Musimmersion: the future of live music in Second Life?
Amalthea Blanc surveys the SL arts scene for New World Notes
Live music is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and immersive experiences in Second Life. Some musicians here have been able to develop dedicated communities and followings that rival real life artists. But where does the future lie for this kind of performance? Grace McDunnough suggests an answer with Musimmersion, a new system of scripting sets which enables a Resident musician to instantiate custom-made 3D environments to accompany specific songs they're performing.
Watch the video above to see Musimmersion in action, then read on for more.
For some, including including Jonas Karlsson, Musimmersion is "an event that is to SL concerts what Cirque de Soleil is to acrobatics".
The magic of music is its capacity to evoke in us an imaginary world and, through the temporary experience, the audience can explore and feel intense emotions. An attempt like Musimmersion places an easel, brush, code, and perhaps a pen, in the hands of the musician. They can better control the images that resonate within the song by creating 3D sets to fit the mood and message of individual songs. Imagine, if you will, being in something akin to a music video. In Malburns Writer's view, "Words cannot describe exactly what she did any more than still pictures can. So much was down to movement, effects and the interactive nature of the new world, not to mention her personal interpretation of the music she chose for the show. It was, dare I say it, a 'trip', in the sense we used to use the expression."
Musimmersion offers some great insights into what the future of live music in a virtual space might look like. The very stated goal of this experiment is to challenge people to see “music from a new perspective, teasing out bits of a musical arrangement onto a virtual canvas against which the live musician can work”. The aspect most astonishing about concepts such as Musimmersion is the convergence of many skill sets for the purpose of developing ever more compelling interactions between a virtual 3D space and the person sitting in front of the computer. The future of live musical performances, whatever that will be, is likely to hold a mix of incredible art, scripting, and unique musical talents, which should make us take another look at McDunnough's vision, “We are in the age of a new renaissance - the emergence of a technically capable creative class.”
To attend a show, simply join the group Votaries' of Grace and be on the look-out for announcements of Musimmersion. Group members typically get one hour advance notice and since this event is limited to the first 20 avatars who arrive, you will want this edge!