The Field - Part II

"Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much." - Helen Keller

“Musical innovation is full of danger to the state, for when modes of music change the fundamental laws of the state always change with them.” - Plato

I like to think of musicians as diviners. They practice their craft by tuning into and translating the emotional undercurrents of our lives into melodies, rhythms, and harmonies that help us make sense of ourselves and our world.

As a writer, who practices her art on the fringes of theirs (I write lyrics), this process fascinates and attracts me. I know what it’s like to be “in the flow” when I’m writing. I can even read, play, and sing music, but the two processes are antithetical to me. Music is all about resonance, and I often feel as if my body is literally being played by a compelling song. That same resonance, however, makes music a fairly accurate bellwether when it comes to judging the tenor and tone of groups of people, or even a nation as a whole.

An Extraordinary Intersection
This is one of the reasons I began “Pass Along Songs.” I wanted to explore musical themes, showcase talented performers, and provide a venue where creative collaboration was encouraged and rewarded. It is this intersection of musical talent, accessibility, and presence as a 3D avatar that makes virtual concerts so extraordinary.

This brings me to the live performance I hosted on Saturday at my venue in Second Life. Two musicians, Max Kleene and Rock Doghouse (yes those are pseudonyms), got together to “dual-stream.” Max was streaming from Toronto in Canada, and Rock was streaming from Saint Petersburg, Florida. The theme they chose for their set was “Memories.” Click the image below to hear the last 24 minutes of their show.

NOTE: It’s important to understand that these two musicians are in two different parts of the world. The first (Max) sends his stream to the second (Rock) whose processor combines the two and sends the stream to Second Life. For that reason, Max is playing without being able to hear Rock! The fact that they do so well with their harmonies is astonishing.

Questions, Questions, Questions
I asked Max and Rock five questions about the theme they chose and the importance of music in their lives.

  1. How Did You Come Up with the Theme of “Memories?”

    Max: “For us, a short discussion was all it took. Life, memories, past, present, good and bad are all expressed in music.”

    Rock: “So much of life for us both - as well as for most people, I think - has a “soundtrack” to it. The songs recall the memories, the memories recall the songs, so it seemed like a cool nod to that connection.”

  2. How did you choose the songs to perform?

    Max: “Any songs with the theme or lyrics that touch on memories or even personal connections with songs that touch on memories.”

    Rock: “A bingo cage - we plucked them out of (O64!) Seriously I think we looked at songs and saw how they spoke to us about memories we each have or we know people have.”

  3. What is your favorite life memory?

    Max: “My favorite life memories are just those moments when everything is great at that moment... sitting on a dock with a beer in my hand, sun out, music playing, and hanging out with friends.”

    Rock: “The days my boys were born and I became a Dad.”

  4. What is your most difficult memory? Did music help you cope with it?

    Max: “Losing loved ones are the difficult memories, and of course music helped me cope. Music was there to comfort me.”

    Rock: “Losing my grandfather (who raised me) on my birthday, and getting the news the same day that my mother had aggressive cancer and only six months to live. Music helped me come to terms with the gifts we are given and to be thankful for them.”

  5. What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

    Max: It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite thing. I think of times when I'm jamming with a band of musicians who've never played together and things come together fast and magically. Those are good moments.... when we get to that place when we're all in the same groove.”

    Rock: I don't have to apologize for buying more toys (instruments). Also, sharing songs and humor and depth, and those rare moments on stadium stages when you hear the entire place singing your songs that just sends chills through you. It is like being given the gift of a glimpse into a world of peace, harmony, and togetherness we all wish we lived in all the time.”


Okay, so tell me what do you think?
Would you like to know more about concerts in virtual spaces?
Do you have an avatar?
Have you or would you get an avatar to attend a concert?

Let the discussion begin!


Copyright 2021 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.