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Archive for December, 2012

Now available on the web – our Christmas visit to Ballet Pixelle with extracts from their production of The Nut (based on The Nutcracker).

We talk to Inarra Saarinen, Artistic Director ofBallet Pixelle, Vivienne Darcy, Ballet Mistress and Company Coordinator and to members of the company as we learn about the challenges and triumphs of creating a virtual ballet company with dancers from all over the world – and then face the challenges of staging amazing ballets in a virtual world.

Ballet Pixelle - the Theatre

Ballet Pixelle – the Theatre

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Ballet Pixelle - the Theatre

Ballet Pixelle – the Theatre

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 17th December, for the last show in our current season of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams when we’ll be visitng Ballet Pixelle to learn about how they have created a virtual world ballet company in Second Life – and all about their Christmas production.

The Nut is based on The Nutcracker ballet, with music by Tchaikovsky, and is a standard part of Ballet Pixelle’s repertory – but each year something new is added – and this year is no exception!

Poster for The Nut

Poster for The Nut

We talk to Inarra Saarinen, Artistic Director of Ballet Pixelle, Vivienne Darcy, Ballet Mistress and Company Coordinator and to members of the company as we learn about the challenges and triumphs of staging amazing ballets in a virtual world.

It makes for a fascinating show – so make sure that you don’t miss it! Do come and join us at 2pm!

And find out why Saffia is dressed as a Christmas Tree!

And find out why Saffia is dressed as a Christmas Tree!

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in at 2pm SLT on Monday for the live show on http://treet.tv/live – where you can now chat with other audience members and even some of the participants during the show – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

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As a result of the events in Connecticut on December 14th, it was decided to postpone the Avatar Choice Awards until Sunday December 16th at 10 am SLT.

Aavtar Choice Invite Poster

Aavtar Choice Invite Poster

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Now available on the web – our seasonal New Babbage show!

There’s a coal shortage in snow-covered New Babbage, as Saffia and Elrik pay one of their periodic visits to the steampunk city. But they’re just visiting some of the libraries there … what could possibly go wong?

An unexpected encounter in New Babbage

An unexpected encounter in New Babbage

Before long, Saffia and Elrik, aided by the Assistant Maceholder Victor Mornington and Librarian Bookworm Heinrichs – accompanied, of course, by a hapless Mr Biggins – are dragged into an adventure involving stolen books, seasonal curses and a highly dangerous book, fit to be mentioned in the same breath as the Necronomicon and the Book of Al Azarine …

Uncle Tingly's Christmas Tales for New Babbage Young 'Uns, secure in its case

Uncle Tingly’s Christmas Tales for New Babbage Young ‘Uns, secure in its case

Uncle Tingly book designed and created by Edward Pearse
Bells, Bookstand (and chains) designed and created by Beq Janus

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Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 10th December, for the new episode of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams when we’ll be taking a seasonal trip to New Babbage. A rather chilly one too, if all the reports we’ve heard about the coal shortage are true!

New Babbage in the Snow, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

New Babbage in the Snow, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Now, our trips to that industrial steampunk city have not been entirely without incident in the past – what with murders, dangerous dark mermaids, mendacious Santas and purloined diamonds … to say nothing of Elrik being mistaken for Sherlock Holmes, or that time we discovered the dark secrets under the lost Asylum …

But really, we’re visiting libraries this time! What could possibly go wrong?

Although we might wonder why it’s necessary to keep a certain children’s book chained up in a locked desk …

Uncle Tingly's Christmas Tales for New Babbage Young 'Uns, secure in its case

Uncle Tingly’s Christmas Tales for New Babbage Young ‘Uns, secure in its case

So join us, at 2pm today, to unlock the true terror of Uncle Tingly’s Christmas Tales for New Babbage Young ‘Uns … if you dare.

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in at 2pm SLT on Monday for the live show on http://treet.tv/live – where you can now chat with other audience members and even some of the participants during the show – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

Uncle Tingly book designed and created by Edward Pearse
Bookstand (and chains) designed and created by Beq Janus

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Just when you think you’ve heard it all… Hosts Saffia and Elrik explore an amazing new region created to demonstrate the potential and possibilities of sound in Second Life.

Of Sound Mind is an installation – more properly a series of installations – that references primarily sounds. It’s the creation of Lorin Tone and Friends (said friends including Glyph Graves, Madcow Cosmos, emSynth, Mia Anais, Meriadne Merlin, P4ndor4 Quintessa, Marcus Parrott, Judi Newall, Chantal Harvey and Cube Republic).  There’s a wealth of different environments and sounds to explore – instruments to interact with … and, actually, some stunning things to see, ranging from a spooky cave to a giant musical castle in the air, from a Hindu temple with a wealth of musical instruments to an amazing total windsculpture by Glyph Graves.

Of Sound Mind - there's a wealth of sounds here!

Of Sound Mind – there’s a wealth of sounds here!

Designing Worlds explores as many of these as we can fit into the show, as well as talking to Lorin Tone and some of the creators such as Glyph Graves, emSynth,  and Meriadne Merlin and – hopefully – inspiring you to pay a visit yourselves!

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A chance to try out a range of instruments ...

A chance to try out a range of instruments …

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 3rd December, for the new episode of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams where we’ll be exploring the an amazing new region, created to demonstrate the potential and possibilities of sound in Second Life. And it’s a huge amount of fun too!

Of Sound Mind - there's a wealth of sounds here!

Of Sound Mind – there’s a wealth of sounds here!

Usually one goes to LEA (Linden Endowment for the Arts) sims to see the creations of Second Life’s best known (and sometimes newly discovered) artists.  Many will offer a high level of interactivity in their creations – some will offer sound as part of this.But Of Sound Mind goes further.  It’s an installation – more properly a series of installations – that references primarily sounds. It’s the creation of Lorin Tone and Friends (said friends including Glyph Graves, Madcow Cosmos, Inventor Alchemi, Mia Anais, Meriadne Merlin, P4ndor4 Quintessa, Marcus Parrott, Judi Newall, Chantal Harvey and Cube Republic).  There’s a wealth of different environments and sounds to explore – instruments to interact with … and, actually, some stunning things to see, ranging from a spooky cave to a giant musical castle in the air, from a Hindu temple with a wealth of musical instruments to an amazing total windsculpture by Glyph Graves.

Sculpture by Glyph Graves at Of Sound Mind

Sculpture by Glyph Graves at Of Sound Mind

We’ll be exploring as many of these as we can fit into the show, talking to Lorin Tone and some of the creators such as Glyph Graves, emSynth,  and Meriadne Merlin and – hopefully – inspiring you to pay a visit yourselves!

All this makes for a fascinating show – so make sure that you don’t miss it! Do come and join us at 2pm!

A cave full of spooky sounds ...

A cave full of spooky sounds …

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in at 2pm SLT on Monday for the live show on http://treet.tv/live – where you can now chat with other audience members and even some of the participants during the show – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

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Circe on her beloved Laurel Arts Isle

Circe on her beloved Laurel Arts Isle

Circe Broom, the owner and creator of the beautiful Egyptian-themed Laurel Arts Isle and a long-time supporter of the Arts in Second Life – especially music and poetry – has died. The woman behind the avatar has passed away after a long illness.

Crap Mariner, who knew her well, has posted a short and beautiful tribute on his blog – and examples of Circe’s own 100 word stories.

Circe in her Temple on Laurel Arts Isle

Circe in her Temple on Laurel Arts Isle

I had visited Laurel Arts Isle for events a few times, but I first met Circe properly at the beginning of this year when we decided to feature the Isle and her work in a Designing Worlds show. She spoke on the show about the struggle to keep music venues open in Second Life in the face of high tier and dwindling returns. She also spoke to us about the difficulties of doing this with failing health. What came shining through was her love of music, her love of Second Life, and above all her zest for life and her determination.

Sadly, shortly after the show was filmed, she had to give up the Isle. That wasn’t the end of her work and support for the Arts, though. She continued to work with and for poets and musicians in Second Life, even when she was resident in a hospice as the end drew near.

Memorial for Circe at Circe's New Poets Sanctuary, New Brighton

Memorial for Circe at Circe’s New Poets Sanctuary, New Brighton

The last time I saw her in the Pixel was at SL9B. The Egyptian stage there was intended, in part, as a tribute to Circe and her work in promoting Second Life music and musicians. We hoped she would be around to see it – and she was. Seeing Circe running up and down the dunes in KT Syakumi’s awesome desert, and her excitement as she found more and more treasures, was one of the real joys of SL9B for me.

The Desert Stage at Sl9B, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Desert Stage at Sl9B, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

We spoke after that, and I knew that the diagnosis was terminal, and that the end would not be long. And now it has come. For me, as for so many of Circe’s many friends, the news that this vital vibrant woman is no longer with us is profoundly sad.

Here is Circe on Designing Worlds, talking about her beloved Laurel Arts Isle:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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In fact, you can vote for us … and many, many of the people we have featured in Prim Perfect magazine, or on Designing Worlds or Happy Hunting. In short – the Avi Choice Awards represent a fantastic array of Second Life talent – and all nominated by the people behind avatars out there on the grid.

Avi Choice Awards Poste

Avi Choice Awards Poste

But don’t just take our word for it … go to the Avi Choice Award site and register your votes for all the categories that you want. It’s divided into four areas:

We’re in Entertainment – and you’ll see that Prim Perfect is nominated in the Best Magazine category, while Designing Worlds and Happy Hunting both feature in best TV show.

And if you are regularly readers (or viewers) you will doubtless recognise many of the names of nominees too!

The whole process culminates in an amazing awards presentation on December 14th from 6pm SLT onwards, a highlight of the Second Life Christmas Expo. Elrik and Saffia (hosts of Designing Worlds) presented part of the programme of awards in 2011, and we are hugely honoured to have been asked to do this again – and this year, we’ll be joined by Aisling Sinclair and Zander Greene, stars of The Blackened Mirror. Zander, of course, is the holder of the individual Spirit of Relay Award for Relay for Life of Second Life 2012 – and the funds raised by the Expo will go to support Relay for Life of Second Life 2013.

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