Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rua Whitepaw's Keyboard

By Bixyl Shuftan

While talking to Nydia Tungsten recently about her new radio station for KVXN, she wanted to show me something else. We went to a place at the Angels Estates, and there was Rua Whitepaw, whom had a large keyboard before her that reminded me of the one Tom Hanks was dancing on in the movie "Big."

"THIS is the other news Item I wanted to tell you about," Nydia told me, "She has even been awarded Lindens to continue working on this." Rua shyly greeted us, and then explained how the piano worked. "You can click on the keys to play," she stated, then explained there was another method, "You can say the name of a note in channel 2 chat. So for example /2 C4 … It goes from C2 to C6, and the back notes are with #. So C2 C#2 D2... and so on. You can also combine keys to make chords... try /2 C4 E4 G4." I did, and the result was a short melody.

"The real fun part is that you can write scripts that say the right things at the right time," She explained, "Like this …" And the piano began playing a tune familiar to those playing Nintendo games. She then did a second one from a familiar Russian drop piece puzzle game, though there was a pause, "SL lag sometimes messes it up a bit. … I think it's actually flood protection. You definitely need a lag free sim to make it work right."

When I asked her where she had got the idea from, Rua answered, "I remember seeing a piano that you could play by clicking in Rocket City. But that could only be played by clicking so it was cumbersome and I felt that it limited me in expressing myself musically. So I wondered what if I make something that lets you play several notes at once And then I thought, if I make it listen to chat, then I could tell it to play as many notes as I want. So two days ago I thought I'd try it out to see if I could make it work."

"Then yesterday I made the basic idea, it was the same as now except with less keys, and then I showed it at Rocket City. And they liked it a lot and offered me money so I could improve it and then sell it. I don't think they want to sell it there though. I think they just liked the idea and wanted me to finish it." "I think they do," Nydia commented, "or they wouldn't have given you the money." Rua explained there were expenses in building the keyboard, "each key has its own sound, so that's 10 L$ each to upload. It has 4 octaves and 12 keys per octave... so 48 keys, that's 480 L$ that has gone into it already." Of what Rocket City wanted with the keyboard, "maybe they'll put it out there too so others can use it, like the old piano."

Rua continued, "I guess the nice part is that the sounds can easily be replaced. So if someone has sounds of a proper piano or some other instrument, they can put them in. … I can show you the scripts I used to make those three songs. Basically every note is one message. So if it were to appear in local chat there'd be hundreds of messages. The scripts work by saying the note names, and then waiting a certain time. The shorter the time, the faster the song plays. But it sounds strange when it's too fast, because the sounds all mix together. And it also causes more flooding."

Rua called the keyboard, "more of a proof of concept more than anything. But I like that it works so well. It's amazing what SL can do really. And I'm kind of curious to see what others can make out of it. You can be creative and express yourself with it, that's what I think is important. It opens doors." Nydia was all smiles about her friend and what she had done, "She has done EXTREMELY well, and I am VERY proud of her. She is a VERY smart girl." Later on,  Jasmine Dawn Shuftan saw the piano and commented, "Rua you made a wonderful thing in this, made SL a little more beautiful."

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


By Gemma Cleanslate

Arrive at Galerie Artemis in RothKo  and hop on a flying saucer to take a journey into outer space through a wonderful series of experiences that Betty Turead has created called The UFO, “Scientists have a long time searched for 'The God Spot' in the human brain. Where is sitting the believe in God, Buddha Or are those right, who believe we are descendants of UFO aliens?” She has an installation, in which you can explore the theory, that is very beautiful. 

There are 10 levels through which to traverse using the green UFO that will take you easily to the next level.. Be sure to walk around and try to click on  everything as you arrive at each to fully experience it all. You can become part of the display if you like. As you walk the display will change. Each part has a name to ponder... ‘They Look on us..... Mind Blow... A Digital Tsunami, just to give you a few. The psychedelic colors and images do give you pause to meditate on the elusive questions of our existence.  Betty is a well known artist in SL and all her art is created in world. Of herself she says, “I am a hyper-maniac doing all kind off stuff in SL." Her works have been exhibited at LEA and many galleries and events in SL

The opening was on Thursday (Feb 21)  and I was able to get to part of it but missed the party with music by Ultraviolet Alter. I went back the next morning to take time to absorb each part of the installation and  plan to go back again. Each level has its own charm and needs time. I felt I had ventured into an Aurora Borealis. Textures shapes, movement and surprises await you. You can pick up a notecard that will give you information about it all and the names of each of the 10  levels that leads you to The UFO.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Visit to East Gallery

By Gemma Cleanslate
 Monroe Snook is the operator of the Studio 33 Gallery and is a real-life and SL photographer who creates eclectic pieces. Right now you can see some of her latest works displayed at the East Gallery in Georgiana.  I found Monroe there and she was gracious to explain some of her works to me. One photograph is of a “cracked mud bank along the shore of the delta in northern California.” She has taken a photo of a mud bank and manipulated it to add more texture to it and make it more abstract. The final product is lovely with glimmers of light against the dark.
Nearby is a stand of oaks also taken in northern California  that has also been texturized to enhance it. There is one new venture where she has taken tree textures and raised them along an arm that seems to be holding an avatar’s head. She told me the head is of an old avatar that was Monroe. It is an amazing piece. All of  the photos there except two, are new creations.
When you think you have absorbed her photos, take a walk next door and visit the art of Jerideana Francois better known as (The Jeri ). She is a real-life graphic artist and brings her works to SL. “Her latest works have been inspired from the death of her father and show both life and life in death, for our memories assure us to remember what we love,“ it says on the notecard you can pick up at the door. The vibrant tropical colors speak of her real-life home in Florida. 
Across the way you will find more vivid, works by Vicky Sierota, a writer and artist living in Athens. It takes a while to discern the patterns in her works which are alive with color.  Next door you will find ‘Aussie Views,’ a collection of real-life photographs by Zedber Zabelin. One of the most amazing is called’ Fire in the Sky,’ a spectacular view of the sky. Zebder likes fungi and has some photos of tiny, delicate  “mushrooms" that are quite lovely.

That is just the 5th floor at the East Gallery, and there are many to explore each with exhibits by AL artists you should not miss.  If you have not taken a look at the main gallery or the other sites of the gallerty you will find a tp station in the hall where you have a choice of locales to visit . Each is worth the time. There is a great tp station at the main entrance where you can pick up all the programs for each gallery with all the artists being shown and telport to any you wish to visit. 
Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


By Bixyl Shuftan

Recently in Second Life, SL Newser heard about an unusual place: The "Citysphere." The place was a huge globe covered with over a hundred buildings. While there have been huge globes built in Second Life before, such as Second Earth near NOAA, Citysphere was different in that you can walk all over it, even on the underside.

Getting to the location I found on the Destination Guide, there were a couple signs telling people to walk around, one in English, one in French. They just had to click on the ground, wait for a red cube to rezz, and then "sit" on it. Just walking about, one looks like they're floating about a foot over the place. Once you have the red cube, you can walk about normally on the ground, even on the underside of the sphere.

The Destination Gude describes the place as a "mind-bending experience" with "three times the surface area of most sims and must be seen." The notecard I found at the signs described "you will discover new sensations, as well as uncontrollable dizziness at the edge of intoxication." Going about the streets of the place, things certainly did take on a new perspective as I got close to the globe's equator, and moreso on the southern hemisphere. Different people will handle the experience in different ways, one Facebook poster describing herself as feeling nausea. For this reporter getting around took a little slower as my perspective seemed a bit disjointed, and moving in the right direction near the south pole could be a problem.

The notecard suggested similar spheres could be easily made with a different environments in mind, and with close to three times the surface area of a flat sim, "it is so a not insignificant saving of space."  The place was made by Freeloops Zanzibar, with Slove Mode designing the surface walking script. Others involved included Gizmo Tyrant, Loda Denfu, Coxigrue Borgin, Chikami Resident, and Abracada Dreamscape.

Citysphere is in SL9B By Us1 (134, 115, 2130). In January, it was advertised as running "throughout the month," but is still up.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, February 8, 2013

Melusina 's Art

By Gemma Cleanslate

 Quan Lavender, curator of Art India Gallery  is hosting an amazing exhibit by Melusina Parkin. I attended the opening of the exhibit on Saturday (Feb 2) that was a fun flapper party. Melu was wearing an amazing flapper outfit, as were other attendees. Melu has an extensive history in the art, furniture and fashion world of Second Life and has exhibited in many museums and galleries across the grid. Her resume of accomplishments and awards is available at the gallery and you can pick it up and read all about her. Her major passion is Art Deco. She has remarkable photographs on the walls of the exhibit hall she has decorated at Art India in Shekhawati. The furniture and the carpets on the floor are all examples of her work.  

I loved the ceiling and pillars of the long exhibit hall. The sleekness of the gallery with the subtle shadings and angularity I found kept me just gazing off into the distance for a long time before I went to view the photography. It is amazing to see photographs of all those builds and furniture and pieces that are around SL. 

Above the exhibit Melu has set up a display history of Art Deco relating it back to ancient times. You will find a teleport near the entry point. I enjoyed that area as I learned so much about it that I did not know. You will see geometric patterns from ancient Egypt and the Mayan empire that are the inspiration of  Art Deco and follow movements through the last century to modern times as depicted in buildings , furniture , decor, and fashions all over the world.

I learned from an article that Melu has written, available to you in the history area,  that the term Art Deco “originates from the Exposition des ARTes DECOratives de Paris, 1925 .” Read all about the progression of the art in the last century. At the same place you will get a list of landmarks of places in SL that contain Art Deco buildings and decor. Out of curiosity I did take a couple of tps to places I have not been before just to see the buildings. Some of those sims need a second look.  

The exhibit will be open until the end of March so you will have ample time to explore and enjoy both areas, the exhibit itself and the history locale. There is no way to do it all justice in a short article. See for yourself. 

Gemma Cleanslate