Monday, May 25, 2009

OK, I give in

I've resisted Xstreet, formerly SL exchange, for a long time. For those who aren't familiar with it, Xstreet, SL Exchange, SL Boutique and OnRez were or are online marketplaces to buy and sell SL items.

Once upon a time I didn't like the fact that it had connections to Anshe and I disliked her approach to business, particularly when she threatened to sell Craig Altman's full perm animations for $10 each.

I made an account at SL Boutique, latterly OnRez, but I was very bad at maintaining it. For those who haven't tried to list things on one of these it is almost as painful as invoking the DMCA procedure for removing scammed items: you have to drag an item to a magic box, and then collect a lot of data for the item... how many prims, location in world, permissions, price, name, pictures.

Once you have all the information and have dragged the item to the box, you have to set up each item separately, on the website. It isn't difficult to follow the instructions, but it is hellishy boring. I have decided I can cope with four items a day.

It made me realise just how much stuff I have in my inventory which I wouldn't want to sell any more. In the course of finding a photograph for one of the items I came across a folder of really old builds I had made... and I realised that I have a large proportion of these still in my inventory. I have kept some really terrible stuff I made in my first year, for sentimental reasons, and a huge amount of old clothing which I no longer sell. As I have the pictures, I am beginning to think I should let the actual objects go... but as in real life, where I have thousands of books and art materials and genealogy stuff cluttering up the place, I find it soo hard to let go of them. Supposing I am one day blessed with half a dozen sims, mightn't I want to get out these things and celebrate my progress?

It would almost be a museum to progress in the virtual world. Ah well. If I had six sims to build, I would almost certainly build new stuff, a virtual fantasy world, and not drag crude old items out of my inventory. Maybe I should simply learn to delete.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Susas at S and S Gallery

My friend Rose Borchovski is opening a new exhibition of her work the Last Susa at the S&S gallery of fine art. The official opening is Thursday, May 21, at 1-2pm SLT, I am told.

I should decare an interest at this point. Rose asked me to come up with some minimalist music for the exhibition she was preparing. Now, I don't usually do minimalist, but I thought about it and played around a bit, and the end result can be heard in the room with the striking pictures.

If you would like to hear my music - including one version of the Angelic music of the Susas, it can be found on my MySpace page.

Do visit the exhibition though - it's meant to work as a whole piece, and I think it does :-).

Edited May 18 to add details of official opening.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The best eyes in SL

Maybe it's because they are the windows of the soul in first life, but I have never been quite satisfied with the eyes I have in Second Life.

More than any other buyable attribute, they can go so wrong... be too small, be too shiny, be too hard, or be too blank in the middle. I have dozens and dozens of eyes in my inventory, but none of them really satisfied me.

Then this morning I stumbled upon Wild Lilies in Second Life, billed as the biggest eye shop - and I think that's probably right. I haven't seen another which comes even close to this.

I found the perfect eyes for me here - the soul series is big enough, with the right amount of shininess, the right size of pupil, the right depth of reflection. I'm very pleased. All my other eyes are going in the trash bin!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Material Footsteps

I heard this evening from my friend Elfod Nemeth that his latest product is in the shop on the pier in the Vernian Sea. I saw the product being demonstrated the other day and I was really impressed. It allows builders to set the materials of their builds to create footstep sounds that are appropriate to the material.

You can see - or hear - it demonstrated on Elfod's build in the Vernian Sea. It works for more than one avatar at a time, and adds a lot of realism... much better and more realistic than the footstep effects that you can get in shoes.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I've been writing music almost as long as I remember. Unfortunately, I haven't had access to any form of recording equipment for a long time. Last year I found Finale Notepad which was a free program (they're charging for it this year) and was able to start writing music notation straight to a page and hear it played through the synthesizer immediately. Unfortunately that program didn't have any way of exporting the music, except as notation sheets.

A few weeks ago I decided to buy an upgrade to the software in the form of Finale songwriter, which has more of less the same facilities as Finale notepad, with the addition that the music can be exported as music. I've since been using any spare time I have to start translating the music I have on the old program into the new one. As it doesn't seem to be possible to cut and paste or import, this is quite a long-winded business of writing over every note... and the problem is that I get bored with that, or can hear a way to make the music better, and therefore I seem to be writing new things all the time instead of systematically taking over the music from the old program to the new, which is what I intended to do.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of announcing that I have music on myspace now. Along with quite a lot of pictures of my avatar, who is half my age and much easier on the eye than I am, lol.

Things I write transmute anyway... I wrote a piece I called Eelco one day, which turned into a folk song about being abandoned by an avatar - I did record vocals for it, but I have such basic facilities (audacity and a keyboard and no talent for the technical side of it) that I deleted them this morning having tried for some hours to record them well enough yesterday. I wanted them to be up, not because I have any illusions about my abilities as a performed, but because I wanted them to show what was intended... I am a composer rather than a performer... I'd love a performer to want to sing my song. Well if I am totally honest I would like someone to record me and make it sound good - but that's a bit of a tall order.

Anyway, hope you like the music... it would be great if someone would leave a message on the myspace page, it's a bit disconcerting that there have been a couple of hundred people through in the last couple of days and none of them has left a message- especially since it seems likely that they are mostly known to me through facebook or SL or RL. Ah well, my son pointed out that I hardly ever leave messages on facebook or youtube unless I know the person concerned or I am really touched by whatever it is... and even then sometimes not.