Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hyper Pan-Pipe Song Competition

In May 2006 I ran a song writing competition for the Hyper-Flute, (video here).

In July 2006 I ran a song writing competition for the Hyper-Cello.

So it's got to be time for another one, this time for the Hyper Pan-Pipes, prize money is 5,000L$ for the winner, (this being the money I won in the recent Alt-Zoom film festival which I would like to throw back into the Second Life art scene).

Deadline for submissions is the 17th of September 2006, I hope that you will consider entering?

I have sent the URL link to this page to all the current Hyper-Pipe owners and for anyone else who wishes to enter, here are the details:

To be able to enter you will need to own a Hyper-Instrument, (this does not need to be the pan-pipes, it could be the flute or 'cello, but as the Pan-Pipe will be used to judge the competition this would be best).

The Hyper Pan-Pipes can be bought in world at < Scafell (55, 131, 47) > (SLurl), or from SLEX here, or from SLBoutique here.

Remember, absolutely anyone can write a song, you don't need to able to read music or play an instrument, just have an ear for a good melody and be able to write the note-sequence down in the correct format in a notecard.

Full instructions on how the Hyper-Instruments work can be found here, and loads of help for writing your own songs here.

After the competition, all entries will be available for sharing so this is also a great way to generate more songs for us all to play in our Hyper-Pipes - (and Flutes and Cellos as the scores are interchangeable).


1) Closing date for song entries is 17th September 2006.

2) To enter the competition, songs (notecards) should be dropped on the entry-box at the following location. - < Scafell (51, 136, 47) > (SLurl), before the closing date.

3) Song entries should be longer than 30 seconds and must be original music composed by you.

4) Robbie Dingo will judge competition and the judges decision is final.

5) Your entry notecard must include your name and the name of the song. You must be willing to share your song with other Hyper-Instrument owners after the competition has closed. Your entry must load correctly without errors when importing into the HUD.

A good song, for the purpose of judging this competition will be one that is idiomatic of the hyper-pan pipe. That is to say one that has been written specially with THIS instrument in mind and takes into account its features, range and well yes, cope with the timing problems that exist in SL. The winning song should be varied, yet memorable; original, include a strong melody and make use of silence too. For examples of original and strong, effective melodies, sing just about any Beatles tune!

I will go through the entries and announce the winner to all as quickly as I possibly can after the closing date.

Good luck and have fun with it!


Hyper-PanPipe Song-Writing Competition - Results (Sept 06).

Six excellent entries were submitted into the song writing competition this month (for the Hyper Pan-Pipe in this instance). Once again this was a very hard one to judge, so much so that I have had to call a joint first place (yes, not strictly in rules but both the winning entries stood out for different reasons)...

So.... 2500L$ each to....

A) 'Songs of SLyrinx' by Codalisa Levitt..

T=0.6, 1.6

(Codalisa has such a good ear for a melody that will stick with you!)

B) 'Tapestry' by Jennifer Mahoney..


(Once again a lovely piece, technically well written, clearly much time has been spent perfecting the subtle detail).

Congratulation to Coda and Jennifer and a big thanks to all that entered, until next time...

(As always the entries have been added to the vendor at Scafell for all to play for free)...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Distant Thunder: Taiko Drums #2

Animation and Music Sync. Test #1.

An early experiment in attempting to synchronize both the audio and avatar animation(s) ready for a Taiko drum ensemble within Second Life.

(It's close, but a non-steady frame rate is causing timing issues at the moment).

BlipTV version here.
YouTube version here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Distant Thunder: Taiko Drums #1

This is a project that I have wanted to bring to life in SL for some time, a Taiko drum ensemble.

Taiko is the Japanese word for 'big-' or 'great- drum', and is a musical instrument whose history goes back to ancient Japan. Taiko is more than just a musical instrument and it involves more than just striking a drum skin. It is also an art, a fusion of movement/rhythm/philosophy and form whose history has been an important part of the everyday lives of the Japanese people for some 2000 years, therefore it is important that we treat it with the greatest respect.

It has gone through an amazing evolution in arriving at the way it is played and used today. For example, it has been played on the battlefields to threaten and frighten and as a form of communication to signal orders. It has also became a familiar sound in daily village life. It has been heard in festivals going way back in history and has been associated with religious celebrations.

Only relatively recently has taiko evolved into a powerful performing art, as seen in this YouTube clip:

Taiko in Second Life.

There are a number of considerations and features that I would like include when bringing a taiko ensemble to Second Life, for example I would like to ensure original, interesting and authentic sounding audio-files are created (written to work sequentially and overlaid to form numerous rhythmic combinations); I would like to include a sense of progression in the musical performance, so that it grows over time; I am keen to include avatar to avatar & avatar to music synchronized animation so that this is a visual experience too;

- all of which means that this will not be a project that is completed quickly, but it is coming...

More to follow

Friday, August 11, 2006

Second Life Stats (Aug 06)

I noted total SL Resident Numbers back on the 28th June 2006. At that time there were 298,407 residents. By comparison, now there are now 396,651 of us (give or take an alt or two). Therefore 98,244 more residents in only 44 days, an average of 2233 new residents per day! Whoo... crazy.

(Edit: Only a couple of days later the total number exceeds 400K)

Monday, August 07, 2006

An Audience with Suzanne Vega

On the 3rd of August 2006, Suzanne Vega became the first major recording artist to perform live within a virtual world in avatar form. Suzanne was interviewed by The Infinite Mind's John Hockenberry within Second Life.

This short video tries to catch the moment from the perspective of the audience of avatars who, from their 'armchairs' around the world, shared this moment together, live.

(Embedded YouTube Version here: