Thursday, March 26, 2015

Safari by the Numbers

          Tip Corbett in the real world Gregory Hall put on a wonderful concert for the Safari this week, inspired by conversations with Wizard Gynoid on the theme of "The Aesthetics of Advanced Musical Scales in Words and Music". 
          Originally the concert was due to be on the HG Safari sim on 3rdRockGrid, but the grid showed up as offline until just before the Safari was due to begin, so the event reverted to Francogrid. That meant we missed out on seeing most of Wizard's geometry. These are some highlights of what happened, and here is the link to the audio of the whole concert
          As ever, URIs for this week's destinations are at the end of the post, which alone cannot do justice to Tip's lovely voice on stream, let alone his magnificent music.

Tip Corbett:  And... Welcome to the sim! This is going to be lecures and playing, which is something I really like, and I like feedback, so if you want to give me feedback, that's a gift you can give me.
          (go ahead and do that, by finding and subscribing or liking his pages on Facebook, on Youtube, or on his website
Tip Corbett:  I've been talking with Wizard, some very interesting conversations of the semi mathematical sort,since we all know that music and mathematics are closely aligned, but what I want to talk about are the aesthetics of musical scales, really two particularly, they are the two most advanced tonal scales, and I'm going to try to explain them, assuming that some of you have some musical education, and I'm assuming some of you have a great deal...
        The conversation (because Safari folk are chatty in chat, as you know) continued on the theme of dissonance, and Tip brought out some really great insights into the shape of music of all kinds, things we hear every day, but after  hearing his explanation, will never hear quite the same again.
          Here is just a taste of the event, the first two minutes.

Wizard Gynoid: I set up polyhedra that all shared Octahedral Symmetry.
          Well, it wasn't quite the same but we had her fabulous spinning polygon to look at. Wizzy appropriately joined Tip on the piano bench, and we all sat around the camp fire.
Tip Corbett: The octatonic scale consist of alternating whole tones and half tones, The half tone is the smallest interval you can make on the piano. If you go up note by note, each one is a semitone, or half tone. the whole step is kind of two semitones, and there's lots of whole steps on the white notes. The octatonic scale is immensely symmetrical because it alternates between those half steps and whole steps. The octatonic is so cool, because it allows you an awful lot of freedom when you're improvising.
          We had a little crash, and since Tip's avatar originated on a different grid, it took a moment for him to return, but luckily we were able to get him back...
Tip Corbett: I know you guys are much more patient than my Second Life audiences would be, because they would say 'Hey, where's Tip? Let's leave!' but you guys know that there are issues... hey I'm back! Returning to our subject, the aesthetic conundrum is this, and this dovetails off what I have been talking about to Wizard, semitones have different vibrational frequencies, and there's a  distance between them. So there's the symmetrical pattern of the octonic versus this very dense pattern when you just stack the smallest units. So I'm looking for a mathematical solution to this aesthetic conundrum of why when you start stacking these semitones together, why it's hard on the ear. As I said, it's because it has more trouble resolving, but there might be a mathematical solution in terms of vibrations... hey, if I could prove that scientifically that certain scales are just too dense we could really begin to explain a lot of contemporary composers' music is not all that popular it! this is why. It's not a judgement, it's science! It sounds like I'm condemning 20th century classial music, but I'm not, I'm looking at why contemporary classical music is dying, because I am a classical musician, and I hate to see my field dying! Anyway, that's a lot... I'm taxing everybody's mathematical and aesthetic sensitivities.
Pathfinder.Lester:  tax me as much as you like. This is great.
PatriciaAnne.Daviau: agreed Path
Truelie.Telling: love this stuff, tip
Wizard Gynoid: this is very interesting to me.
James.AtLLOUD: I get the concepts but the details never stick. I can clumsily plunk major and minors and maybe add a seventh. That's it.
PatriciaAnne.Daviau: more than I can do James!
Wizard Gynoid: I can play only in the Key of C
James.AtLLOUD: With a synth that's all ya need (detune)
Serene.Jewell: Aww music and mathematics sitting at the keyboard together..
Truelie.Telling: I see Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron dancing in the sunset....
snowbody Cortes: eheh 4 hands playing !
          There was a great deal more but you're going to have to wait until the audio recording becomes available. Check back here in a few days!
          Tip also recommended a good inworld station: You may recognize that name from Tip's SL group. It's a very creative-friendly stream.
          We hope to have Tip come back many more times for other diverse and brilliant collaborations, and hopefully  next time you'll be there too!

             It was a lovely start to our safari, and over all too soon. Our second stop was to see Mal Burns' region on Great Canadian Grid. Mal has a number of sims beside the well-known Metaworld Broadcasting sim where he his weekly talk show The Inworld Review is recorded each Saturday, and the one we visited is more of a home than an office. 
James.Atlloud: Hi folks, Mal is in voice.
Wizard.Gynoid: or the voice is in Mal
James.Atlloud: existential dude
Mal Burns: I am telling bit of backstory in voice
Lucy.Afarensis: voice does not work for me
Lucy.Afarensis: it is greyed out for me
Thirza Ember: it always takes about 15 minutes for voice to start working for me on this grid, even with a local avie
PatriciaAnne.Daviau: mine still does not work
James.Atlloud: Hmm, I remember that from other visits too.

        The region is full of caves and tunnels. It has numerous micro environments, some Medieval, some inspired by Steampunk. The sim is still a work in progress but it's an impressive mix of old and new. Wizzy even found an area that had been on ReactionGrid back in 2010. There are treasure chests scattered all over the build, it's not exactly a hunt, but in future, when you find these chests, they will contain chapters of a story that Mal is working on.
Mal Burns: feel to explore - click LMs sign behind me and see if can solve first clue to maze adventure.

          Of course, we ended up riding the ducks. We will be back for a more leisurely visit I know. So much to see, you really need more time, from the mountains, to the labyrinths, to the walk-through waterfall! 

          As usual the Safari was running on a schedule, and so off we went, to our final stop, on OSGrid - the luxuriant desert city of 1001 Nights, a sim by Dorothea Lundquist, joined by close collaborators Aine Caoimhe, Akira Sonoda, and the great JayMaze Yao the regular DJ at the Close Encounters dance event every Friday night in open sims since, well, the dawn of time.
JayMaze (left) Akira and me with Hadi the Guide

Dorothea.Lundquist: we are very honored to have you here. For all tech questions about region, ask Akira Sonoda, many years now our server manager. Please look around :)) click on guards sometimes !

Aine.Caoimhe: Doro asked me to drop by in case there are were any NPC-related questions she couldn't answer, although she's getting pretty expert at it these days herself
Dorothea.Lundquist: If you click on the plate above Guide Hadi head (tavern) you will get menu for directions. Anyone you is a bit dirty after all those jumps, bathhouse is over here. Its a adult region, so its allowed to show the pixels.
Aine shows the pixels in the harem
Aine.Caoimhe: I'll go up to the harem chamber...anyone with questions can find me there and ask :)
Mal.Burns: hm - am i allowed in harem?
Thirza Ember: you got your heart pills Mal?
Pathfinder.Lester: only one way to find out
          But in the end it was Pathfinder who ended up showing the pixels, in the bathhouse, as you can see. He's missed quite a few Safaris of late, and several people had been saying they'd like to see more of him... be careful what you ask for.

           Like everything in this lovely sim, the textures are exquisite and fast to load. There are literally dozens of things to do and discover here, you can spend many hours, or even days, on 1001. 
Dorothea Lundquist
This build has been around for several years, but it is not a static work - Dorothea and the others continue to come up with more details, from dances to poses to the beautiful NPCs - a whopping 31 on the sim - that bring it all to life.
Bathtime for the Safaristas
The trick is to click on the head of Hadi the Guide just inside the City gates, and get a list of the many attractions, from shopping to massage, that are available. Please remember however that this is an 18+ sim so not appropriate for youngsters or the easily offended. And don't forget to turn on the music, the stream is just perfect for setting the scene!
Dancing insanity.
This week's URIs

Francogrid Clubhouse:
3rdRock Clubhouse: safari
Mal Burns Estate:  Burns Estate
Dorothea's 1001 nights: Nights


  1. The latest Firestorm viewer has a place in the sounds tab>voice to refresh voice. It has worked very well for me when I HG to Kitely as my dot always disappears.

  2. That was loads of fun. Thank you again for organizing!

    follow this link to hear the whole concert on soundcloud