Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Day At The Races

By Lord Lisle

You may know, dear reader of this Blog, that I am not a biker guy. I must, however, hasten to tell that years ago I owned a (in 1968) already vintage 1952 Piaggio Vespa Scooter, at that time the only motor transport I could afford. Therefore I still have an affection to vintage motorcycles and do enjoy very much the look and sound of (for example) an early twin cylinder Douglas machine. It is therefore not very strange that each time I visit the JD Mechanical Toy Factory that I am attracted to a fine replica of a 1915 motorcycle which is for sale at that place. I never got myself in buying one, however, as I am saving L$ for the purchase of a (to me rather expensive) DeHaviliant Mosquito airplane.

Anyhow, two days ago the announcement of a motorcycle race, organised by Jenne Dibou and Mandy Marseille, CEO's of the JD Mechanical Toy Factory gave me a fair excuse to buy this machine, hehe!

Lord Lisle posing as the proud owner of a 1915 twin cylinder motorcycle standing before the Babbage City Wall, another creation of the talented JD Mechanical Toy Factory owners. Riding in this place he soon found out that this motorcycle was almost exclusively designed for track racing. This beautifully crafted machine has three gears and a very realistic sound. The best thing is that you can take two passengers, eminently suitable for your friends, especially those who are hardly capable of even riding roller skates (!)

The day before the actual race, participants (everyone welcome) were allowed to do a number of practice drive laps, to make themself familiar with the track and the motorcycle. Those who were not in the possesion of a machine were given one on loan. After I few practice rounds I found that gear 3 was the most optimal and releasing the throttle before making a turn is definitely the best if you do not want to crash against the walls of the track. As I had not much time to do further practice, I hoped for the best and went to a quiet place to inspect my inventory for a suitable dress. Goggles and a leather outfit would be the least to wear. Yolanda Hirvi agreed to join me in the race, sitting in the sidecar as co-rider and actively helping not to get the motorcycle overturned whilst making left turns.

A view at the pitstop at the race track of the JD Mechanical Toy Factory

When we arrived at the JD Mechanical Toys Factory race track that day, the pits were filled with busy avi's starting their motorbikes and others turning practice laps.

Leaving the pitstop for our first practice lap. The actual race was to ride 10 laps, an in-world counter measured the number of laps and the time. Two officials (guess who..) monitored whether participants were not cheating or playing dirty tricks..

The race is on!!! Here Yo and I are overtaken by one of the other participants, he appeared later the winner.

Eventually we managed to get the third place in the race. Not bad for an inexperienced driver. Here a group snapshot taken after the end of the race at the winners platform.

From this place I must again say a few words of appreciation to the organisers of the first motorcycle race held by the JD Mechanical Toy Factory. It was really fun for all who joined in and a great pity for those who missed the opportunity to drive an original Jenney Mandy'dson 1915 motorcycle with sidecar, based on a Harley Davidson model. No doubt more races will come in due course..have a look at their place and join the JD Mechanical Toys Factory group, you will be informed in time.
That reminds me of another creation of Jenne and Mandy of JD Mechanical Toy Factory: the shooting gallery, one of which Yo has rezzed on the Metaveral Arts Island.

Here you see the well frequented shooting gallery at the Metaveral Arts Island. This attraction is really very good fun and why not held a competion with your friends? You find the place at the left side of the Metaversal Theatre Can YOU beat my high score?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Music Academy Online-SL A follow up (2) or ..... 'A Night In The Opera'

By Lord Lisle

Yesterday I spend much of my precious SL time in Music Academy Online-SL. I did not regret this as you shall read in the following lines and in the snapshots I took. Later in the evening (just before closing down) I happen to meet Maar Auer. I showed her some of the attactions in the MAO sim I had visited earlier and she was absolutely fascinated, in particular the Virtuality Ride!

Anyhow, a careful reader of my previous Blog may remember that I was sitting in a leather couch in the Bachhaus..

Sitting in a comfy couch in the JS Bachhaus listening to parts of the Brandenburg Concerto

The JS Bachhaus, Baroque period, a detailed creation of MAO residential builder Autumn Beaver. In this Blog you find more samples of her work.

Starting exactly at the scheduled time (!) and for us living in the Old World at a very decent time of 11.00 PM, I attended “THE MUSIC OF TANKU KALIGAWA (ANTHONY JOSEPH LANMAN)”

During the actual (recorded) music of this composer, (each piece being explained by Tanku via the music stream) the audience could ask questions about his work via chat, really another fascinating possibility of Second Life. Tanku also hosts a live show at the Music Academy every other Thursday called "Guitar Heroes" featuring the greatest guitarists from every genre of guitar music.

Although I had visited this attraction very briefly earlier this week, I took the opportunity to explore BOLERO ELECTRONICA more closely. Ravel’s Bolero performed on 75 years of synthesizers in chronological order.

Amin Bhatia has done a great job in providing an overview of the history of development in synthesizers.

Surprise! One of the oldest electronic music instruments: the Theramin.

Classical Music in Independence Hall, also a creation by Autumn Beaver.

Listening to contemporary music inside the Independence Hall. Note the RL picture of the hall.

Rosslyn, Medieval period

The Borden Home, Romantic period. Music of Mahler can be heard a this place.. I had a little hope to be able to listen to a piece of Richard Wagner (hint, hint… but NO, not the complete Ring please

During the day I had the honour to meet the CEO of Music Academy Online-SL Benton Wunderlich and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions:

Can you tell me briefly how the idea of creating the MAO-SL started?

Music Academy Online-SL started in January 2007 as an extension of our RL business, Music Academy Online is dedicated to generating interest in classical music.

I firmly believe that the kind of immersive, interactive, 3D environment that this type of virtual world provides has dramatic implications for those of us dedicated to generating interest in classical music at all levels, including music education, music appreciation, and especially for the promotion of new music and living composers. Imagine being able to talk with a composer, or author, or music educator in real time from the comfort of your own computer. This environment has the potential to reach out to the four corners of the planet and to make the world a better place one friendship at a time.

Did the building of this place take long?

The building is an ongoing process as we are always developing new exhibits and attractions. Basically, the main building went pretty fast, we started in February and were up and running by March. Autumn Beaver is fantastic. She is our builder.

Are you satisfied with the number of people visiting the place and the concerts?

It is always nice to see larger and larger crowds but, we have had a blast with the crowds we have been having. The show is usually less full than we would like it particularly because we have such incredibly accomplished and unique guests.

Do you plan to give more live concerts in the future?

We will be doing a series of 5 live concerts with the ANALOG ARTS ENSEMBLE beginning the 4th of September and culminating on September 12 with a performance of Stockhausen's music in honour of his birthday. These events will be live performances broadcast from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Are there ideas to expand the place or changing the place?

Someday we hope to have many sims.

Thank you very much for giving this extra information, Benton! I am particularly pleased to see that you manage to have so many unique guests performing at your podium. Living in The Netherlands I find it hard to stay up very late most of the times, so I am glad you organise performances at an earlier time!

Apart from the very interesting and fascinating concerts and the already covered attractions I leave it to you to explore the Music Academy Online-SL, you will not regret doing so!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Music Academy Online-SL A follow-up (1)

By Lord Lisle

When Yolanda Hirvi asked me to join her on a tour (Amin Bhatia’s ‘Virtuality Ride') in Music Academy Online-SL where the virtual ‘Festival in Two Worlds’ is being held this week, I did not know what to expect.
Seconds after we both seated on a huge laptop (to my surprise rather comfy) the tour started its dazzling ride. Although I have seen many wondrous creations in SL, I must say that the whole tour was really a topper. I won’t reveal much here as you better go there yourself to feast your eyes. I include just a few snapshots as a teaser, although they do not justice to the real thing. I must say it again: you won’t regret doing a 'Virtuality Ride'. Ohh yes, don’t forget to switch on the music and to go to mouselook!

Start of the Virtuality Ride, jump on the laptop..

The 'World Wide Web'

'The need for Speed'

'Inside the computer'

How to get there? First TP to Music Academy Online--Second Life When arrived at the Landing Zone, look for the Teleporter and click on 'Virtuality Ride'.

Occupied by RL matters, it was only the next day that I found time to explore the whole Music Academy Online-SL island and I must say that I have been there each day to find new interesting features.

This is a map of the Music Academy Online-SL island. Just a part as all the attractions are located on (rezzable) sky platforms. At the landing zone there is a Teleporter allowing you to TP to all the places. No harm of course if you just walk to the buildings of the various music periods: Medieval (400-1450), Renaissance (1450-1600), Baroque (1600-1750), Classical (1750-1810), Romantic (1810-1850), 20th Century (1900-2000) and Current Age
In each period building you can listen to selected composers of that era plus information of the music. I particularly enjoyed the contemporary paintings in each particular building, which included many Dutch masters. Even my own favourite; Vermeer’s ‘Girl with Pearl Earring’ was not forgotten.

Today I ended up in listening to parts of the Brandenburg Concerto in the JS Bachhaus. In the second part of this 'follow up' I’d like to attend you to Bolero Electronica, and ‘From Monkey to Mannheim’, the origins of music and a few more interesting spots in Music Academy Online-SL.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Foxtrot by Maar Auer-The Machinima

Foxtrot is undeniably one of the most popular ballroom dances. It has many variations, both in tempo and style: probably one important reason for foxtrot's popularity is the fact that its most basic steps are simple enough for even a clumsy beginner to learn ;) The version you have here represents the so called 'slow foxtrot'. It is a deliciously jazzy, smoothly gliding, ballroom variation of the theme. You are welcome to test it your self! MaarBaZaar; Maar Auer's Creations in Metaversal Arts!

Friday, August 22, 2008

How to survive SLag events

by Yolanda Hirvi

We all know what happens when more than 5 avatars are in the same place. Everything is gray, you can barely walk. You wont even see the people around you if it gets very bad. So here is some advice to survive those events when avatars get together. I got these advice originally from Catty Loon from Hey Girlfriend -group and they are written for surviving the Hair Fair 08 that starts today (ZOMG 87 designers and two weeks! Think about all that HAIR!!!). Thank you Catty..and enjoy your events rest of you!

Ctrl-P to preferences
In network settings...clear cache!! Restart SL so it does its thing.
Also turn up Bandwidth if your connection will allow, I forgot to do this on my laptop, since I recently upgraded to super cable, it helped me greatly turning it up, but ..only do this if you have a very fast connection.

Graphics tab - turn off bump and shiny. Turn off local lights. Move slider bars for trees, terrain, etc down. If you're trying on hair, you might want flex and objects up, or...try on hair later at home when you can turn all your graphics up. Turn draw distance down all the way on the slider bar, seriously, you don't need to see all four sims to enjoy hair fair. Even 128 is good,96 is fine. Also turn terrain detail to low.
These are things I do anytime I go to laggy places. Perhaps other things help too.
You don't have to go bald and naked, find a lower prim hair and shoes to wear, remove your scripted items, they may be turned off on the sims anyway.

Lag makes Crys Mad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Virtual "Festival in two Worlds"

Metaversal Arts is a proud sponsor of the 2nd Annual "Festival in Two Worlds" by Music Academy Online. Beginning Friday, August 22 and running through Sunday, August 31, the festival will feature lecturers, performers, composers, and artists from around the world. The events are free for all residents.

This year's theme is "Virtuality" and the featured guest is award-winning composer Amin Bhatia (Flashpoint, Queer as Folk, Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees), who has just released his latest CD, "Virtuality: A Journey Inside Your Computer."

Guest artists include pianists Richard Grayson, Alessandro Marangoni, and Alpha H. Walker; oboist David Weiss; cellist Cary B. Hockett; percussionist Stacey Fox; composers Gregory Hall, Anthony Lanman, Alex Shapiro; lecturers include Mary Ann Clark, Ph.D. and Judith A. Eckelmeyer, Ph.D. For a complete schedule of events visit .

Music Academy Online has been developing a classical music presence in Second Life since 2007. Says founder, Dave Schwartz, Ph.D (aka Benton Wunderlich in SL)., "I firmly believe that the kind of immersive, interactive, 3D environment that this type of virtual world provides has dramatic implications for those of us dedicated to generating interest in classical music at all levels, including music education, music appreciation, and especially for the promotion of new music and living composers. Imagine being able to talk with a composer, or author, or music educator in real time from the comfort of your own computer. This environment has the potential to reach out to the four corners of the planet and to make the world a better place one friendship at a time."

Check out also Music Academy OnLIVe; Second Life weekly TV show in SLCN.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

1 week to go to Foxtrot by Maar Auer!

A New Couples Dance Release by Maar Auer at Metaversal Arts: It’s Foxtrot Time!
Maar Auer’s fantastic dance release series continues. After the breathtaking SLindy Hop, she will continue with a smoother, jazzier ballroom groove: It’s Foxtrot time!
The grand release will take place in Metaversal Arts on Sat 23rd August, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. SLT.

Radio Riel will guarantee the party groove by playing foxy oldies – and on top of it all we will
enjoy a live concert by a talented jazz musician Aira Jun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prim Perfect !

by Yolanda Hirvi
Prim Perfect is a magazine for SL homes and gardens. Metaversal Arts team is hounoured to be "the designer of August". .
Our designers and merchants vere interviewed for the article that can be found pages 22-25.
The sim of the month is Fatima's Isles, that is close to my heart because I have had my home island Fatimas Cherished in Fatima's Isles for several months now (and I have been building my house for all that time) It is a paradise with my beautiful freasian horses and sailing boats. The whole estate is very lush and defenetely a must see. Read more about in the magazine and be sure to visit. I had a priviledge to work with Fatima Ur furnishing of Build of the month. Now is your chance to win a free month in Fatima's Isles and full furnished house! Read all about it from Prim Perfect!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jukka Wilkinson's airdances features in the Shakespeare's Midsummer

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a production of the Act Up Theatre Company, in association with Ivy Falls Talent, AND the play features Jukka Wilkinson's fairy dances. (Jukka Wilkinson's animations are sold in Metaversal Arts )Check out the trailer!

Director Marin Mielziner has been working with a large cast and crew transforming the bard's famous work into a (virtual) reality.Production manager Rekka Berchot has raised and constructed a large-scale stage that promises to wow audiences during the three performances this show will play.

The addition of voice capabilities to the SL has made possible theatre productions such "A Midsummer Night's Dream", which will feature live actors, connected from around the world, behind each and every character.

Mielziner, an accomplished director in her 'first-life', has been coaching the cast online for weeks leading up to the show, and is polishing their performances as Berchot's construction literally grows around them.

Berchot - an accomplished set and costume designer has created a dark and twisted forest clearing - custom-built using a variety of unique textures, scripts, and sculpted objects, the full extent of which will not be revealed to audiences until the first performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on August 15, 2008.

Performance times:
Friday 15 August at 6pm (full)
Saturday 16 August at 2 pm
Sunday 17 August at 2pm

For more information, sneak-peek trailer, updates, and performance times,and bookings visit

*Audience numbers for each performance are limited, with August 15 already full to capacity. For more information or to arrange interviews - please contact via notecard inworld:
Marin Mielziner or Rekka Berchot.