Until the LEA Full Sim Art series, I confess (and to my lasting shame) I’d never heard of Tyrehl Byk. Now I can’t get his work out of my head.
Catharsis is one of two pieces that have taken over at LEA6 from Rebeca Bashly’s stunning and evocative Inferno (the other being Quadrapop Lane’s Retrospective Highlights of 4 Years in SL).
In many respects, trying to review this piece is counter-productive because no amount of words is ever going to achieve the wonder of actually going along and experiencing a performance. Indeed, saying too much may actually serve to spoil things – so I make no apology if the rest of this review is light on details – although the images should hopefully speak volumes and serve to whet appetites.
Catharsis commences in a wonderfully scripted theatre that is very mindful of a planetarium. It’s best to go as lightly scripted as possible in order to reduce the server-side load: there is an awful lot going on throughout the show. Once seated – and in case you don’t get the notecard – set your draw distance to 250 metres, set particle count to maximum, sun to midnight, close all on-screen floaters and then tap ESC a couple of times to free-up your camera controls.
This last item is important, as it allows Tyrehl to take control of your camera and move you through various settings in order to witness the piece. I’d also add that if you can, watch the presentation in a darkened room; the effects are magnificent.
“Catharsis” itself is a term used in dramatic art to describe an emotional cleansing. In essence, it refers to an extreme change in emotion brought about through the experience of strong feelings and / or responses – fear, pity and sorrow being the most common forms, although it can equally come through laughter as a result of comedy.
As an immersive experience, Catharsis uses an eclectic mix of music and images to create an amazing visual and aural ride carefully and cleverly balanced – not that you are aware of it at the time – designed to guide you to a certain emotional point. Through the first half we are treated to images that inspire awe and which, with their irreverent pokes, also incite the audience to have a little laugh or two.
However it is in the latter half of the show that one is completely blown away. It is here that the clever deception – if I can use that term – comes to light. There is no warning of the coming change in emotional focus and context; as a result, the impact and the response it generates are both that much deeper. Here is the reason for the title of the piece, and I will only say that it is a perfect mix of images coupled with an inspired choice of Hans Zimmer’s most evocative soundtrack. They are brought together in a manner that left me – and others in the audience – in tears.
As the performance finished, so it also left many of us feeling intensely aware, alive, renewed.
Catharsis – emotional, cleansing and utterly superb. See it.
Tomorrow, Sunday 6th November, the legendary Mankind Tracer – in real life one very talented Seth Regan will be hosting his annual “Peace Love and Belief” (PLB) concert across Second Life.
Marking its fifth year, PLB will be broadcast across a total of 60 sims (eight more than last year), with Seth performing for two hours between 12:00 and 14:00 SLT.
This year, 50% of all proceeds will be given to research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which affects some 350,000 people worldwide, and leads to some 50% of victims dying within three years of diagnosis.
The show will comprise live video and audio streams to the 60 sims involved in the event, and Seth himself will be appearing in-world at one of the locations to take requests.
Regions participating in the event comprise:
Solace Beach, Black Sand Beach, The Majestic, JSP Lounge, Chompers, The Mad Hatter, Club Graffiti Mary Jane Shoes, The Bay, Best of SL (BOSL), Monaco Yachts, Brews & Blues, The Hourglass, Gizza Creations, Miss Darcy!, Champion Horses, Cranberry Cove, MJ’s Blues and Dance, Big Bad Wolf Road House, NY HealthScape Expo Center, Hobo Juke Joint, Mojo Haven Blues and Rock Club, The Rose Theatre, Club NaggnRoth, Bakari’s Island Paradise, Two Moon Paradise, Club Blue Twilight, Neon Moon Lounge, Palazzo Celestiale, Club Myst, Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Nouvel Eden, White Tigers Island, Cafe Andromeda, Villa Lobos, The Crazy Parrot, Crossroads Bar, Yehonatan, Palm Springs, Phoenatopia, Club Kasra, Key west, Fire n Ice, Paris Metro, Plaza Luna, Frank’s Elite Jazz, The Labyrinth Theater, Warung Beats, The SL Enquirer, Sanctuary Beach, Mahalo Kai, PRAKA, Kickin Club, Dream Isle of Love, Giant Snail Races, Blue Bloods Mall, Twisted Thorne Textures, Global Online Hockey Association, The New Colour Factory, Absolut Model District.
Sadly, I can’t include LMs for each venue – I’d be hopping all over the Grid with no time for anything else :). However, each venue will have a Landmark board with a clickable list of venues, which will ease getting to one if you find the first you choose is too crowded. You may, however, wish to start your journey from the board at Good Day Sunshine, or see the Destination Guide.
I don’t really do product reviews in this blog, mainly because others do them so much better than I. But that said, there is a product range I’ve recently become aware of that is worth a mention, as it is pretty neat – especially for those living on a prim budget. It’s the PrimPossible range by Ample Clarity, and it means you can pretty much furnish the major rooms of your house without taking up more than 10 prims.
Yes, that’s right, 10 prims.
Ample uses sculpties to create his furniture – and uses them to great effect. Take his lounge suites. The “full” packs include a 2-seat sofa, an armchair, rug, and generally a coffee table & side table, furniture shadows, together with various extras depending on the set (such as a set of books or a plant on the coffee table, a lamp on the side table, etc.) – and all in a single prim! They even come in a number of styles, either with or without exterior frames.
Fully menu-driven, the suites include a comprehensive range of male, female and unisex sitting and other animations (massages, dances). All of the animations are fully adjustable, and as Ample uses AVSitter, there are no poseballs and the scripting takes care of where to sit additional people – little risk of you finding a friend ending up on your lap by mistake! The range of sitting options is impressive, and all of the animations are of an excellent standard, and fully adjustable.
A further button on the menu – EXTRAS – provides access to colour-changing options, an allows you to remove unwanted elements – don’t like the potted plant? remove it! want to use your own rug? remove the supplied one! The DEFAULT button will return removed items – although it’s a shame they cannot be toggled on/off individually.
There are also other packs comprising an armchair and sofa (1 prim each) for those that would like the option of adjusting the relative position of their furnishings.
The beds are similar to the suites, but with far more colour combinations. Available in two styles – one somewhat Japanese Gaijan style, the other what I’ll describe as “European modern” – and both nicely styled. They again include a comprehensive range of animations, options to remove unwanted elements (bedside lamps, etc.), and colour changing – and once again, they are a single prim. Like the lounge suites, removed items can be replaced once more by selecting the DEFAULT option from the menu.
Obviously, it all being one-prim, the lounge suites and beds don’t include scripts for the table lamps (not unless you want a glow-in-the dark sofa or bed!), but it’s a simple matter to add scripted illumination if you wish via phantom invisiprims, suitably scripted and placed over the lamps themselves.
The prim perfect range also includes:
A selection of dining table options with 4 chairs & seating animations
Hot tubs (currently only available via the SL Marketplace due to the adult rating of some of the animations)
A range of three pianos
And – coming soon – one prim kitchen ranges.
I came across PrimPossible as a direct result of the pianos. As friends know, I’ve had an ongoing love affair with my Musical Alchemy concert grand by Persephone Milk; I regard it as the finest prim piano in SL and the options it includes are stunning. However, even in its basic display mode, it does eat-up 85 prims; that’s a lot when you’re on a budget. At one prim, the PrimPossible pianos offer those with limited prim space a worthwhile alternative.
At the time of writing, Ample has three models in the range, priced between L$450 and L$1200. All have the same selection of 15 pieces of music, the same seating animation and the same clarity of playback with a good volume range. However, there are other differences.
I initially tried the L$450 model; it is nice enough in terms of styling and is apparently very popular. I’m sadly a detail nut, and I was personally disappointed with the out-of-scale texture used for the piano’s interior workings. Those who are as obsessive as me in this regard may find the L$950 model a better option. This not only fixes the internal texture issue, it also adds colour-changing and the ability to have the lid open or closed.
However, for me the Rolls-Royce of the range is the L$1200 model. It is simply stunning. The look is very refined and the traditional black lacquer finish (there are other colour versions available, but I’m a traditionalist) is excellent. This model lacks the lid open / closed options, but includes a very nicely-done shadow effect. It is also slightly larger than the L$460/L$950 models, so I think of it as a concert grand. All told, it’s a beautiful item, and I’m now proud to have one at home.
PrimPossible is an impressive range. At L$950 for a suite / bed, they are around the mid-price level, and given the range of animations include and the fact that they are only one prim, represent a fair price. The sofa with armchair options come in at L$800 (at the time of writing) and offer flexibility of placement for those who need it, for only 2 prims. All items are NO MOD, NO TRANSFER / NO COPY (which seems to be the way with a lot of furniture nowadays), although copyable versions are available at a higher price depending on the item in question.
Do remember in the case of the lounge suites, that they are only one prim, and so individual items in the suite – tables, chairs – cannot be freely repositioned independently of one another.
If I’m totally honest, the overall texture finish on the sofa and armchair in the suites is a little bland: the cushions appear to be almost plain in terms of texture, which leaves them looking a tad odd with some colour options, but when presents an acceptable “smooth leather” look with colours such as the deep red and blue. That said, I would also pass comment that I’ve come across multi-prim furniture at far higher prices in SL that have the same weakness. I’m actually still seriously considering a lounge suite to replace my current set of furniture. I don’t need to save prims in this instance – I just like the items!
Overall, the range cannot be faulted, especially if you are on a prim budget. And even if you’re not, the furniture will still more than grace a home. For those that like to put their prim allowance (or should I say Land Impact!) to work in other ways but still enjoy having a comfortable SL home, then PrimPossible offers an excellent option for doing so.
Ample provides outstanding after-sales care. A rare server-side bug meant I encountered issues with my lounge. While the issue was not Ample’s fault, he immediately offered one of four alterntives to correct the problem. When that failed, he immediately offered a second option which resolved the issue. No fuss, no bother no question.