There's something I've never mentioned before on this blog, namely because I'd never done it before until last night. But now that I have, I want to do it a lot more!
I'm talking about multi-streaming. What is that? The very simple explanation is that it allows two or more people to perform live music together at the same time in Second Life. The way it works is pretty crazy. If you don't like techno-babble, you may want to skip the next part. Basically, when someone performs in SL, they broadcast over an Internet stream... the same way you access Internet radio online. I provide a stream address to the venue (basically a specialized URL), they plug it in, and you hear me in world. In a multi-stream, my stream is picked up by another musician in an application like iTunes, and then they play along, and send the combination of both streams into SL.
I'm in Los Angeles, and Lyndon is in Seattle. This fact doesn't stop us from rocking together in SL. Photo by Triana.
The upside is that our audience gets to hear both artists performing together, as if they were in the same room even though they might be thousands of miles apart in real life. The downside? Only one: the person who is "first in line" (i.e., the one originating the stream) cannot hear the people who come after him/her. It takes some good musicianship to do harmonies and such when you're not actually hearing the other person! But still, if you choose your material well, it can be a ton of fun.
All that brings me to my report from my very first multi-streamed show, which was last night at Molaskey's Pub along with my pal Lyndon Heart. Lyndon and I got to know each other last February at the San Diego SL Jam, and we have a ton of musical tastes and influences in common. We also have a common manager in Maali Beck, and it was she that suggested we do a show together. I've seen many multi-streamed shows in SL with artists including Lyndon, Max Kleene, Beth Odets, and others, but as I said up top, I'd never done it myself. Lyndon suggested that for this first time, it would be easier if I was first in line in the stream (I agreed heartily), and we got together in SL the evening before just to make sure that we were ready to rock with our technical setup. Yesterday morning, we picked out some songs that would work in that format, and then we did the show.
Molaskey's always brings in a great audience made up of people who really care about music. that's one of the many things that makes it one of SL's finest live music venues. Photo by Kat.
The way it was scheduled was that I had the 6-7PM hour, while Lyndon was booked for the 7-8PM slot. I came onstage and did my usual thing (a few originals, a few covers) until 6:45, when I was joined by Mr. Heart. We played together for a half hour until 7:15, and then Lyndon did his solo stuff for the remaining 45 minutes (actually, knowing Lyndon, he probably went quite a bit longer, but by then I was starving to death and had to leave SL to get some calories in me). But during the show, we had a fantastic crowd that combined my Zakster fans with Lyndon's audience and the regulars at Molaskey's. I haven't heard the section of the show with Lyndon and I together (and am really hoping that I can check out a recording later), but on my end, things were sounding really good. I couldn't be happier with the performance, and (probably more importantly) everyone seemed to have a great time.
Lyndon and I made a damn good musical team. I can guarantee that wasn't the last time we'll rock the grid together. Photo by Kat.
Molaskey's Set List (Zak Alone)...
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Breaking Us in Two (Joe Jackson)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Starman (David Bowie)
Molaskey's Set List (Zak and Lyndon)...
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Beatles)
Sister Golden Hair (America)
Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
Mary Jane's Last Dance (Tom Petty)
The Weight (The Band)
You've Got a Friend (Carole King)
Thanks very much to everyone who came out to see Lyndon and I perform together at Molaskey's! Special thanks to those who helped support my show!
Sloane Cerise, Triana Caldera, Tayzia Abattoir, Kat Claxton, Phobe Cazalet, Marissa Fredriksson, GMetal Svartur, Bree Birke, Diana Renoir, Xerxes Ninetails, TheaDee, Aurelie Chenaux, my wonderful manager Maali Beck, and Molaskey's staff including Katydid Something, Apple MacKay, Cicadetta Stillwater, Mia Kitchensink, and the rest!