Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blueprint of a Safari

           Plans are like eggs, sometimes they get beaten.
           Sometimes the internet fades or folds in on itself, separating us from each other on this gossamer gauze we call the metaverse. Sometimes you lose your password.  
           Sometimes you lose the group.
          But then like a souffle, it all comes out golden and delicious.
          This week on Safari we started where we should have ended up last week, on Adrean's World. (URIs at the end of the post, as usual.)  Adrean Flux is a lovely person, and her grid is friendly and eclectic. The group's quest was to visit the pyramids and count them. It's an impossible task really, because what constitutes a pyramid, and what is a ziggurat... Right?
          Impossible for some of us to TP as we'd like to (or even log in) but everyone knows, if the first destination fails, head to the second. And if a Landmark fails, then use the HG address, which will take you to the Welcome Sim of the grid, and from there you can
make your way to the second destination.
          And what a wonderful second destination. When Alpha Auer agreed to let us use her sim, and even to put out some places to sit, the prospect was both delightful and daunting. How to combine the theme of Blueprint City with the mystery of music, and the wondrous eclecticism of Istanbul?
           I was immensely lucky to visit Istanbul last year and meet Alpha in person; generous, erudite, funny, sincere, wise and with an effortless sense of style in real life, she transformed my vision of a city that had been a complete unknown. She showed me a place of intensely beautiful and ancient cultures clashing, melding, shaping each other with the force of an overwhelmingly youthful population that looks forward to tomorrow in a way that only a people with a foot in two continents is able to do, a broader, kinder perspective on the future.
           In a nod to that wonderful city, alongside the blueprints for musical instruments, I made a whirling dervish animation, complete with dervish skirt, and a mesh fez and hookah. Alpha was too nice to comment on this trivializing of her culture, too nice to point out the dervishes were twirling the wrong way.
           But nobody was in Blueprint City on NGrid to worry about my shortcomings, they had come to hear Tip Corbett play. Tip (Gregory Hall in RL) is a concert pianist of 'gran spessore' as we say here. His talent for improvisation is literally sublime.
Look at this.
         Amazing work there by Fuschia Nighfire, in sewing the music and the sim together in blissful harmony.
            Tip has been an incredibly good sport and quick learner in open sim. Coming from Second Life, where you take for granted things like having SLURLs and tip jars and an avatar whose appearance you've worked on for years, he could have easily found coming to NGrid too complicated to be worth his while. Instead he patiently came shopping across the metaverse, and sat for me so I could get his Mysteria mesh piano just right. He has already visited 6 different grids via hypergridding, yet modestly considers himself a noob. His alabaster appearance fitted the glowing mystery of his performance to a tee.

tip corbett: let me know if you can hear 
Wizard.Gynoid: i have the stream! 
Mosmax Hax: works 
Wizard.Gynoid: i want a dervish dress 
Scottius.Polke: holy crap I made it 
Scottius.Polke: I'm exhausted 
Scottius Polke: what a touper

Thirza Ember: everything takes a long time in open sim 
Thirza Ember: Tip's music is about MYSTERY 
Thirza Ember: the mystery of how open sim can sometimes work ... but mostly.... not work 
Wizard.Gynoid: i want to see Scotti twirl 
Wizardoz.Chrome: ora sento musica , pianoforte 
Scottius.Polke: We are exploring virtual whirls 
Scottius.Polke: where's Alpha? 
Thirza Ember: call her 'felix' on NGrid. Felix Ringtail. 
Scottius.Polke: Felix!! 
Spike.Sol: ich bin eine eisprinzessin 
Vivienne.Clary: ja sicher Spikey ;-)

Wizard.Gynoid: where's the hookah 
Thirza Ember: in the cornah  
Wizard.Gynoid: oh i found it. it's a phantom hookah. 
Thirza Ember: it's the blueprint for a hookah 
Wizard.Gynoid: i think we're all a bunch of loonies 
FeliX Ringtail: sorry folks 
FeliX Ringtail: i had to be afk for a second 
Wizard.Gynoid: np 
FeliX Ringtail: hello everyone 
Wizard.Gynoid: we were talking about you 
Magical Felix Ringtail, aka Alpha Auer

          Tip asked us, between riffs of amazing music, to say something about ourselves. Seems he liked us!
Mosmax Hax: i am artist and game design teacher and i see this here as 3D labor, wher we have to take care not to do too much Digital Biedermeyer :-P 
Thirza Ember: Fuschia is a real world painter of murals 
Thirza Ember: Spike knows all about Astronomy 
Thirza Ember: Wizard makes sacred geometry 
Scottius.Polke: I'm a metaphysical dogcatcher 
Serene.Jewell: I am mysterious and quirky 
Billy.Bradshaw: Did not know what a fez is until now! 
Neo.Cortex: Fez is an indie game.... 
Wizard.Gynoid: Fez is a city in Morocco where they used to make them. I was reading about sufis earlier, very synchronistic. They were the "hippies" of their era. They liked to drink wine and smoke hashish, in a society where drinking was forbidden. Do you know how the sufis made hashish? They fed cannabis leaves to their camels and made the hashish out of camel dung. 
          In virtual worlds, you don't need to be smoking something for there to suddenly be a shark in the room. In this case Ngrid artist Erdbeermund Schnute

FeliX Ringtail: u can't scare me with sharks! 
FeliX Ringtail: now RABBITS! that's another thing! show up as a rabbit and i am hiding under the table 

            The music swirled up and enveloped us. Greg/Tip wove his magic. The dancers swayed, spun and slid between the sweeping crescendos, the mighty mountains of notes that piled up like great Cyclopic palaces of jade, only to tumble like ocean waves, crashing down on a distant shore, somewhere deep in our imaginations.
           And then suddenly, an hour had gone by, and we were all in a state of grace.
Serene.Jewell: Lovely sim! Intriguing!
Neo.Cortex: i'll have to come back and explore 
             Let's hope Tip returns to play and collaborate on more art projects. Now he's gotten his feet wet in the wilds of OpenSim, it seems likely he'll be back...
            Our final stop was on hbase42, which is lovingly referred to as 'neogrid' just to mess with your  head. That's because it's Neo Cortex's grid.
Neo.Cortex: this was meant to be a meeting point in the Metaverse,  it just never really started
Thirza Ember: Pathfinder's HGAC used to come through here and we left some freebies! I can't believe they are still here after - 4 years? Hmm, they may not still have their original crunchiness
Neo.Cortex: haha quite old freebies, i admit
Neo.Cortex: kind of history
Serene.Jewell: Nice jewelry!
Neo.Cortex: if you want to visit Angel's sim, please click on this middle tp sign here
Angels Creation: welcome to Angel's Creation. How was your flight? LOL
          Angel's sim is only a month old, and already she has brought about a delightful romantic place of tranquility, with dancing, butterflies, a castle, a tavern, a number of shops she hopes to soon fill with free items, a winter wonderland pergola with romantic dancing, an amphitheater, and much more. The castle features pictures of Angel in both realities, and some stunning views from the balcony upstairs.
Thirza Ember: what is the biggest improvement for you, coming to open sim, as a builder?
Angels Creation: well unlimited prims is a big one,  its a bit frustrating to not have all the things I had in SL, but I am making due.
         We saw so much on the sim, Angel's use of space and offworld mountains really expands the spacial experience of a normal 256m to the point where you begin to wonder if you're on a varregion, except you have no lag. 

            She warmly welcomes visitors to drop by for a little tranquility, or perhaps with a friend, for a quiet rendezvous in romantic surroundings, and although we loved it all, you can guess where we ended up... I blame Fuschia. And her love of pubs.
Neo.Cortex: anyone want some mead?
Thirza Ember: milk for Billy, he's too young for alcohol
Billy.Bradshaw: awww!
          I love it when a good plan all comes together.
 This week's URIs:
The pyramids on Adrean's World and look for them!
Shapeshifter sim, NGrid        

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