November 22, 2011

Then came Second Life

Another band I had the fortune of touring with was called Mankind. Yes it's true. My initial motivation when starting my live music performances in Second Life over 5 years ago was to continue performing the music we wrote as a band.  Although I wrote the majority of the music and practically all lyrics, I cannot discount the amazing effort put forth by the three other musicians, friends and truly, brothers, who contributed their part. To be clear, when I say I wrote the music, what I mean is I would bring in a piece that I had written on acoustic or electric guitar along with the lyrics I had written. I did not write all the drums, bass, keyboards or lead guitar parts. Chris, JJ and Frank, respectively, did their part and how amazingly indeed they did.

At the end of about 10 years of writing, performing and being the brothers that we had become. I found myself wanting something different. It was the direction that I felt the band was headed, as a whole, that differed from where I felt I was going musically.
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Pretty much at that precise point in time, I found Second Life. For those of you who don't know what Second Life is all about, in a nutshell, it is a 3D Virtual Environment created by Linden Lab. Thikn about a piece of graph paper. Each little box represents a piece of land or a "Sim". On that Sim you can use the built in tools within Second Life to build, model, shape, form, texture, colorize, upload, etc. to create the sim you want to create. There are music venues, shopping (oh yes LOTS of shopping which we'll get to in a later post), fairs, skating... basically anything you can imagine in Real Life is probably on some Sim in Second Life.

So all that being said, when I first discovered Second Life in about August of 2006, I let it slide. Somehow I ended up rediscovering it in November and on November 6, 2006, "Mankind Tracer" was "rezzed".

A few days into it and I found there were DJ's and live performers streaming their live shows into Second Life. I thought "hey.. I can do that!" So I quickly found out it wasn't all that complicated. I bought a new mixer, a couple of pedals and did the door to door thing, looking for gigs. Quite quickly actually I was playing regular weekly shows. Now SLat that time was fairly new. There weren't many of us performing live but as time passed until today, there are now at least 30+ shows every hour. From live performers, to those singing live to backing tracks, to the many many genres available like rock, pop, oldies, country, jazz, you name it. Second Life has an amazingly vibrant and ever growing music scene.

Personally, I have been truly blessed with the global following I've attained. Even with my years of real life touring, I doubt I would have ever had the chance to reach this many people with my music.

So what started out with a desire to play my band's music ended up with me playing my stuff, the band's stuff, covers and making some great friends along the way.

To those of you that think of Second Life as simply a game...WOW!!! very far off. Second Life consists of avatars, and there are real people in real cities on a real planet behind those avatars. Just as in real life, we need to shop for ourselves and that has translated into SL as well. There are those in SL who design clothing for example and the fashion world in SL is a thriving, multimillion dollar annual business. Oh yes, you can earn money in SL too!

Which leads me to what's been happening the past year or so with the music side of things....

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