Saturday, March 08, 2008

XANADRuuL's First Rehearsals...

Here is my official promo-photo for that May 10th Voice++ concert at Open Space gallery in Victoria. I will not actually be using these speakers but I thought I would look good next to them in the promo photo since I want to at least portray the same glamourous aura of Modern Genius that Karlheinz Stockhausen himself possessed....

...I am composing an elegy for him, since he died just last year...

Hey there Karlheinz 57s, Serial(ist) Killers, Iron Kürtens and choir-caseloads of angelic audiophiles!

I may as well post all the early archives of my first reheasals for my new Stockhausen tribute composition now since it is starting to roll into full swing dress-rehearsal mode very soon and this primitive process will soon be forgotten lest I archive it straight away!

For this Voice ++ concert on May 10th (a Saturday), I will be premiering my 3rd major opus called "XANADRuuL" and is dedicated entirely to the immortal memory of our favourite alien ambassador, Karlheinz Stockhausen (yes, I like to namedrop him as much as possible). For all those who are not yet in the know about Stockhausen and his work, my advice is to not bother trying to understand what he was all about since he was from another star-system anyway... Lets just say that mere Earthly humanoids with some minor exceptions never quite understood him nor his musical output. Since I am also an alien (and a SLemale), I fully understand where he is coming from and I actually like some of his compositions (especially Kontakte, for example).

Anyways, I am not sure what Stockhausen's ghost will think about my tribute from beyond the grave but regardless of his opinion, I am very excited about this gig because I am being double billed with an eqaully important Modernist Genius Composer (MGC is the acronym if you are ever in an office administration job) named Pauline Oliveros (Free Noyes in SL). This is her very first SL composition for the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, and is an adaptation of a composition she wrote for Trombones and Oscillator in 1999 called "The Heart of Tones (THoT)". Well, you will hear more about Oliveros' composition very shortly since I will also be hyping that one to death but in the meantime, I already have prepared some hype for you about my newest large-scale music composition to date:

XANADRuuL = Stockhausen's Pleasuredome 4 Sirius Business" (2007/2008)
Composed by Wirxli Flimflam aka. Jeremy Owen Turner.

XANADRuuL is a Second Life composition in 3 sections created for the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse. One can see this composition as an official elegy/tribute to the Modernist music pioneer, Karlheinz Stockhausen. XANADRuuL was created from samples that were solely derived from the Composer's (Wirxli's) own digitally manipulated voice. This composition was inspired by Stockhausen's claim of being an alien from Sirius and so the 3 sections of this composition correspond to Sirius A, B and C stars. In addition, there are also many references to Xanadu (including the movie with Olivia Newton John). The Opening Ceremonies take place on Sirius A where angels sing along with the selected voice samples from heavenly heights on the ceiling of a pentagonal geodesic dome and also on Sirius B where meandering avatars vainly attempt to communicate with these alien angelic muses using only pre-recorded samples. Sirius C is a "meta-composition" and is perfomed by the public throughout Second Life.

Anyways, I hope this hype will make the program notes for this RL Voice Festival.

In the meantime, check out these photos from some of the earliest days of performing XANADRuuL (including earlier today)...

This is the only pic I have that was taken earlier this morning and was the Orchestra's very first "full ensemble" rehearsal...This is also the first rehearsal to take place on a Saturday in order to accomodate the North American members of the Orchestra. I hope there will at least be a couple more of these saturday rehearsals before the big day on May 10th. For this cross-continental breakfast, you will see that I had to use a temporary rehearsal dome while waiting for the official one to be built by the Orchestra's Architect, Dethomas Dibou. Considering I have full VIP access as a SLebrity, I managed to score the Avastar's Star Lounge Dome which was good enough since it came with a swimming pool and some couches. Since the swimming pool was about the same size as the performance area I had in mind for the HUD performers, I had them walk around waist deep in that pool while the angelic choir had to compromise a little bit by singing beside the pool rather than being suspended from the dome's ceiling. Once the official dome has been built, the angelic choir should be able to hover from the dome's celing without any hassle or throbbing back pain. I am glad this was not a dress rehearsal, because everyone forgot to wear white (including me) and one of the choir members named Fernsing Llewellyn seemed more comfortable singing in the pool than keeping her critical (and divine) distance... sigh! Oh, before I forget, the HUD was designed once again by Bingo Onomatopoeia. You can see the HUD interface on the screen. The HUD has 23 differently coloured pentagonal buttons which makes perfect sense since the official dome will also be pentagonal. Bingo is also working on the halos for the HUD performers but I will blog about that feature when the performers have tested it out during the next rehearsal...

This slightly earlier picture shows the very first time that I managed to score the Avastar's Star Lounge dome. In this case, just the two of us were able to rehearse. Humming (the curator) is playing the part of the singing angel whereas I was playing the mean the HUD performer ;-) Humming tried to approximate the angelic suspension by hovering near the ceiling. I recommended that until we get proper places for the angelic choirmembers to be suspended from, they might have to resort to sitting on the couches during our rehearsals.... OH, THE HARDSHIP OF A STRUGGLING SLEBRITY MUSICIAN!!!! ;-)

A little later that evening, my colleague in Second Front, Bibbe Oh popped by the Star Lounge to hang out for a bit. I really like her Terrorist T-Shirt...She told me it is part of an art-series she is working on...VERY KEWL! I forgot to mention that in that large-scale rehearsal shown above, other co-performers in Second Front are also moonlighting as Orchestra performers. Liz Solo is going to be singer, Tran Spire offered to be the camera-avatar and Fau Ferdinand was also there for (im)moral support :-D

This pic was taken quite some time ago...Like, maybe a month ago (gasp!). SL Historians, please take note that one month ago does not qualify as being Pre-History, ok?? Anyways, we were on top of a gallery on Odyssey Island. The whole gang included Weave Noyes and Fernsing Llewellyn. As you can see from the text, we were talking about Pauline's piece but we also had a choir pre-sectional rehearsal meet'n'greet for XANADRuuL. For example, this was the first time, I had actually met Fernsing and Weave for the first time in the SLesh.

Ok, this is probably the very first pic relating directly to XANADRuuL in any way. This pic is so old, it was taken sometime in the Winter (it is Spring now, right? So, it is old now, right?). This pic was also taken on Odyssey Island and illustrated the very first choir tests for XANADRuuL. Humming was even dressed up for the occasion but I think she forgot that it was no longer Remembrance Day as her Poppy Dress looked slightly out of context...heheheheh... Just kidding, Humming! Anyways, Aurel Miles was testing her voice with us and her GF Yvette Tzara was akso hanging was a very nice time!

Anyways, the piece is coming along Swimmingly...and unless I get some ghostly advice from Stockhausen before the next Saturday rehearsal (might be next week), things should go along the same linear path that I had originally put into place...phew! Please scroll down for some more blogging (including more composer gossip)...


Anonymous said...

So, do you agree with Stockhausen that "9/11 was the greatest work of art?"

Jeremy O. Turner said...

Hi there Anonymous,

Thanks for posting a comment on my blog.

When Stockhausen spoke about 911, he was speaking allegorically according to a close American friend of his, Jim Stonebreaker:

Apparently, Stockhausen was not supporting the tragedy of thousands of people dying - he was just as shocked and appalled as anyone else.

Calling it "art" was his way to cope with the whole insanity of the situation without going insane himself over it.

What happened during 911 was indeed Terrorism without artistic/aesthetic intentions behind them but I can see what Stockhausen was trying to say...

"Art" in its highest sense of the word is the complete reflection of "life" and this includes the darker sides of life (including tragedy and terror) so Stockhausen realized that as an artist, he could never even reproduce the horror of this very true and brutal reality.

I hope this explains things.


Anonymous said...

It makes some points, but I wonder if Americans will see it that way?

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