A Carnival of the Arts: celebrating 2 years in Second Life

Jasmine's Hollow; Inara Pey, June 2015, on Flickr Jasmine’s Hollow (Flickr) – click an image for full size

Two years ago I visited Jasmine’s Hollow and the Dirty Grind for the first time (you can read about my visit here). Back then it was relatively new to Second Life, offering a community environment blending a mix of styles – rural, small town, steampunk – presenting a mix of residential accommodation, music and entertainment and photographic opportunities, all of which came together to present a rich environment, pleasing to the eye and pleasant to visit.

Since that time, Jasmine’s Hollow and the Dirty Grind have grown into an arts-centric community run by Lisa Witterdoodlesteinbeauchamp (aka (jasmine0alaya) and her partner, Ian Witterdoodlesteinbeauchamp (Ian McConach), offering a unique environment in which live music and the arts are actively encouraged and promoted.

Jasmine's Hollow; Inara Pey, June 2015, on Flickr Jasmine’s Hollow (Flickr

To mark the community’s second anniversary, Jasmine’s Hollow and the Dirty Grind is hosting a special 4-day celebration between Thursday, June 18th, and Sunday, June 21st. A Carnival of the Arts will kick-off at The Dirty Grind at 16:00 SLT on Thursday, June 18th, and features live music throughout the weekend, and the work of featured artist, Sina Souza.

While there may be further changes to the schedule (so please check with the official website), at the time of writing the music line-up for the celebrations was as follows (all times SLT):

Thurs 18 June Fri 19 June Sat 20 June Sun 21 June
16:00: KatRose 15:00: Suzen JueL 15:00: Kiesta Aljon 14:00: The Matthew Show
17:00: David Csiszer 16:00: Gypsy Dhrua 16:00: Bat Masters 15:00: Frytown Toughs
18:00: Phemie Alcott 17:00: Neomaximus Brandenburg 17:00: Wald Schridde 16:00: Effinjay
19:00: Anidi Huet 18:00: Winston Ackland 18:00: Shannon Oherlihy 17:00: Beth Odets
20:00: Senjata Witt 19:00: Grace McDunnough 19:00: DJ Chry 18:00: Kinagree Smith
21:00: Gweeb 20:00: Ren & Quai  19:00: Reggie Sunset

Jasmine's Hollow; Inara Pey, June 2015, on Flickr Jasmine’s Hollow (Flickr)

Much has changed in Jasmine’s Hollow since my original post. The rental properties are still there, including the delightful LAQ cottage sitting on a tree platform, but the little town has seen various changes over the years, and there is now a wonderful airship “tram” plying between the ground and aerial locations (The Dirty Grind itself and a quaint old wooden roller coaster). An armoured train appears to be guarding the tram station at ground level, but don’t let it intimidate you! 🙂 .

Radio Grind has a warehouse-like HQ in the region, and you can tune-in to broadcasts via Shoutcast,  or pop inside and use the listening booths to catch the singers and musicians within the community singing through a variety of websites.

Jasmine’s Hollow remains a great place to visit, steeped as it is in music, and with a strong support for art. As a photogenic location, it has a lot to offer visitors, and makes for an enjoyable (and entertaining) visit. So why not find a little time over the weekend to hop over to wish Lisa, Ian and the team a happy anniversary?

Jasmine's Hollow; Inara Pey, June 2015, on Flickr Jasmine’s Hollow (Flickr)

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A small pilgrimage in Second Life

The Tabard Inn, Second Life - your starting point for your very own Canterbury Tales pilgrimage
The Tabard Inn, Second Life – your starting point for your very own Canterbury Tales pilgrimage

One of the books I genuinely fell in love with whilst studying literature at school was Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the story of a group of pilgrims en route to Canterbury Cathedral and the tomb of Saint Thomas Becket, and the tales they tell one another in order to pass the time on their journey.

Now, courtesy of Desideria Stockton and Royce Sommer, Second Life residents can go on a pilgrimage of their own and enjoy an introduction to the Canterbury Tales and the life and times of Geoffrey Chaucer through their Canterbury Tales Virtual Pilgrimage.

A part of the non-profit Literature Alive! project run by Desideria and Royce, Canterbury Tales Virtual Pilgrimage is a modest, but engrossing activity using point-and-click to inform people about Chaucer, the society of his day, religious views, science, justice, the social classes and so on. Most of this can be obtained within the walls of the Tabard Inn, where in the book, the teller of the best tale will be rewarded with a free meal. It is also at the Inn that one can learn something of Thomas Becket, the 12th Century Archbishop of Canterbury, the reason for the pilgrims’ journey.

Find the crosses to read about 12 of the Tales, then reward yourself with a little prize from a treasure chest for each tale
Find the crosses to read about 12 of the Tales, then reward yourself with a little prize from a treasure chest for each tale

It is in the tavern that the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales can be read (in Middle English, if you like!), which acts as a good lead-in to the rest of the activity. Scattered around the grounds of the Inn are 12 wooden crosses, each one with its own treasure chest nearby. Touch the cross, and you’ll receive a synopsis of one of the Tales. Then, touch the chest if you like, and correctly answer the question it asks about the tale you’ve just read, and you can gain a little prize.

While it may sound simple, Canterbury Tales Virtual Pilgrimage is a great introduction to Chaucer’s book, the synopsis of each tale perfectly capturing its essence and, where appropriate, its humour – many of Chaucer’s pilgrims were a bawdy lot!  I confess to experiencing a flashback to classroom sniggering in reading the outline of The Millers Tale, the humour is so well captured. Also, the mix of tales presented through the virtual pilgrimage captures some of  Chaucer’s ironic finger poking at the social strata of his day.

This is the first of two new projects under the Literature Alive! banner, and I admit to enjoying my meandering through the tall grass of a summer’s field and reading the synopses. Their second is set to be The House of Usher at the SL12B Community Celebration, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for it!

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