OBR: poets write and rise on February 14th

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Poets from across Second Life will be adding their voices to the music and dance of One Billion Rising for justice on February 14th, 2014.

Two special poetry sessions, complete with open microphones will be taking place at 08:00 and 15:00 SLT at the special arena for 2D Art on the One Billing Rising regions. Both sessions are being organised by Jilly Kidd, and if you wish to add your voice and words to either session, please contact her in-world ahead of time.

OBR poetry-flyer

Further Information

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Get ready to immerse yourself in the Singularity of Kumiko

Kumiko-poster

Bryn Oh will be unveiling her newest immersive piece on Friday February 14th, and it is something very special, as I found out after she kindly invited me to pop over and have a look.

The Singularity of Kumiko is an interactive story in which the visitor is very much a participant, and as such, open to some of the dangers inherent in the narrative!

The Singularity of Kumiko - opening February 14th
The Singularity of Kumiko – opening February 14th

Describing her approach to the piece, Bryn says, “As with Imogen and the Pigeons, I am attempting to look at the virtual medium and determine what is unique about it over other mediums such as painting, sculpture and cinema. Then I work towards using those strengths to create an immersive experience that is specific to a multi user environment. ”

As a part of the invitation, Bryn specifically asked me not to include any photos which might spoil the narrative of the piece, and I hope those included here meet that request. What I can say, having spent time exploring, is that this is a unique and engrossing piece, and Bryn’s note about possibly feeling lost and anxious at some points is true – it does add to one’s involvement in the story!

I’ll have more nearer the opening, but in the meantime, here is a stunning teaser / trailer of the piece from Bryn – and You’ll want to watch it!

Firestorm Q&A: Saturday February 15th

firestorm-logoThe Firestorm have been working hard on readying a new release of the viewer. Beta version of Firestorm 4.5.2 have been under beta evaluation for the last week or so, (and is looking good – the most recent version appears to have cured an issue I’ve had with Firestorm and my GTX 660 GPU, so right now I’m a very happy bunny).

There are still some decisions to be made, as a result, the next Firestorm Q&A session will be on Saturday February 15th. As per usual, the venue for the meeting will be the Phoenix Firestorm Support Island theatre, commencing at 16:00 SLT.

Jessica and the firestorm team promise "exciting news" at the next Q&A session
Jessica and the firestorm team promise “exciting news” at the next Q&A session

References to some “great news” and “exciting times are coming” within the blog post announcing the meeting has led to speculation as to what might be announced.

As well as working directly on the viewer, members of the Firestorm team have, as reported in these pages, been working on integrating Leap Motion into the viewer on behalf of the Lab and Leap Motion – so rumours have been circulating that the next release will include Leap Motion support, and it would seem that initial support for the device may be available in one form or another.

Those who use Firestorm for their SL photography may well have a nice little surprise waiting for them as well 😉 , as might Linux users.

However, the best way to be sure of what is coming is to attend the meeting. As usual, and on behalf of the team, I’ll be providing a transcript after the fact.

Of daemon lovers, alien encounters, intrigue and murder

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday February 9th

13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street: The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge, Part 2

Tea-time at Baker Street embarks on a new series of adventures as Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kayden Oconnell commence reading from His Last Bow.

A 1917 anthology of previously published Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, His Last Bow originally comprised seven stories published byThe Strand Magazine between 1908 and 1917. However, later editions of the book saw an eighth story included, The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, originally published in 1892.

Today we hear the second part of The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge, a two-part story originally published in September 1908, and which forms the first tale in the volume. As a two-part story, the adventure comprises The Singular Experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles and The Tiger of San Pedro.

In the first installment of the tale, we heard of how the gentleman of the title, Mr. John Scott Eccles of Surrey, arrived at 221B Baker Street in an agitated state, wishing to discuss something of a “grotesque” nature with Holmes and Watson. But no sooner has he arrived than so did Inspector Gregson of the Yard, accompanied by Inspector Baynes of the Surrey constabulary, wishing to question Eccles about the murder of a Spanish national at a house in which Eccles had spent the previous night.

Now, in the second part of the tale, with Eccles’ story of the events of the previous day told, Holmes and Watson visit the scene of the crime with Inspector Baynes. Here, more mystery awaits, with the constable left to guard the house reporting seeing a brutish-looking man at the window, and a number of odd items within the property leading Holmes to believe voodoo may be involved, and confirming his suspicions that far more is going on than meets the eye.  But when Baynes arrests the cook from the house on suspicion of the murder, the case appears to be resolved – at least for the police. Sherlock Holmes, however, is far from convinced.

Find out more by joining Caledonia, Corwyn and Kayden!

18:00: Magicland Storytime

The Pooh Bear Pajama Party! Come suitably attired and join Caledonia Skytower at Magicland Park.

Monday February 10th, 19:00: From an Alien Point of View

When humans interact with aliens, who are actually alien, we run into the fact that we’re as weird to them as they are to us. This can cause the most remarkable misunderstandings…. More thought-provoking sci-fi from the collection of Gyro Muggins.

Tuesday February 11th, 19:00: The Te of Piglet Continues

Winnie the Pooh may have been a Bear Of Very Little Brain often bothered by long words, but in 1982, through him, his friends in the 100 Acre Wood and their adventures, Benjamin Hoff found the perfect means of introducing a western audience to the principles and ideals of Taoism.

That work was covered in a series of readings in mid-2013 by Caledonia and Kayden. Now they conclude their reading of the 1992 companion volume to that work, The Te of Piglet.

Te is a Chinese word commonly interpreted to mean ‘power’ or ‘virtue’, but which has far more depth than either, being more a special quality of character, spiritual strength, or hidden potential unique to the individual. Through this book, Hoff further explores Taoist concepts, notably that ‘the virtue of the small’, showing how Piglet has great Te, not just because of his diminutive stature, but because he has Tz’u – a great heart, even if – as is so often the case – he’s generally unaware of the fact that he has.

Taking a somewhat different approach to the original Tao of Pooh, this book uses the other characters from the 100 Acre Wood to show how our own humanity, in is different facets and forms, is seen by the Taoist as a series of impediments to our living in harmony with the Tao.

Wednesday February 12th, 19:00: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

In 1915, a 54-year-old Sherlock Holmes find his retirement to the Sussex Downs, where he is studying the habits of the honey bee, to be interrupted by the unexpected arrival of 15-year-old Mary Russell. American by birth, Ms. Russell had come to England to live with her Aunt following the tragic death of her parents in an automobile accident.

Holmes is impressed by the young lady’s wit and intellect, ne before he knows it, he finds himself teaching her his former tradecraft of solving crimes. Thus was formed a new partnership is formed between the very modern young Miss Russell and the very Victorian Great Detective.

Now Caledonia returns with more tales from the pen of Laurie R. King, and her series of stories for young adults which focus on the adventure Ms Russell and Mr. Sherlock Holmes shared.

Thursday February 13th

15:30: The Ballad of Donny Granger

The Ballads of Donny Granger, Book One is the first full-length illustrated novel from the mind Stephanie Mesler, also known in Second Life as Freda Frostbite. Want to know more? Then join Freda at the Seanchai library!

19:00: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers

SirensShandon Loring dips into another anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. This is a volume dealing with love, lust, want and need of a most unusual kind, all bound together in twenty-two tales of sensual and erotic stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, Tanith Lee, and Joyce Carol Oates.

Incubi and succubi, windows, sirens and daemons and more are all brought forth in a series of bewitching tales with distinctly adult themes, all imaginatively told and, as one might expect, at times containing a twist or two along the way.

So be prepared to be seduced by powerful magic, and to submit to darkest delights!

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Details still TBA, so please check with the Seanchai Library blog as the week progresses.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for January and February is The Xerces Society and their efforts at world-wide conservation and education for some of the smallest creatures on our earth.

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{Lost} in a garden of sounds

The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)

According to myths, the Ancients discovered a botanical species; a kind of reed that was capable of resonating a sound frequency when touched. The Ancients harvested these reeds and created a meditative and spiritual garden.

Quite by accident, the Ancients also discovered a symbiotic creature to the reeds; which they named the Pentapuss. The Pentapuss has the same form and biological structure as the reeds, and fed off the soundwaves made by the reeds. In doing so, their movements amongst the reeds nurtured the growth of the reeds to maturity.

The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)

So opens the first chapter of The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari, which is also the name of the first part of Xineohp Guisse’s interactive environment, located at LEA13, and part of the 6th round of Artist In Residence installations for the first half of 2014. The story goes on:

The Ancients built BioPods and BioSpheres; to nurture these reeds and the young, juvenile pentapussies. They built contemplative Elemental pods at the Chamber of the Ancients, to observe these creatures and plants. They built a music chamber, where they can physically interact with the reeds……

The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)

In time, the garden grew to become a beautiful space – to contemplate and be as one with the beings that surrounds them.

As you might expect, given the story, this is a place where you’ll need to have sound on – though not media enabled – in order to fully experience this city-like garden with its tall structures and musical chambers. The music, produced by Xineohp plucking the strings of a cello, can initially sound random and tonal (and at times faintly memorable of a guzheng); however, when walking through the interactive chamber, it is possible to produce something more melodic and soothing.

The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)

This is only the first chapter in what promises to be an unfolding story (and environment) which will be added to each month. As such, it is doubtless one you’ll want to return to as it progresses. I know I will.

Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of the book at the arrival chamber.

The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari (click for full size)

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