Live Performance: WILL AVATARS ROCK YOU?

Second Life makes classical music fans feel at home

Feb 28, 2009 04:30 AM, Toronto Star
by John Terauds

[...]Unfolding on the computer monitor and desktop speakers in Linda Rogers' downtown Toronto living room is one of many new ways in which we can experience music these days. This one, the virtual, online world, is still evolving within the limits of current technology. The network of computer servers set up by Second Life creators Linden Labs in California is overburdened, limiting the number of people who can participate. Then there are the challenges faced by musicians in translating a studio performance into a virtual public event[...]

[...]Likely the biggest classical organization to have a presence is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which built an electronic replica of the city's Art Deco music palace in Second Life and hosted its first concert there in September 2007. Spokesperson Millicent Jones reports that more than 105,000 visitors have popped in to hear all or part of the program, presented in recorded video, rather than with orchestra avatars[...]

[...]Rogers, a skeptic initially, was eventually won over. "I got into Second Life to prove I hated it," she says of the day she first signed on in 2005. "To be honest, I didn't take to it right away."

Rogers is an arts administrator (currently manager of the Toronto Philharmonia) and music fan. She is also a Quaker who enjoys helping and teaching others[...]

[...]Coard says this community is free from the cost and logistics of travel. "My goal with (Second Life) has been to create my dream musical projects and unite a few people in the world to display these projects," he writes in an email[...]

[...]Marangoni says it's not money, but new friends that attract him to the Music Island stage. "There's a sense of intimacy with the Web. The computer world helps break the barrier to classical music," he says over the phone from his home near Milan[...]

[...]Recent research published by Stanford University shows that[...}