Furillen round-up

I’ve been hugely busy in first life recently and unable to say much on this blog – no doubt you are all thankful for this! With another complicated week ahead, I’ll be brief with this round-up of Furillen news.

First: the beach party came and went, with a great set-up put together by Micky and yours truly trying out Virtual DJ for the first time. It was a surreal event, with Scandinavian palm trees and cats in rubber duck swimming rings …

Kitty goes beach ;)

Second: we nominated three winners of Round 5 of the Furillen Photography Competition. You can see their pictures upstairs in the gallery of Bar Cafe Fabriken. Congratulations to them!

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Third: mark down 2100 CEST this Friday, 29 April, in your diaries as our first regular blues night at Fabriken. This ad says it all …

furillen gets the blues

Finally: mark down 2100 CEST  this Saturday, 30 April, in your diaries as the moment we’ll be turning Furillen purple in honour of Prince …

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I’ll be providing the playlist and taking requests before and during the event for your favourite Prince tunes. In addition, a slideshow of pictures spanning the career of this incredible musician will be installed on the sim – along with one or two bits and pieces of Princely stuff.

prince gif

In anticipation, I’ll leave you with this little acoustic gem …

Furillen news

Here goes with quick round-up of news from Furillen …

First: As you’ll know from previous posts here and here, Bar Cafe Fabriken is up and running and held its first event, a Blues night with DJ Wolf Austrone, last weekend. I’m very pleased to announce that from 29 April, Wolf will be playing a weekly set for us: every Friday, 2100 CEST.

furillen gets the blues

It’s in keeping for the bar at Furillen to be holding such a regular event, and we are incredibly lucky to have such a good in-house DJ playing music that suits the ambience. As those who heard his set on Saturday will know, Wolf specialises in playing requests, so it’s a good time to brush up your Blues knowledge and throw him some suggestions when the time comes.

Second: We won’t – of course – just be playing Blues at Bar Cafe Fabriken (although this does make a change from the forced diet of House music I feel that I’ve been given over the years on the grid). On 23 April, we’re planning to hold a beach party at the bar, and will be putting a suitable playlist together – which will not only be ‘retro’ – for the occasion. We’ll be giving out more details of this event during the next few days.

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Third: Looking further ahead, there will be some larger events at the sim – spectaculars, along the lines of the Bowie and Radiohead weekends. The two ideas I am focusing most on right now are a Bond weekend, and a Pink Floyd weekend. These events take up a lot of energy and planning, but watch out for announcements in the next week or so. To put you in the mood, get some of this …

… and this …

Fourth: The Furillen photography competition goes into Round 5. The last round did not have a big entry, but the quality of the albums entered was very high indeed, as you’ll see this week on this blog, where two have already been posted – here and here. Each round has a different focus and feel. Details of Round 5 are here – I hope to see more entries this time, but we’ll welcome whatever comes in.

round 5 bb

Fifth: New buildings are in the pipeline, courtesy of our builder, KT Syakumi, who made Furillen’s pier. Incidentally, KT has acquired a spectacular new PC, on which she is beginning to show off her skills as a photographer. Keep an eye on her flickr stream – and look out for the exhibition of her first life photography that we’ll be holding at Furillen in the next couple of months.

Sixth: On that very note, we are about to launch a new series of exhibitions of photography and art with a first life connection. These will consist of ‘real life’ photographs taken by Furillen regulars; pictures that explore the relationship between the two worlds; or art – painting, for example – from first life. This is an open-ended series, if you’d like to take part and believe you have something to offer please do get in touch. Given Furillen’s real life connections – after all, they tried to close us down because of them, haha – I think the sim is a good place to explore this theme.

Seventh: Laura has put together a new room to replace her fantastic yellow room, which attracted some great pictures. I’ll be posting some pictures of the room in due course, but check it out and take some yourselves …

And that’s it …

Well, almost … before I go, here is a clip from last night’s Muse set in London. It was a spectacular show, although Muse are somewhat ‘corporate rock’ these days. Their drones really do fly, and I’ll be popping back to the venue tonight to see if I can figure out how they work. Footage will follow!

As usual, they closed with Knights of Cydonia. I didn’t take this video, I was standing in GA, second row. Not being crushed this time – Musers are way too polite to mosh …

 

blues @ bar cafe fabriken

So, after a long wait while we set up …

Benchwarming - Furillen

… Furillen’s new bar finally opened …

Bar Cafe Fabriken

… and we heard a fantastic Blues set from DJ Wolf Austrone set that went well into the early hours …

madame a le  Blues  @furillen bar fabriken

… and kept the sim full to the brim …

Who wants another free drink?

Blues legs @ Furillen

As with every such event at Furillen, this was first about music, and in Wolf Austrone we were fortunate to have a DJ whose knowledge of Blues music is quite astonishing.

DJ Wolf DID the Blues... night @ Furillen

He started with a run of Swedish blues numbers, and took us through a catalogue that I am told exceeds 500,000 songs.

feel it in your bones

Here is one of my favourites from the set, which came at one of those perfect moments when the world seems to stand stock still while all we can do is listen …

We will be inviting Wolf back very soon, and I hope he’ll become a regular fixture at the bar – I can’t praise him highly enough.

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As for the bar … Well, we worked hard on it for the past three weeks – fine-tuning textures and deco, working on the setting within the sim, and trying to build an atmosphere into the place even before it opened. And I think we succeeded, certainly beyond my own expectations. The bar already feels ‘lived in’ to me …

At the Bar and Playin' the Blues

Kurt got the Blues... night @ Furillen

… and of course, it affords some great picture opportunities …

TC still has the Blues... night @ Furillen

One glass wine

Swedish blues

I must – again – thank Micky and Dooozy for putting such energy into this. The bar really does look ‘bluesy’, and feels as if it’s been here for years. And yet it has a distinct Furillen touch with those murals taken from pictures of the real Furillen. Credit for this must go to Micky, who not only came up with a bright idea but got on and realised it. As I said in a recent post, this is genuine collaboration, and it is a great pleasure to experience it.

We’ll be announcing the next event in due course. Meanwhile, courtesy of Wolf once again, try putting some of this into your Sundays …

Getting involved …

As I never tire of reminding people, Furillen was always about collaborating within a dynamic, constantly-changing virtual space, not putting on a finished sim that sits proudly – but passively – while the vast Flickrite army visits, takes its fill of similar-looking pictures, and moves on to the next place.

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We had our fair share that on the sim – with highs of 400-500 visitors daily, all snapping away. But I am more comfortable with how the sim is evolving, with a steady stream of around 150 visitors daily, many of whom are part of what can only be described as a Furillen ‘community’.

Happy Hour 2@furillen

A sense of belonging and connection is important to many people who regularly ‘play’ Second Life, and I try to support it at Furillen with events, the competition, this blog, and periodic invitations to get involved. We had our flash mobs too, in the past, and no doubt we’ll have some more.

Quite some time ago now, I invited those who read and enjoy this blog – and visit Furillen – to make your own contributions. Just a few words, I said, you don’t need to be Hemingway …

hemingway gif

I had a few takers: Blimp put together a wonderful set of words and pictures called Furillen Crime Scene – she is currently planning another – and Jinx Shipman made a very cool cartoon strip. I’m still waiting for others, so if you have something you want to say, now is a good time …

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Meanwhile, others made fantastic contributions to the sim itself – such as Laura and her gorgeous Yellow Room (and I am sure that Laura will soon be jumping at the chance to do a new room).

Stool

As for the competition, this is now in its fourth round with some wonderful entries that – as with Round 3 – I will be publishing on this blog; and Furillenites have put together some great videos, which celebrate both the sim itself (you can see most of them here), and specific events, such as those made for the Radiohead event (which can be seen here and here and here), and the videos of the events that were made during our Abba event and the disco night.

In future, Furillen will be hosting more exhibitions in its own inimitable style – eschewing the  gallery approach that characterizes most art presentation in Second Life, in favour of the slide show style we enjoyed with Moon Edenbaum’s show earlier this year. There are a few such exhibitions in the pipeline, as you will soon see.

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So there is plenty happening at the sim; indeed we are busier than ever. This weekend we’ll be announcing the winner of Round 4 of the Furillen Photography Competition – entries close tomorrow. I am noticing that while there are fewer entries for this competition – inevitable, given that there is no cash prize and the brief is getting more stringent every time – the standard is going up very high indeed.

Cue tasteless ‘awesome’ GIF …

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What satisfies me most is that almost everything – no, absolutely everything – I have referred to in this post has been made by others: regular (and irregular) visitors to Furillen, many of whom I did not know before the sim opened in October.

who are you gif

And so it is with our newest venture – Bar Cafe Fabriken. This opens on Saturday, with an evening of Blues music provided by Second Life’s greatest blues exponent, DJ Wolf. The bar as been built and decorated, and is sitting somewhere on the grid, waiting to be moved across – en masse – during the day on Saturday.

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Once again, I am most excited to say that this is not my venture, but ours. Its roots lie in a conversation that took place one evening at Furillen …

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… leading to our first music event – that fabulous Bowie weekend – and evolving into a series of events, through Abba, disco funk, Radiohead to Grease.

Step forward Micky Siamendes, Furillen’s very own mushroom man …

mushroom gif

… whose thoughts about a blues night with a made-for-the-purpose bar evolved into the idea – already mooted by others during the Bowie weekend – that the sim should have its own permanent bar / cafe. Despite being such an obviously dubious character, Micky is also a do-er, and it’s to his great credit that he realised his own vision by building the place himself.

god help us gif

Micky ‘gets’ Furillen – what it means and what it stands for – and it is in keeping that he thought the project through in terms of the history of the real Furillen, and imagined where the bar might fit in. He writes about this here. Later on today, I’ll be publishing another post by Micky, in which he reflects on art and its role in his life.

Furillen has always been a collaborative sim, but this venture – it will be run by Micky, Dooozy and me – takes this onto a new level. I hope you’ll not only join us on Saturday to celebrate, but think about making your own contributions – with suggestions for themes and performances, pieces of art, and any other ideas.

As some of you will already know, I don’t always have the time or head space for a detailed conversation the moment you get in touch with me, but if you write a few lines on notecard and give me a moment to reflect …

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… well, everything I have written here is testimony to the fact that if an idea has legs, we’ll get it to walk.

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Furillen gets the blues

I’ll be taking down the set we made for the Grease event later this evening. So if you were planning to take a few pictures, there is still time. Although bear in mind what the man from Muse once sang …

matt bellamy time gif

Talking of Muse, I’ll be seeing them a few times in London next week. The set list looks pretty good. There is no doubt that their older material is stronger, and they will be playing some decent stuff like Citizen Erased, Plug In Baby, Stockholm Syndrome and Map of the Problematique.

That’s not quite as retro as Audrey, but as close as you’ll get when Matt Bellamy is involved – and affords us a much nicer GIF …

audrey gif

I saw Muse at the Download Festival last summer …

muse download

In keeping with that festival, they were deliberately ‘heavy’, and it was possibly the loudest set I heard all year, barring Leftfield at London’s Roundhouse in October. For a festival gig, that is saying something – although to be fair, I was standing (being crushed) right in front of the massive bank of speakers to the right of the stage.

Here is a video of the full set, although the quality isn’t great.

Muse are headlining Glastonbury this year, although if the rumours are correct that LCD Soundsystem will be playing on the Other Stage at the same time on the Friday evening, it will be a close call for me …

undecided gif

Back to Furillen … the north western corner of the sim will soon be occupied by Furillen’s new venue, Bar Cafe Fabriken. This is a collaborative venture with Micky Siamendes and Dooozy. As I said in a previous post, the idea is to hold many of our music events here, while introducing a few new elements, such as DJs – rather then just me and my playlists – and live musicians.

live music gif

We can’t promise Matt Bellamy or Thom Yorke, but there are certainly a few Second Life musicians who will relish the opportunity to perform for the Furillenites.

And on Saturday, Furillen will be host to the awesome DJ Wolf, who will be playing the blues …

bb king gif

To get in the mood, just listen to this …

Or if you have more time, this …

The bar has one or two features we think you’ll enjoy. One is that it will change in subtle – and, quite possibly, not so subtle – ways according to the event in question. Cue chameleon GIF …

chameleon gif

Another is that there is a small gallery area, where we’ll be featuring music-related pictures (tour posters, etc.) relevant to the event in question – alongside music-inspired art pieces submitted by visitors to Furillen. Stuff like this …

fine art a

As ever on the sim, it is largely up to you how the space develops and what it becomes. They key is to become as actively involved as you can, and as weird as you want …

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And finally … you have a few more days left to submit entries to Round 4 of the Furillen photography competition.

round 4 a

Go here for a reminder of the theme and instructions for entering. I think it’s a simple, powerful brief – an album based on the love of life theme. I’ve been following it myself with the series of E E Cummings poems that have featured on this blog during the past month.

What you submit will determine where this competition goes next …

Furillen despatch

I’m currently ‘on vacation’, which in my case usually means that I do what I usually do …

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… but in a different location …

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… on a dodgy internet connection …

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That said, it’s always nice to get away, and I am not complaining when I find myself in the middle of this landscape …

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.. . even if it’s been raining rather a lot since I arrived.

So my inworld time is both limited in time and diminished in quality this week. Which, of course, is no bad thing.

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While I might not be around all that much, planning for the future at Furillen goes on. I am still hoping that KT Syakumi will be making some custom builds for the sim – in particular, one (or both) of these …

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While KT focuses on the job of replicating the real Furillen in Second Life – she made the sim’s pier look uncannily close to the real thing – a number of the sim’s buildings are prefabs that merely echo what I imagine is the ‘spirit’ of the real place.

The building I announced yesterday – Bar Cafe Fabriken – is a combination of both. It is being adapted from an existing Second Life build by Micky Siamendes, but as you will see when it opens on 9 April 2016, the bar has been given a distinctive Furillen identity.

Micky and I thought about making the bar just for a blues night, but because we like it so much the plan now is to make it a feature of the sim, and to hold regular music events there.

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I’ll be giving out details of the launch night in due course. But for now, I’ll leave you with a delicious clue …