Discover more from Pass Along Songs
Songs for Ukraine VI
I’m thrilled to bring you this video about “Songs for Ukraine” produced in collaboration with the masterful filmmaker Draxtor Depress (https://www.youtube.com/Draxtor) and Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. Just click the image below to play. And yes, before you ask, that is my avatar, Jenaia :-)
The accompanying blog post is all my doing and reflects my views on the power of immersive, 3D stories shared in virtual environments to bring people together to create community and meaningful change.
In this case, it is my hope that I can contribute a small piece to the ongoing efforts to support the people of Ukraine. Stay tuned for more, including interviews with Ukrainian singer/songwriters still living and creating music in Ukraine.
To provide direct support to “Songs for Ukraine” go to: https://gofund.me/26920e97
It’s been more than 14 years since I created an account and watched my avatar, Jenaia Morane, appear out of thin air in Second Life’s “Welcome” area. She was an odd, skinny little thing with helmet hair, non-existent fashion sense, and herky-jerky movements that resembled a puppet more than an avatar. But she was mine and I knew even then that exciting discoveries lay ahead.
Jenaia and I have come a long way in those 14 years, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is that people are people wherever and however they choose to appear, and virtual reality has a lot to teach us about what it means to be human. In fact, the many and eclectic projects I’ve worked on in Second Life (See: https://www.braidedlives.com/virtual-reality) were one of the main inspirations for Braided Lives – a multimedia, multiplatform initiative designed to bring people from around the planet together to create, collaborate, and build community.
When describing Braided Lives, I like to quote Maya Angelou who said, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter their color.”
This brings us to the latest Braided Lives project, “Songs for Ukraine.” The unprovoked, and in my mind barbaric, war on Ukraine has taken me to some very dark places. Coming as it has, hard on the heels of the global pandemic and the resulting sorrow, stress, and isolation that caused, I was at a loss for what to do. I am not wealthy, I am not young, I don’t speak the Ukrainian language, and I am not politically connected enough to put pressure on governments. What I am, however, is a storyteller who has learned that sharing our stories through song is one of the best ways to open hearts and keep hope and courage alive in the world. Enter “Songs for Ukraine.”
Entertain, Educate, and Inspire: Bring people from around the world together to enjoy live music that supports and celebrates Ukraine. The concerts are held in 3D recreations of places in Ukraine - for example, the subways where people are living to escape Russian bombs. These spaces are meant to give attendees a sense of what the Ukrainians are experiencing, including the hope and courage they’re displaying through their music.
Each live concert is broadcast in both Second Life and on the web so that anyone, anywhere with an internet connection can enjoy them. They are also recorded and archived on the Pass Along Songs site so those who are unable to attend the live shows can listen later.
Support and Share: Though we do not collect money (virtual money is difficult to translate into first life currencies), the “Songs for Ukraine” concerts provide information about more than 14 organizations that are offering aid to Ukraine.
We also share poetry by Ukrainian poets and are starting to interview and post the work of Ukrainian artists and musicians.
Build Bridges: As I said earlier, I believe virtual reality has much to teach us about being human. To be effective, however, the work being done in virtual spaces needs to become readily available, easily accessible, and seen as relevant to the rest of the world. This is where music has a vital role to play. It crosses any and all boundaries, opens hearts, and reminds us that what we have in common far outweighs our differences.
Of course, NONE of this would be possible without the incredibly talented and generous musicians who perform in Second Life. The three you see featured in this video are shown below.
For more information on the “Songs for Ukraine” project and to learn how you can get involved, please visit:
Our Funding Page: https://gofund.me/26920e97
Our Website: https://BraidedLives.com
Contact Jena Ball (Jenaia Morane):
Inworld: Jenaia Morane (IMs are occasionally capped so notecards are a good idea)
Inara Pet: See Inara Pey’s blog post: https://modemworld.me/2022/04/16/songs-for-ukraine-in-second-life/
Second Life Destination Guide: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/10573-second-life-destinations-braided-lives/
Copyright 2022 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.