness for parody with songs and his music is a hybrid that integrates edge distortion guitar into his many ballads demanding escape from being commercially correct.

“I’m still trying to absorb elements of the blues from Memphis and New Orleans.  Then there is the hip-hop scene that I wish I could play convincingly.  I’ll recruit my soul sisters to help me, will call ourselves, “Key and the Tick Tak’s,” he kidded.

Key learned about Second Life through different online video chat rooms. There he met other singer-guitarists through jam fests. Some came in-world and he followed them feeling he could perform in both.

“SL won out eventually as I enjoyed the structure required in preparation and execution in performance.  I noticed personal improvements especially in my approach toward songs and expression.  It really accelerated my growth as a performer,” he stated.

Within a few months, he established gigs with the assistance of his real life friends already in SL. His friend, Barby, introduced him to venue owners and then he finished off her set. This gave him the exposure he needed to prove himself and eventually led to hundreds of bookings.

Key says performing in SL requires much more focus then casual turns in a video chat room. He feels it is one of the closer expressions of live performances aside from canned animations.

“I would expect that with advances in technology, animations will mimic the real life movements transmitted to the avatar with options to blend in degrees of animation overrides,” he said. “Sometimes I need to remember to keep things real as possible but always interesting.”

And what has he learned since he rezzed into SL?

“I have learned not to over estimate what I try to do in the short term.  Trying to be steady in process of original song development and putting my own spin on cover tunes. I’m building a larger repertoire over a longer period.”

As for his schedule, he performs on SL on weeknights Monday through Thursday, sometimes on Friday. He  performs at the Drunken Drow, Nudist Paradise, Whiskey A-Go Go, Acoustic Garden and other popular SL venues. His real life gigs are sometimes booked on Saturdays or he sets aside quality time for family and good friends. If you want to book him for a gig, contact Brandi Belgar.

“Performing has been my passion in life, sharing music, and interacting with people is such a great opportunity.  My nine to five job helps keep my internet running and gives me more to share with all the people I care about,” he said.

Other News: Just wanted you all to know that one of SL’s favorite venue owners, Liz Harley, had a grand opening celebration for Dreamcatcher Oct. 6 and it continues Oct. 7 on InWorldz. The fabulous stage is the creation of Fushia Nightfire and it was adored by all.  Fushia  created  a unique build. It’s actually an artist holding two painting palettes. Saw lots of familiar faces there: Russell Eponym, Maximillion Kleene, who performed. I wasn’t able to stay to see Lisa Brune because of an invitation for another InWorldz event. Syd Baddingham, Sedonajane Silverpath, Prowess Rayna and Fuschia were among the 20 present when I was there. I even saw Kings Blindside, a well-known InWorldz resident. Hope to sit down with Liz soon to talk about her expansion.

 

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