I love to sing; I enjoy playing both the guitar and the piano. While I have a very eclectic taste in music, I was raised on the classics when it came to piano – although I managed to sneak in my fair share of ragtime and popular pieces from the Great American Songbook without getting told off.
I’ve tried to reflect my rl love of music in-world in a number of ways: I’ve supported various clubs that reflect my style of music and I’ve considered the possibility of singing live at a venue somewhere (the major problem here being I have absolutely NO idea how to go about doing so…).
Given all this, it will come as no surprise that a piano features as a central part of my SL home. My particular piano is a concert grand (something I’d love to have at home in rl, had I the physical space), made by the outstanding Persephone Milk as the flagship in her Musical Alchemy range. I’ve been the proud owner of this piano since version 3.0, and it has featured in every home I’ve built for myself in Second Life.
For those not familiar with Persephone’s work, it is – quite simply – the finest in SL where musical instruments are concerned. Her attention to detail is simply stunning. While her attention to detail and styling is seen throughout her range of instruments, it is with the piano that I think she has achieved something of outright beauty.
From the brass castors of this wheels, up through the ornate legs, right to the top edge of the raised lid, absolutely gorgeous. Not only that, it is packed with features, including:
- The ability of up to 3 people to play the keyboard at one time
- A series of high-quality poses for use by individuals and couples, allowing them to sit, lie or simply rest on the (closed) lid of the piano and listen to the music
- A hinged, multi-position lid: have it fully open, half open or simply with the front open
- A hinged keyboard cover that can be raised or lowered
- Colour options for the exterior finish and interior detail
- A selection of rezzable “extras”
Take these features, and combine them with the selection of pre-recorded pieces Persephone has taken time to put together, and her piano becomes a hands-down winner.
I learned to play using pieces like Fur Elise and Moonlight Sonata (who didn’t) – so these tend to be staples of many pianos in-world (which isn’t to say they are not favourites of mine). With them come another couple of “popular” (as in recognisable) pieces by Mozart: his Sonata No 11 and Sonata Facile. But Persephone adds (for me) a winning combination of pieces that place here piano well ahead of the rest, even allowing for the huge range of features.
There’s an excerpt from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (a piece that is simply superb when heard on the harpsichord), Satie’s haunting Gymnopedie No 1 (which I originally learned as a result of hearing John William’s arrangement for Sky’s debut album while I was little) and even Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag.
The music selection is rounded-out by Schubert’s Impromptu D899 No 3 and Persephone’s own Persephone’s Theme – itself a wonderful piece.
And as if all this weren’t enough, Persephone has just release version 6.0, which not only refines the look and styling even further – it removes almost all of the stuttering playback common to in-world musical instruments when they play and adds a built-in “speaker” system that massively enhances the listening experience compared to other systems.
All-in-all, Persephone’s concert grand pushes my buttons musically and aesthetically. It has been – and remains – one of my all-time favourite purchases within Second Life; I really cannot recommend it enough.