KSAA Music Commune – click any image for full size
Located on the Homestead of Imagine Hall, the KSAA Music Commune is a curious region design, developed by a group of Japanese users to – as the name implies – promote their local music.
I say curious, because the overall design is a highly eclectic mix of elements with no discernible theme, but which somehow come together and work in a manner that – whether or not you attend any events there – presents itself as a photogenic environment that might best be described as, “rural shabby”.
I will start by offering a word of caution: be sure not to step back from the landing point on arrival. It’s tempting to do so, as you land at the foot of a step ladder, but the landing point is actually on the lip of a drop of around 4-5 metres, which can lead to a little confusion as stepping back can have you suddenly dropping / sliding downwards amidst a sea of grey as textures load and render…
The landing point is located on the region’s uplands on its west side. These form a shoe-like oval of grass and tree-topped rock that drops sharply down to the coast on the wets side, and fall in a long, graceful slope eastwards on the other, the grass slope forming a natural pasture / paddock.
It is possible to walk down this slope from the landing point – but for those who need a faster form of transport, there is a zip line awaiting passengers. This will drop people towards the bottom of the sloping paddock, just before it steps down to a sandy headland marked by a junk yard and aged and deserted big top tent. The junk yard is a haven of mess and oddities, with the wrecks of old cars, the remnants of an auto repair shop, and old furniture mixing it up with children’s toys, bric-a-brac and – indoors – computer hardware belonging to a Steam gaming enthusiast.
The upland area of the island is encircled by a railway track / grass path / dirt track which starts and ends at the sandy headland. Follow it south and west, and the railway tracks will take you over a narrow shelf of grass and rock and across a couple of usual bridges to the western end of the island, directly under the high peak. Here the grass path takes over briefly, offering the way to the dirt road, and a little farm sitting in the lee of the cliffs, shaded by cherry blossom trees.
Curling around to the north side of the island, the dusty road points visitors to a fork where they can either opt to turn off the road and enjoy the waterside view offered by a shanty bar (pedalo boats available from the rickety pier) and the small beach just past it. If preferred, visitors can continue up a tight, steep slope to arrive at the island’s main music venue, perched under a large water tower and overlooking the beach alongside the shanty bar. This is again an eclectic space, the dance area before the DJ’s “booth” largely taken up by a paddling pool. Beyond this, the road dips back down between dry stone walls to return to the junk yard.
There are various places to sit within the region, and plenty to attract the camera, although it is also true that perhaps a little more attention to detail is required; there are a fair few items floating serenely above the ground or over tables and desks and benches that can have one grumbling and / or grateful for the object derender button.
I also can’t speak to the frequency of events in the region – a second dance area can be found at the back of the junk yard – there were no in-world schedule boards apparent during our visit, and Group notices are in Japanese. However, there are Soundcloud links in the Profiles of some of the team responsible for the region, which may give a hint to the types of music played here. There is also a Flickr group for anyone who feels like contributing their photos.
- KSAA Musc Commune (Imagine Hall, rated: Moderate)