Monday, May 13, 2013

Rhi's Poem Relay for Life Show & The Art of Virtual Reality Conference (05.11.13)

Nothing like jumping back in with both feet! As you know from my recent woeful communiques, I had dental surgery on Monday, and singing was pretty much out of the question for the subsequent few days. Fortunately, my jaw was much more mobile by Saturday morning, for I had a busy schedule planned. I started by doing a full hour of original music at Rhi's Poem for a Relay for Life event, and an hour later, spoke and performed for a conference at UMass Lowell on "The Art of Virtual Reality".

Rhi's Poem/RFL
I love events in SL that are focused on original music. There's nothing wrong with covers; I obviously do most of my own shows with covers comprising over half of my repertoire. But as a whole, seeing artists do their own material offers a far more unique experience for the fans, at least the adventurous ones. February Jinx and Liz Harley had teamed up for a special fundraising event this weekend with an interesting format: half the performance's would be at February's Rhi's Poem, and the other half would be at Liz's Key West. But all of the performances for two full days would be limited to original music. It was great to be included in a cool lineup that included many of my own favorite SL artists!

I was part of a cool lineup of SL musicians, and this was only the first part of the event. Flyer by February Jinx.

Rocking some songs and begging for funds. Photo by Kat.

People seemed to be enjoying the tunes. I had fun performing them. Win. Photo by Kat.

I always have plenty of my own stuff for an hour-long set of originals. This time, I also decided to do a couple of songs from the upcoming album of They Stole My Crayon. I had to admit, before I played "Things Under Trees" for the first time, that it hardly qualified as an original, since the lyrics were by Kat and the music by Bunny. But if I can't cover my own band, there's something amiss in the world.

Rhi's Poem Set List...
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Go Easy on Me (Zak Claxton)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Perfect Girl (Zak Claxton)
Take The Ride (They Stole My Crayon)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
The Sands of Redondo (Zak Claxton)
*Things Under Trees (They Stole My Crayon)
Fade Away (Zak Claxton)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)

Big thanks to February and Liz for putting on this RFL event, and to al the people who helped support the cause!

The Art of Virtual Reality
An hour after I wrapped up at Rhi's Poem, I headed over to the sim of Sophia Yates, who'd asked if I could speak at a conference she'd put together at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She'd invited a number of people in various creative arts -- filmmakers, artists, and one rather silly musician -- who all created art that combined real life with the virtual world. The conference was held physically at the university, while the presenters were shown on a live streamed display from SL.

I didn't get to attend much of the event beyond my own section; obviously, I'd been too busy making my art to spend much time talking about it on that day. But in general, the parts I heard were indeed interesting, and according to the organizers, my presentation was well received. I spoke about connecting with an audience, and I covered both the tangible/technical and intangible/emotional aspects of doing that. I know the event was "filmed", so I should be able to repost my section of it sometime soon.

All in all, it was a busy day, and all before 2PM! Still, between the fundraising for RFL and the sharing of knowledge at the conference, I felt pretty good about having done my part to make the world a little cooler.

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