The Particle Master and the Angel

Tyrehl Byk: The Ego's Many Eyes - Angel Manor Art Gallery
Tyrehl Byk: The Ego’s Many Eyes – Angel Manor Art Gallery

It’s pretty well established that I’m a Tyrehl Byk fan, as a poke at this blog will show (although sadly, RL kept me from his most recent performance of Catharsis, which I still find enthralling). So when I caught a notice via the .:SL Art:. group that he has an exhibit at Angel Manor, I had to go and spend time admiring.

For those not familiar with Tyrehl, he is the Master of the Particle, able to marshal them into unique, also living, forms and create fantastic, immersive shows with them, such as the aforementioned Catharsis or his Particle Phantasmagoria.

Tyrehl Byk: Microcosm #1, Angel Manor Art Gallery
Tyrehl Byk: Microcosm #1 – Angel Manor Art Gallery

The pieces on display at Angel Manor are all of  much smaller scale – small enough, in fact to be used on one’s home or store (many are on sale). The majority of them are touch-activated via a control panel, and some feature buttons which allow the visitor to generate different effects and patterns. A notice just inside the entrance to the exhibit offers comfort to those worried about the impact of particle rendering may have on any neighbours within draw distance should they purchase a piece:

If not turned-off manually, all purchased touch-activated sculptures will automatically turn-off one hour after being turned on. This feature is in place to reduce the load on the graphics cards of people in your neighbourhood who are within their draw distance to your sculptures.

Tyrehl Byk: Mitochondrion - Angel Manor Art Gallery
Tyrehl Byk: Mitochondrion – Angel Manor Art Gallery

Make sure you have local sounds on when exploring, as sound is very much a part of the experience.

The pieces on display range from those suitable for mounting on a wall, through to those displayed in their own shrouds and which would form a centrepiece both indoors or outdoors (especially at night in a garden), to free-standing items which would be at home in any corner of a room.

Tyrehl Byk: A Toroid Affair - Angel Manor Art Gallery
Tyrehl Byk: A Toroid Affair – Angel Manor Art Gallery

This is another exhibit where still images don’t do the work justice – so be sure to add  it to your list of places to visit.

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The Community Cultural Hub

The Cultural Community Hub
The Community Cultural Hub

Honour McMillan led me to the Community Cultural Hub, an undertaking by Beth Ghostraven and Ewan Bonham as members of the Virginia Society for Technology In Education, itself an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education.

The purpose of the Hub is to develop “a resource directory of ethnic, cultural and historical communities for use by educators and students for research and learning.” Although, as Honour noted, it’s also a useful resource for the intrepid Second Life explorer.

The Cultural Community Hub
The Community Cultural Hub

Inside the Hub are information boards on communities within SL, arranged into a number of categories (Arts, Spiritual, Educational, Historical, Countries, Social Services, and Other). Clicking on an info board delivers a note card on the named community, while upstairs, there is a bookcase where more in-depth information on many of the communities can be obtained in the form of an interview  / Q&A with one or more of the community’s leaders.

There is also an open invitation to communities which fit the overall goal of the Hub:

If you belong to a community which prides itself on cohesiveness culture, tradition, ritual, [and] values, which are embodied in the collective identity, we would like to hear from you. At the very least, we would like information on your community. At best, we would like to interview one or several community members.

The Cultural Community Hub
The Community Cultural Hub

Those who are interested in joining the Cultural Community Hub should contact either Beth Ghostraven or Ewan Bonham in-world.

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The {Lost} Garden: The Akasha Mechanicum

The {Lost} Garden: The Akasha Mechanicum
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari: The Akasha Mechanicum (click any image for full size)

Earlier in the week, I dropped in to LEA13 and Xineohp Guisse’s The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari, his mythology-in-the-making, and the first part of which I visited on February 9th.

At the time I dropped in, the second chapter of the tale was being installed – most notably, a huge creature rising from the sea, but the book had not been updated, so I tiptoed away to wait to see what transpired.

I didn’t have long to wait, as a couple of days later, Honour McMillan and I bumped into one another exploring Cica Ghost’s Little Village, and Honour dropped me a note card containing chapter 2 of story. Even so, it wasn’t until this weekend that I managed to hop back over to see what else had been added.

The {Lost} Garden: The Akasha Mechanicum
The {Lost} Garden of sundarya Lahari: The Akasha Mechanicum

In the first part of the story, we learned how the Ancients discovered a kind of reed capable of resonating a sound frequency when touched. Harvesting the reeds, the Ancients used them in a meditative and spiritual garden. When the Ancients discovered a symbiote, which they called the Pentapuss, and which fed off the sound waves made by the reeds, they created biospheres in which to nurture juvenile Pentapuss, helping them to reach maturity.

And so the story was told; that many moons had passed, and the Ancients had built their garden of tranquility – a place of musical beauty providing solace and much enjoyment.

So opens the second chapter of The {Lost} Garden, which continues:

A wondrous creature rose from the waters one day. With fear in their hearts and in haste, the Ancients captured and killed the “beast”.

The Ancients realised, that in their foolish haste, they had killed the mother to the creatures they had so lovingly nurtured, and that Mother had only arisen from the depth of the blue waters to the call of her younglings.

So the Ancients built the Mechanicum – to keep mother alive so that her species live on …

The {Lost} Garden: The Akasha Mechanicum
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari: The Akasha Mechanicum

It is the Mechanicum that forms the great sea-beast rising from the waters near the Garden’s arrival point. Beneath it lies a wondrous underwater garden, which can be reached either by stepping off the side of the walkways leading from the arrival point, or by falling up to the headless maw of the creature and then walking down through it.

This latter route will see you fall through an organ which appears to be laying eggs. More of these eggs are cradled in shell-like cups. Rolling around the seabed beneath these are young Pentapuss, while swimming around them are one-eyes larvae which occasionally penetrate the eggs, causing them to glow. Around all, nutritional spores fall from the mother-beast and rise from the eggs.

The {Lost} Garden: The Akasha Mechanicum
The {Lost} Garden of Sundarya Lahari: The Akasha Mechanicum

The symbolism evident in the eggs and the swimming creatures is clear  – and quite visual, given the nature of the texturing on the eggs themselves. It’s also entirely intentional, given that this represents the birthplace of the symbiotic Pentapuss. Photos alone actually don’t do the Mechanicum or the undersea scenes justice; there is far too much movement and changes of colour for a still image to capture; rather, it is best witnessed and experienced.

More chapters of the story are due to be added in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have not already done so, I do urge that you visit The {Lost} Garden; it really is visually stunning.

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Of dying detectives, fairyland adventures and a return to Tulfarris

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 March 9th,13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street: The Adventure of the Dying Detective

Tea-time at Baker Street sees as Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kayden Oconnell reading stories 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, but an eighth was added to later editions. The Adventure of the Dying Detective is the fifth story in the collection.

Sherlock Holmes is dying. That is the shocking discovery Doctor John Watson makes on being called to 221B Baker Street. The Great Detective has apparently contracted a contagious and rare Asian disease while on a case in Rotherhithe. Mrs. Watson confirms Holmes has not eaten or taken a drink in three days.

Wanting to assist his friend, Watson finds himself forced to wait – the contagious nature of Homes’ illness preventing him from carrying out an examination – until six o’clock that evening, when Holmes reveals the name of the one man who can save him, one Culverton Smith. Unfortunately, Smith may not be predisposed to lending assistance, as he is not a doctor, but a man Holmes once implicated in a murder.

Before Watson departs to bring the man to Baker Street, Holmes makes a mysterious request: once he has secured Smith’s agreement to come to Holmes, Watson ensures he returns to Baker Street quite independently of Smith. Confused, but determined to help his dying friend, Watson sets out on his mission …

Find out more by joining Caledonia, Corwyn and Kayden!

Monday March 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 March 11th, 19:00: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

FairylandFaery Maven Pralou reads from Catherynne M. Valente’s tale about twelve-year-old September. Living in Omaha, she has a very ordinary life until her father goes to war and her mother goes. leaving her at home on her own.

One day, she is visited by a Green Wind who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland, where the new Marquess, of about the same age as September, is unpredictable and fickle.

This Green Wind tells September that only she can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t, then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. And so begins an extraordinary adventure, which sees September travelling through Fairyland, accompanied by a book-loving dragon, and a boy named Saturday …

Wednesday March 12th, 19:00: A Year in Tulfarris – St. Patrick’s Day!

Join Caledonia as she returns to the pages of Caitilin Walsh & Alfred Hellstern’s very personal and charming tale of their time in Ireland, as told in her words and illustrated by his photographs.

Thursday March 13th

16:00: Original Irish Tales

With Caledonia Skytower.

19:00: The Lady of the Well

fountain-mabShandon Loring sits down to read from another tale rooted in the Mabinogion.

Originally called The Countess of the Fountain, one of the three Welsh romances associated with the Mabinogion, this is the tale of Owain, a knight at King Arthur’s court. While the king sleeps, Owain takes to telling tales with fellow knights, Kynon and Kai, only to hear Kynon tell a story of damsels, castles, great hospitality, jousts and his own shaming.

Intrigued by the tale – which is interrupted by Arthur’s awakening – Owain sets out to follow Kynon’s steps. And so he embarks on a wondrous adventure which see him repeating – and exceeding – Kynon’s deeds. In doing so, he meets the maid Luned, and finds himself the defender of the fountain and married to the Countess of the Fountain. Then, three years later, Arthur and his retinue arrive …

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 March and April is Project Children: building true and lasting peace in Northern Ireland one child at a time.

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