Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Second Second Snow Crash with Second Front...

Here I am after snorting probably L$300 of coke which was probably most if not all of our budget from Zones Contemporary Artfair in Miami that was designated for that night's Second Front performance, now that I think about it. I had what was probably the virtual equivalent of mild and temporary form of pixellated heart failure. Fortunately, I could wade in the hot tub to revive myself if I wanted to or maybe just snort back some more lines to get myself back on track. Hmmm... Maybe I will have to consult Eno's Oblique Strategies book one more time as it seems to contain many LINES of wisdom... I must have left the snow tray just at the moment the book chimed in with the words, "you seriously need to check into rehab!" Sigh!

Hey there...uh.....SNORT!....uh....Hey....SNIFF!

Phew! I am stil recovering from my performance with Second Front called "Art Basel Miami Vice" that was part of the Zonal Contemporary Artfair in Miami! This show was also part of the TELECULTURE exhibition sponsored via Pace Gallery and many others...

Well, this posting is really only meant to be a pointer to check out the official blog posting at the Second Front blog.

Before I either:
1) Collapse in my tracks...
2) Call my dealer ASAP...

I should at least show you some more exclusive and scandalous photos from that event before I do either (and/or) some (or all) of the above...

Here I am doing some more lines of coke on the upstairs roof-top patio of our Snow Crash pad in Miami (Locusolus in SL). It at this point that my limo driver Blued Food (the bald dude in this pic) joined me to receive the "payment" for his limo driving services...all we had left to pay him was usage of some of the cocaine itself...sigh!

Here I am doing more lines of coke while heeding the equally coked-out advice of Oblique Strategies. I mean, this deck of cards must seriously be high on its own lines because with each snort that I made, its wisdom was becoming gradually less contextually related to the act of snorting. By the time this pic was taken, the book no longer focused on the task at hand but lazily reclined and spouted what it knew about best - ambient music...sigh! I think it was starting to believe its own zen-fortified ego.

As mentioned in the Second Front blog posting about this event, Blued did a great job of hovering the limo Blade-Runner style up to the rooftop patio of our villa. I just figured I should post an extra pic of it on my blog since I had taken a pic of this from a slightly different angle.

This pic was taken in the orgy room where we temporarily dogpiled onto the coke-tray while waiting for more to rez. This was when things kinda got outta hand (understatement of the month). Olga Wunderlich's question as to whether or not we were doing a performance is actually a very good one - Second Front will wait to see whether or not the critics considered this winter snowfall excessfest to be an innovative form of Performance Art or perhaps even a Social Sculpture Installation or my personal favourite, a Happening...Well, at any rate, the event was indeed "happening" while it lasted... Maybe it is time I check into rehab now that the party of 2007 has come to close...Oh wait, there may be more lines ready for me at some New Years party in SL....hmmmm....SNIFF! SNORT!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My first Second SnowCrash...

This pic was taken on a nice corner of Sugar Mountain (Odyssey Island) just as the interview with Sunnie Beaumont from Krystal Epic was about to start...It seemed contemplative to begin with but I knew that Fau Ferdinand would be arriving shortly with the chance that she might also bring along some lines of snow...things can only go up/down-hill from there, right?

Hey there Snow FLakes, coke fiendz, powder people and SLutbunny SLopecones!

I admit that this blog posting is a couple of days old which in Second Life Time (SLT) makes it seem like I wrote this sometime in the 1980s ;-)

The title of this posting is a tribute to the famous in-world Italian photographer, Marco Manray who has a website called My First Second Life. He was at Second Front's performance today in Miami but I should save the details of what actually happened for my next blog posting...

In the meantime, here is a little recap as to what happened directly after the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse's landmark concert at Wien Modern in Vienna...

Sunnie Beaumont (the reporter from Krystal Epic) requested an interview with both myself and my colleague Fau Ferdinand since we were both nominated for being the "Best Performing Artists in Second Life". Originally, she wanted to interview us on seperate occasions but since Fau offered to bring along some of her new supply of nose candy, I just HAD to be interviewed simultaneously with Fau :-)

Here are some more photos....

Sunnie did not realize that her next interviewee that was also nominated for the Best Performing Artist was also in Second Front with me...I quickly made that point clear to her as I prefer to be interviewed alongside one of my colleagues and great friends...and besides, she confirmed that some powder was on its way to sugar-coat this little side of the mountaintop...yaaay!

Sure enough, Fau delivered on her promise of supplying us with some party treats and next thing you know, my fragile ego was off the hook and my nimble body was floored flat! And to think that moments ago, I was performing with the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse at a civil concert at Wien Modern in Vienna! This was starting to feel more like a backstage event for a rock (emphasis on "rock") concert.... The question from Sunnie was "how do you create" but I think the real answer on my mind was "how many lines can I have for free from Fau before I have to buy some more for myself?" Admittedly, my mind (and nose) was no longer focused on the interview questions...sorry about that, Sunnie! SNIFF! SNORT!

Here is a close-up of one of the rare moments where I actually looked away from the cocaine tray to try and focus on the interview questions... Yes, I was pathetic, I know but what could I do? I could not resist the offer! Isn't this how interviews usually go right after a grueling academic concert?

I left some of the chat-window open for you to read the content of the interview...I had no idea how I was able to appear coherant throughout the interview....When this pic was taken, I was starting to have a very serious snow crash. Fau was very civil, she let me have most of her THAT is serious willpower! :-)

I think Sunnie's quote here was pretty much right on target. By the time that another Second Front colleague Man Michinaga arrived for some lines, I think I had gotten a over-passionate ;-) So first off, I apologize to my colleagues for getting a little out of hand and now that I am sober enough to blog about this event, I should also add for the record that I do not ALWAYS think that I am best SL Performing Artist to have ever existed! ;-)

Anyways, that particular Snow Crash had gotten me well-primed and pumped for Second Front's Miami Vice performance that happened for the Teleculture show at the Zonal Contemporary Artfair in Miami (RL) earlier today. All I remember at the moment was that it was also projected at the Atlantic Basin Project launch in St. Johns, Newfoundland. When I finally come down from that blurry party blizzard (probably a only few seconds from now...sigh!) I will recollect my best memories from it and blog it in the next posting. :-)


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Avatar Orchestra Metaverse at Wien Modern!

Hey there Graphic Scorekeepers, Electronic Conductors and Wagnerian Wienerphiles!

Yes! Finally, the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse have played perhaps their highest profile blockbuster show in RL so far by scoring a gig (pardon the pun) at none other than the ultimate showcase for all those "Modernist" yet still "Contemporary Classical" composers, Wien Modern. I am sure you know that Vienna is musically speaking, the cultural capital of the Western World (not to be confused with merely the Westcoast World). So to be a historical part of this city's most important contemporary music festival is sure a even beats Darmstadt!

The Orchestra's founder, Maximillian Nakamura was there in Vienna in RL to ensure that everything went along smoothly and on time. Thanks Max! :-)

Here is the official history and mandate of the festival that occurs throughout various cultured sites in Vienna:

"Following an initiative of Claudio Abbado, since 1988 international composers, artists, interpreters and ensembles have been invited to present the wide variety and artistic creativity in the world of sound. Wien Modern is a festival of contemporary music - and also provides a platform for Modern Dance, new visuals, texts and film.

Since 1988 international composers, artists, interpreters and ensembles have been invited here so that all the different artistic facets connected to the world of sound can be experienced. Wien Modern is a festival of contemporary music - and also provides a platform for Modern Dance, new visuals, texts and film."

Oooops! I noticed that Wien Modern quoted itself at least once in that body of official text...oh well, more excuses for me to place some hyperlinks in there but maybe they should rename themselves, Wien Postmodern? ;-)

Anyway, instead of an overture, the Orchestra played full-length versions of 4 original compositions (well 5 if you include the Birthday Encore..ummm..I guess that does not qualify as "original"...does it?). Two of the 4 compositions were World (both SL and RL) Premieres! Here is a quick summary of all them in chronological order...


Photo by Evo Szuyuan.Just have a look at the pattern on the floor! Wow! Just looking at that pattern reminds me of being at Wien Modern!

Takahe's composition is part of the AOM's standard repetoire and is still extremely fun to play. For this performance, we interacted with Second Front co-member Gazira Babeli's installation called Come Together. After sticking together, we branched out across Virtual Haidplatz like pollen snagged by bees strung out on Viagara!

It really was an epic and sublime sight to see and unless there is a forthcoming video and audio document of it...well...I guess you just HAD to have been there ;-)


Click here to listen to the live audio recording of Ursonata.

The composer Maximillian had two very special HUD interfaces designed. The stripey horizontal bar on the bottom of the screen allowed me to change the fricative sound effects that was triggered by my gun. The tiny square buttons on the right of the screen corresponded to different fricative syllables and drone samples that I could also improvise with.

As I mentioned earlier, Maxi (not to be confused with Maxxo) is the founder of the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse. Without him, we are nothing ;-) Maxi (as his alter-ego Shintaro Miyazaki) lives in Berlin in RL these days so fortunately he was local enough to check out the Wien Modern performance first hand. He was even able to share a coffee break or two with Wien Modern's curator, Berno Odo Polzer. I think it was Berno himself who invited the Orchestra to play. He was also the one who mentioned that the Production Coordinator named Barbara Lebitsch was having her birthday so Maxi and Berno planned a special surprise birthday encore...well, more on that later but lets focus for now on Maxi's 2nd AOM composition and its World(s) premiere.

This piece Ursonata is both an ode to Kurt Schwitter's classic Merz era equivalent to slam poetry and Gazira Babeli's installation of the same name which Second Front (my other group) used for our performance of The Gate at iMAL in Brussels a couple of months ago. that I think of it, Maxi also used Gaz's mutation script which was used in Second Front's Spawn of the Surreal performance that took place almost a year! I guess I was serious when I said that the festival should have really been called Wien Postmodern!

At any rate, it was a very fun piece and it reminds me of the days in RL when I was a music composition student at Uvic. My teacher at the time, Christopher Butterfield is quite well known around the globe for his performance of Ursonate ("Ursonata" in English).


Photo by Evo Szuyuan.Here is an of the ferris wheel.

Click here to listen to the live audio recording of Riesenrad.

Ok, my own composition also had a World(s) Premiere at Wien Modern. I have already blogged about it in the post below this one so you may as well just go there. To summarize, it was a Maximinimalist (cross between Maximalist and Minimalist) ode to all the classic and modern Vienna-based composers and is probably currently getting derided by the critics as being more Fantasia than Fantasia.

Speaking of Vienna-based composers, I sure wish our Orchestral colleague Gumnosphistai Nurmi had his own composition called "Avatars Brew" ready because he certainly has had direct experience with channeling the Greatest Composer Ever To Live in Vienna (well, until Falco).


Click here to listen to the live audio recording of Wee No Kresh.

Photo by Digital Randt.

It was Bingo who designed all the custom instruments and HUD interfaces for the Orchestra and it was also Bingo who recorded each composition in realtime while performing, coordinating, giving tech support and yes, even showcasing his own composition.... ALL HAIL TO BINGO!

Bingo's piece WNK is also a classic repetoire piece like Miulew's (Takahe's) Fragula.

Bingo's composition is unique in that it is the only one that you can DANCE to.

Hmmmm...did I mention Wien Postmodern a bit earlier on? ;-) Maybe it is time for a parallel festival.

My buddy Digital Randt (who is also an instrument interface designer) took some kewl photos so I figured I had better at least show another one he took of WNK....

Photo by Digital Randt.


Click here to listen to the live audio recording of the Birthday Concerto.

Click here to download and watch the video of this Birthday Surprise in Vienna (RL).

Well, Humming Perra did an awesome job playing Happy Birthday on the laggy Hypercello designed by Robbie Dingo (not to be confused with Bingo). As a Modern form of accompaniment, Miulew conducted the Orchestra players and instructed us to improvise using the gear that Bingo designed for Fragula. All in all, it was a great time where the red wine was flowing the snow was I should save all this talk about the snow blowing that occured during an backstage interview with me for the next blog... SNIFF! SNORT!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Riesenrad Premiered at Wien Modern in Vienna!

Videography and editing by Evo Szuyuan.
This video is an overture featuring some highlights from my brand new composition for the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse called "Riesenrad" that was premiered on November 24th, 2007 at the Wien Modern Festival in Vienna in Real Life (RL). If you cannot see this embedded video, click here. Please click here for the Youtube version.

If you wish to hear the full audio recording of Riesenrad, Bingo Onomatopoeia recorded the whole thing on his Transponderfish website.

Hey there Classical Canon-ites, Sirius Stock(hausen)holders and Turkish Delights,

PHEW! I have finally blogged this posting all about my second Orchestral composition "Riesenrad" that was premiered last week at Wien Modern (Philiale im Gartenbaukino) in Vienna (RL) and also at Virtual Haidplatz on Odyssey Island (SL).

In this posting, I have tried to compile all the relevant information about my most recent composition since SLippery SLope (also ca. 2007) and so you might see some updates to this posting in the next few days since I want to make sure that my full intention as a composer has been expressed and articulated properly to you (yes "you", the blog reader).

Hopefully in a few days, I will have recovered enough energy to continue my blog about the Orchestra's concert at Wien Modern since there were three other compositions (and one other Premiere) on display at this historic event.

So for now, let me just post the official documents and some of my most candid thoughts that both inspired the composition as well as help bring it from the realm of the virtual into the into the "virtual" again...or.... maybe it is back in the realm of the "real"? SIGH! HELP!!!!

I almost fell into a philosophical black hole there so enough of that, lets focus on my official programme notes for Riesenrad....


RIESENRAD - Wirxli Flimflam (Jeremy Owen Turner - Vancouver, Canada),

Subtitle: An abstract musical ferris wheel Gesamtkunstwerk for
Modernist and Classicist Avatars.

Composer/Conductor - Wirxli Flimflam.

Modernist HUD Interface Designer - Bingo Onomatopoeia (Andreas Müller
- Regensburg, Germany)

Set Designer and Architect - DeThomas Dibou (Detlef Thomas -
Regensburg, Germany)

Performers - Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (Global)

This timbrally maximalist composition is an homage to all the
composers throughout history that have either lived, worked or
premiered any of their own compositions in Vienna.

Structurally speaking, this composition can be seen as a hyper-
modernist and mechanistic "proof-of-concept" rather than a Romantic
style composition with a clearly defined programmatic narrative with a
Schenkarian tonal resolution hierarchy.

The "real" Riesenrad is actually Vienna's largest family-sized Ferris
Wheel and a familiar tourist attraction. The Riesenrad (German for
"Giant Ferris Wheel") was built with Teutonic and Turkish themes for
the amusement of the local royal family of the time. The original
wheel was erected in 1897 to celebrate Emperor Franz Josef I's Golden
Jubilee. The designer was an Englishman, Walter Bassett.

Since the composer in real life (Jeremy O. Turner) happens to be of
direct English ancestry and is one who worships the Germanic Classical
Music Tradition
, the Riesenrad seems like an ideal choice for a
musical object. Although the original Riesenrad was equipped with 30
plus-sized cabins, the Riesenrad in Second Life only has 12 cabins in
order to mirror and honour Vienna's glorious dodecaphonic dynasty (ie.
Schoenberg and Webern) that will most certainly ensure the supremacy of
Germanic music
for another 1,000 days.

The Orchestra repesents the (virtual) wheel's virtually moving chairs/
cabins - the ferris wheel itself never spins on its assigned axis...In
this case, the original virtualization/asbtraction of the Vienna
Riesenrad has been further virtualized/abstracted to suit the playful
whimsy of the avatar playground known as Second Life. In this sense,
the Riesenrad has been reduced to a theatrical prop without its own
mechanical autonomy.

At the wheel's maximum orchestral capacity, Riesenrad includes
aleatoric elements from the North American Kiddie game, Musical

If the wheel is not filled to capacity during the performance, the
conductor (who produces their own sound drones that emanating from the
magical laser baton and the conductor's sidepack) can determine how the
piece ends
based on his/her personal aesthetic judgement.

In the case of the composition's World Premiere at Wien Modern, the
Composer/Conductor will discretely end the composition at the 15
minute mark. For this abridged composition, the Composer will allow
the Modernists (who by nature, prefer immediacy to reflection) to play
first in order to illustrate the speed and dexterity of the virtual
wheel's clockwise and counter-clockwise axis.... These Modernists play 2
custom in-world performance interfaces that allow them to trigger at
will 24 recycled samples from various composers affiliated with
Vienna. The Modernists have two HUDs to suit their mood(s). One is
Germanic and the other is Turkish in order to suit the closeted
cosmopolitan character of the historical and contemporary Vienna.

After awhile (well, 5 minutes actually), the Composer and will then
gradually introduce the more contemplative Classicist performers
(flute and cello players) who are assigned specially composed mini-
mantras from which they must perform gruelling circular transposition
cycles that have been directly appropriated from the Romantic Genius
of Beethoven's later String Quartets

Riesenrad in essence, is the ultimate abstration of a perpetual Slow-
Motion machine built for the hyper-post-modern age.


Here is a visual overture of the ferris wheel designed by the Orchestra's in-house set-architect, DeThomas Dibou. This snapshot was likely taken on the very first downstroke (bat) of my conductor's baton. This baton, by the way not only produced duo-tone lasers but also produced its own sound loops via a HUD (Heads Up Display) that you can see at the top of the screen. This is probably only of those instances where the conductor actually directly contributes to the sonic palette of the orchestra in addition to merely cueing the ensemble's sounds in the conventional manner.

At the top of this pic, there are 3 buttons:
1) A purple rewind button for counter-clockwise wheel movements
2) A blue stop button which stops both the conducting cues for the orchestra as well as the sound and....
3) The pink forward button which allows the orchestra to move foreward.

Each conducting motion has it own drone-loop sound that I composed as it represents the conducted motion (engine) of the ferris wheel. These loops were embedded into this playable HUD by Bingo Onomatopoeia.

In this view, we can see in more detail the nametags of the Orchestra performers as well as some distinguished members of the audience (well, at least those who managed to peer into my eye-cam at the time).

Here is a good close-up of the conductor (me) in action.

Here I am at the end of the performance of Riesenrad. Instead of giving the crowd an encore, I displayed the back of my t-shirt to the audience. Viva Mozart! Rock me Amadeus!


Well, it should be pretty obvious by now that I would be influenced by what Vienna is most famous for, their Genius-Level Classical Composers! Of course being inspired by pure Germanic genius kinda sorta means that the standard for achievement is somewhat higher than usual, eh? I mean if it is anything slightly aesthetically less than what the Viennese-based composers have produced, then the audience simply will not take notice, correct? No wonder composing my Riesenrad exhausted me! SIGH! Only history will judge whether or not my efforts have merited even a nod from my divine ancestors!

Speaking of Germanic genius level composers, I guess I should also retroactively acknowledge one of the last living composers from this immortal pantheon, Karlheinz Stockhausen. I had no idea about his ferris-esque spiral piece shown here until my dress rehearsal but maybe it was in my subconscious somewhere and for sure, Stockhausen would certainly inspire anything produced in a virtual world because his own compositions in the "real" world were probably only really meant to have been played in an environment such as Second Life or some astral parallel dimension or something. Maybe Stockhausen is channeling an avatar alt or some extraterrestrial being from elsewhere because I heard this story from my orchestral colleague Hars Hefferman. Hefferman studied with Stockhausen in RL and apparently, Stockhausen insisted that his performers truly learn to fly as he had outlined this in his score - he was NOT being symbolic when he said this and I am guessing his mind may have briefly been lurking in SL during his own rehearsal! Geez, I think maybe Stockhausen might genuinely become interested in composing for the AOM since at least we know how to make his score come literally (well, virtually) to life!

Another influence which I absolutely need to mention before I (conveniently)forget is the Maximalist (formerly Minimalist) work of the Dutch composer, Diderik Wagenaar (not to be confused with the German composer, Richard Wagner). He composed this piece called Metrum (ca, 1981-84) which I heard and subconsciously absorbed via aesthetic osmosis when studying music composition at Uvic in RL a decade ago... Metrum actually reminds me alot of my own Riesenrad composition and it probably does not help my novelty credibility to recall that his album cover also featured a ferris wheel...sigh! I guess I am enhancing the myth that creativity in Second Life is only about remediation of something more "original" in Real Life...sigh!

In terms of other European influences, I guess I will have to concede that there was at least one (gasp!) French influence. Olivier Messiaen's Modes of Limited Transposition definitely had an influence on my (here is my new title) "Modes of Relatively Frustrating and Still Somewhat Limited Circular-Virtuo-Spatial-Aleatoric-Romantic Transposition(s)". Ok, my permutation might not be as catchy sounding but at least the result is nowhere near as bird-brained! Heheheheheheh. ;-)

Hmmmmmm... Any other influences? Oh yes, I have one American one and several Canadian ones. The Orchestra's Founder Maximillian Nakamura wisely pointed out that I am influenced by the polytonality of Charles Ives. Even in my music composition days at University in RL, my Professors compared my early work and sensibility to (probably a second-rate) Charles Ives. I have actually been revisiting Ives lately but not for his aesthetic innovations.... On the contrary, the next lesson that I need to learn from my continentally tuned guru is how to enact a get-rich-quick scheme ASAP so I can focus all my future efforts on my art :-D Some of you might know that Ives is one of the few independently wealthy maverick composers to have ever existed and this was because he channeled some of his genius towards the creation and development of the then-radical concept of life insurance.

As for my most local Canadian influences, I am a big fan of the Electacoustic scene championed by Montreal's Empreintes DIGITALes Label: Paul Dolden (whom I interviewed in RL for Musicworks Magazine) and Robert Normandeau (whom I had some drinks with in RL at the Bengal Lounge in the Empress Hotel in Victoria) are a couple examples of the composers I am deeply influenced by. Another extremely local influence is Barry Truax who (along with people like Curtis Roads), invented granular synthesis.

Outside of the music world, I was also directly inspired by a musical lecture that the Dutch artist John Körmeling gave a few years ago in Vancouver (RL) about his drive-in ferris wheel called, Mobile Fun.

Ok, enough about my musical muses and other assorted immortal idols, lets focus now on more practical matters...



Before I show you the notated scores, here are the official Performance Instructions for Classicist Performers (which applied to both flute and cello players):


a- At the composition's beginning, all performers pick their own seat on the ferris wheel and wait for Wirxli to begin conducting (or through a group IM from Wirxli).

b- All seats will seat one avatar except for the very top and very bottom chair, which will seat two.

c- Sitting is done by right-clicking on the chair. To move to the next chair, just right-click on it and "sit here".

d- To begin the piece, Wirxli will conduct (using a sound and corresponding animation) the Orchestra to begin moving in clockwise motion but this will reverse over time.

d- Please only move your avatar from chair-to-chair when Wirxli is conducting. If Wirxli has stopped waving the baton, you must also remain in your chair.

e- If there are no places on the wheel either directly in front or behind you to sit down when Wirxli stops conducting. You join the audience and stop playing.


a- When instructed by Wirxli (in conducting mode), the players will perform either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion.

b- Wirxli is the conductor and will be playing two samples while conducting.

c- One sound to cue the performers to gradually move from chair to chair (right-clicking on the next chair) in a clockwise motion.

d- ...and the other in a counter-clockwise motion. The counter-clockwise sample sounds slightly "backwards" and is also lower in pitch.


a- The Cello and flute players have their own "mantra" available as an uploaded image showing a few measures of conventional notation composed by Wirxli.

b- Each performer will transpose their personal mantra depending on the chair they are sitting on.

c- The rhythm is merely suggested for playing under ideal conditions.

d- If one cannot play their instrument reliably in realtime due to lag or other factors, one can treat the notated score as a basic TONE-ROW.

e- Transposing the pitch-set (tone row) in ascending or descending order will be determined by the direction each Classcist is traveling on the wheel.

f- The classcist can move after playing one repetition of the mantra (or Tone Row) in its correct transposition and direction (see below).

g- The transposition is as follows: Starting chair = notated mantra...
Pink chair = transposed up/down one semitone,
blue chair = transposed up/down one minor third ,
purple chair = transposed up/down an additional semitone

h- After going through 3 seat transpositions, one may return to the tonic position (as seen in notated score) and begin transposing again.

i- When moving clockwise, please play the entire mantra from beginning to end once unless Wirxli stops conducting.

j- when moving counter-clockwise, please play the mantra in RETROGRADE unless Wirxli stops conducting but the colour-coded transpositions still apply.


a- The composition formally ends when enough orchestra players cannot find a place to sit in their immediate vicinity when Wirxli's conducting has paused.

b- You are not encouraged to listen to the Modernists as they might distract you from your realtime sight-reading pitch transpositions and focus on the conductor.

c- most importantly, focus on the conductor and the avatar(s) one seat next to you (front and behind).


This is the c-score for the hypercello's mantra. The rhythm is subjective and also based on the bandwidth speed ("lag") at the time. So, if the bandwidth lag is really slow, the performer can ignore the tempo and rhythmic intervals and treat the score more like a tone-row.

This is the c-score for the hyperflute's mantra. The fact that the notation seems "faster" than the cello's score does not mean the flute may actually play faster in realtime. Again, the speed of this can vary according to the performer's confidence in the piece and the bandwidth "lag" that may slow down the instrument's response to the performer. The rhythmic notation is only meant to be performed under ideal conditions and can also be played as a tone-row if the instrument is barely responsive due to bandwidth "lag" issues.


Before I show the picture, here is an excerpt from the official Performance Instructions for the Modernist Performers (and I quote):


a- At the composition's beginning, all performers pick their own seat on the ferris wheel and wait for Wirxli to begin conducting (or through a group IM from Wirxli).

b- All seats will seat one avatar except for the very top and very bottom chair, which will seat two.

c- Sitting is done by right-clicking on the chair. To move to the next chair, just right-click on it and "sit here".

d- To begin the piece, Wirxli will conduct (using a sound and corresponding animation) the Orchestra to begin moving in clockwise motion but this will reverse over time.

d- Please only move your avatar from chair-to-chair when Wirxli is conducting. If Wirxli has stopped waving the baton, you must also remain in your chair.

e- If there are no places on the wheel either directly in front or behind you to sit down when Wirxli stops conducting. You join the audience and stop playing.


a- When instructed by Wirxli (in conducting mode), the players will perform either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion.

b- Wirxli is the conductor and will be playing two samples while conducting.

c- One sound to cue the performers to gradually move from chair to chair (right-clicking on the next chair) in a clockwise motion.

d- ...and the other in a counter-clockwise motion. The counter-clockwise sample sounds slightly "backwards" and is also lower in pitch.


a- Each Modernist is given two circular performance HUDs: Germanic and Turkish (the latter with crescent shaped buttons).

b- For both HUDs, you may play any of the buttons with any rhythm in any sequence as long as it corresponds to the colour of the chair that you are seated in.

c- When moving to a different coloured seat, you must select only the buttons that match the corresponding seat colour... Blue, Pink and Purple.

d- For the most part, you are encouraged to play the Germanic HUD far more often than the Turkish one.

e- It is only with restraint and in the height of passion do you resort to playing a colour-coded button from your Turkish HUD wheel.

f- When you press any button from your HUD, your avatar's body will automaticaly animate as it if were a ferris wheel chair.


a- The composition formally ends when enough orchestra players cannot find a place to sit in their immediate vicinity when Wirxli's conducting has paused.

b- Even though you are allowed to improvise with the HUDs and are only limited to interface colour coordination, listening to other Modernists is encouraged.

c- You are also encouraged to listen to the Classicists while improvising with the Modernist HUDs but most importantly, focus on the conductor and the avatar(s) one seat next to you (front and behind).


Ok! Phew! You must almost be feeling the same stress each Modernist performer felt during the Dress Rehearsal, right? Heheheheheheh... Ok, as a reward for your virtual sweat and tears, here is the pic to illustrate the 2 interfaces:

Here is the aforementioned pic I took of myself at the Music Academy shortly before this blog posting was published simply for the purpose of showing you (the blog reader) these 2 Modernist Performance HUDs that Bingo Onomatopoeia helped me bring to fruition. As you can see, each HUD is mirrored after the design of the ferris wheel (that the Orchestra's Set-Architect Dethomas Dibou actually built using the HUD interface design themselves as 2-dimensional schematic diagrams). So in this case, each of the 12 buttons (12 per HUD, that is) represent the 12 ferris wheel chairs. The HUD on the left is the plainer Germanic one while the funkier and less restrained Turkish HUD on the right was originally supposed to have crescent-shaped buttons but instead, wound up looking like the marshmallow moons that one can find in Lucky Charms brand cereal boxes for kiddies in North America...sigh! ;-) And in no way, am I making a direct correlation between these 2 illusrated HUDs and the 2 photographed DUD(e)s from the Second Viennese School shown boldly in the background... although, now that I think about it, I think Berg was slightly more "Turkish" than Webern....hmmmm...if only those two composers switched spaces or the Academy could have inverted their pose in photoshop somehow? Maybe then, everything would fall into place and we could accept the Received Canon ;-)


Photo by Maxxo Klaar. Here is a nice shot of me on the old unvarnished conductor's podium which was being designed in realtime by Bingo Onomatopoeia who is also the Orchestra's Instrument Builder. In this pic, you can see Maxxo has rolled right over in anticipation of further choreographed rolling, tilting and rocking on performance day. In the video at the top of this posting, you can also see some extreme close-ups of Maxxo rolling over.

Photo by Maxxo Klaar.Maxxo took this wonderful action-shot of me entertaining the masses while cueing the Orchestra with my divinely conducted laser light show.

Photo by Maxxo Klaar.Here is a sublime shot of the immortal and divinely guided Conductor/Composer taken from the lowly vantage point of the music critic...heheheheheh!

Photo by Maxxo Klaar.Here is a momentary peek back not just behind the scenes and behind the wheel but also behind the times way back into the earliest rehearsal days but let me tell you, I am hardly nostalgic for this preperatory era. During these rehearsals, 2 identical ferris wheels (one was a virtual doppelganger) were accidentally installed side by side and the floor was littered with one giant invisible trap door (more like a trap HOLE, actually!). At least this pic shows the full seating arrangement on the floor.

I actually managed to take a snapshot at the exact moment that Maxxo mentioned the infamous trap "doors".

Photo by Maxxo Klaar. Here is an additional close up of the seating arrangement and also illuminates the immortal profile of the Orchestra's in-house videographer, Evo Szuyuan.

Here is another look at the conductor's podium at an even earlier stage of development.

Yet another podium for you here but you will see that at the time this snapshot was taken, the podium was being sufficiently sized so I can could stand on it properly without falling (or nodding) off...

This pic is important to pay attention to because not only is it another glorious example of me conducting close-up (all you scholars can drool in awe over my meticulous masterstrokes) but it also shows a detail of my interactive floating sidepack (yes, the thingie that looks like a miniature version of one of the pink chairs...this sidepack was also designed by Bingo) that was responsible for remotely generating and spatially transmitting my conductor drones. Acting as a kind of meterosexual traffic light, the sidepack was also colour coded so it could indicate to the Orchestra players the direction they should be moving in on the wheel (purple for counter-clockwise and pink for clockwise). For awhile, this sidepack was too small to be visible by enough players so they kept on missing their cues. During this uncertain transitional rehearsal period, Bingo temporarily enlarged this sidepack but it grew to also have an autonamous life of its own. I guess the sidepack had an insatiable appetite to grow even larger so it began to look for some local avatar pixel-flesh to consume. It was not long before my very own trusty sidepack (more like side-PacMan) knocked me off the conductor's podium and chased me all the way to the other side of Odyssey Island. I know this sounds kind of surreal to those blog readers who are only accustomed to rehearsal situations in real life but how often do you come across a scenario where the conductor gets hunted down by his own ravenous gear? I wish I had a snapshot of this sidepack chase scene but unfortunately, I was too busy engaging in the fight-or-flight survival instincts that I was unable to take a good photo of my mutated monster sidepack. Regardless, I eventually came to my senses and realized during our dress rehearsal that I had to re-shrink the sidepack as it was getting to hazardous to live the lifestyle of a populist just to feed the functional needs of my own Orchestra. Oh, on another note, that weird looking "Starship Enterprise" thingie is some sort of sculpture by another artist (maybe Dethomas Dibou?) so that was not an intentional component of my Riesenrad's set design but it sure did make the audience members contemplate the possibility that my compositation may have possessed an additional enigmatic component.

Here is a generic pic that basically is just showing you a decent side profile of one of our regular rehearsals (which occur every Tuesday) in early November.

I guess I am running out of historically meaningful pix about Riesenrad from my documentation archive but at least this one is aesthetically pleasing! Ahhhhh... How many Orchestras in Real Life get to rehearse outside with a fully forced sunset (or maybe it is sunrise)?

Well, as you and your blog-reading partner in RL walk off into the forced Schopenhauerian sunset together to contemplate the enormity of the divine meaning behind my musical composition, I should prepare the rest of my archives from the Orchestra's landmark show at Wien Modern....stay tuned for more prolific productivity ;-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Blog That Time Forgot...

The author of this blog (me aka. Wirxli Flimflam) is 88% confident that the esteemed Sci-Fi Author and Media Philosopher, Paul Levinson thought of the title for his new sci-book precisely at the moment this picture was taken. He is shown here viewing the inspire-some (is that a word? If not, it is now) wallpaper sketches of my fellow artist colleague-in-crime, Juria Yoshikawa.

Hey there Dark Aged Avatars, Levinson Levitators and Beauty Pageant Tyrants...

Ok, this blog posting will be relatively short in length because I am way behind the times when it comes to keeping my blog up to date. I just noticed earlier this evening that I totally forgot to blog about the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse's gig awhile back at the Metaverse 2007 Conference hosted by The Avastar.

In addition to the lagging back(b)log of postable content, I also have to begin compiling the various documentation from the Orchestra's megalithic blockbuster gig at Wien Modern in Vienna (where my new composition Riesenrad was premiered) that took place on Saturday. On that same day, I also did an interview for Krystal Epic where I was nominated for being the "Best Performing Artist" in Second Life so I guess I will have to blog that too sooner than later...sigh!

Well, enough about that! I am now going to chat about my 2nd in-world meeting with Paul Levinson thus far since it has come to my attention via Paul's own blog that a meeting I had with him and a couple of my friends such as(Aurel Miles and ByrneDarkly Cazalet) directly inspired a title for his new novel.

I actually remember the exact moment well where he first brought up "The Time that Light Forgot" and I also recall that it was me (for the record, Paul - tee hee) who actually made a pun on his title by calling it "The Light That Time Forgot" and I made the correlation between this new title and the Dark Ages. Well, it does not really matter who came up with the title. I do not need to see the chat history or anything to prove this matter as that would be petty anyways.

At any rate, I am pleased that Paul came up with a new and kewl title for an upcoming book and am flattered that he mentioned me as a source of inspiration. It is ultimately his concept and idea. At the time of writing, Paul has not yet figured out what kind of book he could write that would suit the title....He did mention time travel as a theme which would be great and I also think that Paul should deeply consider the fact that more novels also need to be written about Metaverse culture since there are only really the novels Neuromancer and Snow Crash out there in the classic print-media galaxy that have directly influenced the culture of Second Life - maybe it is Paul's turn to add to this genre? I am sure he could write a brilliant book about it as it is a hot topic these days.

Hmmmm...this reminds me that I am currently reading over a treatment for a film called VolaVola by the Italian film-maker avatar, Finally Outlander (Berardo Carboni in SL) which is all about how the Metaverse culture is gradually being exported from the in-world scene to the status quo of mainstream cultural and fashion worlds in RL (among other things).

I guess I should summarize this posting so I can then finish reading the second half of the treatment for this film since I might be starring a cameo role in it and maybe even writing some of the soundtrack for this film that will begin production in 2008. I had a meeting today with Finally Outlander earlier today about exactly these prospects. So much to do and so little time left to blog out the light with more text-pixels...sigh!

Oh geez, I am cluttering my 2-bit thug life (and mind) with non-linear blog-narratives at the moment so I should resume my "professional" writing style and get back to the meeting with Paul....

Ok....Paul.... Hmmmm... Well, I have known Paul virtually for quite awhile, actually.
I interviewed him for Intelligent Agent Magazine in 1999 but I guess I have not "seen" a kinetic virtual (and visual) version of his avatar until his recent interview with Kenny Hubble in SL a short awhile ago.

I guess that interview session drew him in hook line and sinker to the immersive world of Second Life and so now I am expecting to see him in there on a fairly regular basis - I mean, he even has a bookstore in there now :-)

It probably also helps that his new hostesses are keeping him cozy in their swanky pad.
Couch surfing never felt so comfy! :-D

Ok, I think it is time I left this blog posting alone now and continue reading the film treatment for VolaVola before my biological self packs it in for the night.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog postings about:

1) The AOM at Metaverse 2007

2) The AOM at Wien Modern

3) My interview along side Fau Ferdinand with Sunnie Beaumont about our SLart nominations (Man Michinaga was there too).

Friday, November 23, 2007

From the recent archives vault #2 - Second Front at PERFORMA 07 (NYC)...

Photo by Tran Spire. SECOND FRONT from left-right: Tran Spire, Man Michinaga, AliseIborg Zhaoying, Fau Ferdinand, Gazira Babeli (King Kong), Wirxli Flimflam (me), Tea Chenille, Lizsolo Mathilde and Great Escape. Here is Second Front's official group photo for the Wrath of Kong (original title was "Konkey Bong") performance created for the PERFORMA 07Festival in New York. This performance was curated by Defne Ayas and Esa Nickle and took place on November 03, 2007.

Hey there PERFORMA pariahs, Big Apple belchers and donkey-eared King Ding-Dongs,

Phew! Finally, I have had enough spare time to post my basic reflections about Second Front's epic performance for the PERFORMA festival in New York!!!

My colleague in Second Front, AliseIborg Zhaoying (Penny Leong Browne) has already written an official posting on our group blog here.

In addition to this blog posting, Second Front co-member Great Escape also has posted some hi-rez pictures from this performance.

I also know that Tran Spire (another Second Front co-member) recorded some video of our performance so I cannot wait to see it on our group blog!

In the meantime, please check out the only pictures I personally took of this performance session. Well, the first pic is not mine but the rest are...

Before we formally commenced our performance, we spent some quality time ensuring that Sircus Tilling (the in-world correspondent for Art in America magazine) could keep us posed in group-formation long enough to take some decent photos for publication. Second Front is very excited at the prospect of appearing in Art in America in RL. If you look at the bottom of this pic, you will see Esther Decuir in a brown biplane. She has become our embedded journalist for the news network, SLNN. She has been embedded into many of our performances lately which has helped her cover the Breaking News more accurately.

It took us awhile to leave the photo-shoot and progress towards our roles as performers. I mean, what is a successful performance without ample documentation? Sigh!

Here I am posing next to an (even more) two-dimensional simulacrum of the famous NYC sculptor, Richard Serra. For those who are generally attuned to more than one dimension in the artworld, the appearance of Serra at this level of the building (and the game, for that matter) might give you a case of deja vu as Serra makes a similar appearance in a parallel side of the metaverse.

Here is the first snapshot of me reaching the top of the Empire State Building. I am so high up, I am even slightly above the Super Mario Clouds region.

Here are most of Second Front at the very top of the Empire State Building. We managed to ascend several stories above the aforementioned archangelic clouds.

In this pic you can see that Kong's gravity was severely being tested. I managed to hammer Kong's foot while Tran's and Great Escape's biplanes had managed to disorient the mutated monkey and throw him/her (Kong's gender was never pre-determined) off balance.

Here is a good pic of King (Gaz) Kong barely hanging onto the top of the Empire State Building. This was perhaps the foreshadowing moment during the performance where the audience may have figured out that the end is nigh for the ape standing his/her ground in the sky. It was immediately after this point, that I rezzed my own biplane and took to the skies for the final battle!

After some reckless yet coldly calculating attack sorties, I eventually realized my biplane was running out of gas so I knew I had to crash land somewhere so what better place to go out with a ceremonial bang than crashing directly into members of the in-world audience? Heheheheheheh....

GAME OVER! Here is a scene from our Gameover Victory Dance! Lizsolo Mathilde had officially announced the completion of all the levels, King (Gaz) Kong has been defeated, the flying team under the leadership of Fau Ferdinand had completed all the necessary sorties, all the Princess Peaches (Man, Tea and Alise) have been rescued and so this was the perfect opportunity for the rest of us to climb onto Kong's lifeless avatar body and beat him/her while he/she was down. I knew my mallet would come in handy after awhile...I did not just want it to be a performance prop! STOP! HAMMER TIME! It's Clobberin' time!!!


Here are some Second Front members congregating at the performance space in Gazira's Locusolus property just in time to begin preparations for our dress rehearsal.

As you can see, accidents can happen during the rehearsal. Here is a pic of me and my bi-plane designed by Cubey Terra. It looks like I (un)successfully ran out of gas and therefore crash-landed my plane right into the Empire State Building... Oh wait, maybe that was actually an intentional strategy! ;-) I knew that when it came to performance time, I would target the in-world audience instead rather than the heart of the Empire...

Here I am in full Mario and Wario mode posing for the camera...At the point this pic was taken, I was practicing my gradual ascending and descending routines up and down the ramp system of the Empire State Building. I believe this pic was taken before I finally got ahold of a barrel launcher :-)


Here is photo-documentation from our very first meeting with the PERFORMA curator(s) known as Performa Kamachi. At this time, Esa Nickle was behind the avatar in RL but her co-curator Defne Ayas has also been known to possess the avatar from time to time. This meeting occurred sometime in the late summer and it was at that time that we had just found out that PERFORMA had spent the a few weeks prior trying to locate us in-world so they could formally invite us to perform for the festival on November 03, 2007.