Sunday, June 2, 2013

Synthesis (06.01.13)

Well, Sunday morning is turning out really good so far. For one thing, we're making wonderful progress on new songwriting and recording/production for our band They Stole My Crayon. But there's still a smile on my face left over from last night's special event in Second Life to support Relay for Life. It was called Synthesis... a good name for an event that combined live original music and amazing dance performances.

To be frank, I wasn't sure what could be so great about a dance performance in SL. I mean, what's the big deal? Someone clicks a little ball in SL and boom... they're a great dancer, right? Well, let me tell you: I had no clue as to how amazing and intricate the sets and performances would be. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me step back here and tell you what actually happened.

The event, which was put together and coordinated by Thea Dee, featured four musicians, each paired with one dancer from the Guerilla Burlesque crew in SL. The musician would play a few of his or her original songs live, and then a dancer would do an interpretive dance to a studio recording on one of the artist's songs. The musician/dancer pairings (in order of appearance) were myself and Bonnie Revnik, Lacey Lohner and Chewie Quixote, Mulder Watts and Thea Dee, and Joel Eilde (Dragonfly) and Zahra Ethaniel. The whole event took only 90 minutes, and was run very well. I was super impressed; anyone who's dealt with events in SL where many performers have to flip back and forth on the same stream and entire acts/sets have to be switched in seconds knows that it's not always an easy task to do smoothly.

The other thing that needs mentioning: the set designs! It was like a little theatrical performance each time the curtain rolled up and one of the dancers started their song. The presentations were dynamic, with amazing props and lighting. I was completely blown away. Hopefully some of the pictures below give you an idea of cool this was.

The audience takes their seats at the start of the event. Photo and top photo by Kat.

The theater build itself (at Idle Rogue) was spectacular. Photo by Kat.

Bonnie Revnik did a great job interpreting my song "Fade Away" in dance. Photo by Kat.

Bonnie fades away during her dance. Loved it! Photo by Kat.

This bears mentioning... SL was unfortunately not being cooperative right at the start of the show, with the sim crashing twice. Despite that, the maximum avatar limit of 60 people was maintained through much of the show, which means people wanted to see this so much that they made a huge effort to keep re-logging and returning. That was very, very cool.

I also have to give massive kudos to musicians Lacey Lohner, Mulder Watts, and Joel Eilde. All of them did shows of their own tunes that were astonishingly good, and a fine reminder that SL has some musical talent that's on par with any community of musicians in the world. It was great to be able to share our mutual respect for one another as we chatted between performances.

Synthesis Set List...
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
†Fade Away (Zak Claxton)

†Fade Away was the song to which Bonnie danced, and was performed along with the studio recording.

Huge thanks to everyone who attended and supported Relay for Life via their generous donations!

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