the furillen bowie weekend: details

aaa bowie details pic

We are gorging ourselves on Bowie at Furillen this weekend. It’s been fun putting it all together – even during a horrendously busy week in RL – and I’d like to thank Rinnuendo for helping me to gather material and, in particular, to make the movies work. Without her help the show wouldn’t be so great.

The weekend-long event will start on Saturday morning, European time. Those visiting the sim will find …

Pictures: a slide show, ‘projected’ onto the building at the centre of the sim, will feature more than 200 images, some rare; in addition, there will be GIF boards set against the hotel, and elsewhere on Furillen.

Movies: we have 7 cinema screens set up, showing a range of material from music video compilations to documentaries, including some awesome live footage. Here’s what they will be showing, moving clockwise from the regular Furillen movie screen at the south of the sim.

  • Main screen: a four-hour compilation of music videos.
  • Screen 2: Sound & Vision: a one-hour documentary about Bowie’s career.
  • Screen 3: videos from The Next Day, featuring The Stars Are Out Tonight, The Next Day, Love is Lost (Reich Remix), I’d Rather Be High (Venetian mix), and Valentine’s Day.
  • Screen 4: Five Years of Bowie: a one-hour BBC documentary covering five crucial years early on in Bowie’s career.
  • Screen 5: Best of Bowie: a ninety-minute compilation of music videos that was posted to Vimeo through Bowie’s own account.
  • Screen 6: videos from Blackstar, featuring Blackstar, Lazarus and Sue (Or In A Season of Crime).
  • Screen 7: Reality: a thirty-minute conceptual film that was made to accompany Bowie’s 2003 album of the same name.

Please refer to previous blog posts here and here in order to address any issues you may have trying to play the movies. What you absolutely need to do – and this applies to both Mac and PC users – is install QuickTime.

Music: there will be 26 of Bowie’s studio albums playing through the music stream on a random loop. These are:

In addition, I will also be playing some of his individual albums – from beginning to end – at set times. If you want to request that a specific album gets played through during your visit, please feel free to ask. But those I plan to give special slots to include:


hunky dory

ziggy album

bowie station cover


David Bowie's The Next Day


That’s it. I leave it up to all you to decorate the sim with your avatars, costumes and whatever else for the weekend.

Have a good time.

Because he most certainly did …

bowie b and w giphy




bowie weekend: update

I’ve watched Slipknot perform twice this week in London. Whether you like their music or not, it is difficult to resist the sense of theatre that surrounds it. Or the song that plays as the show opens …

… which leads me straight on to a quick update on the Furillen Bowie weekend, which is coming up fast.

bowie weekend b

First. In addition to the 17 albums that are already on Furillen’s Bowie playlist, I’ve been adding more music, including …


… The World of David Bowie (1970), which contains early tracks such as Love You til Tuesday and The London Boys …


Pin Ups (1973), which is an album of cover songs recorded by Bowie, including The Who’s I Can’t Explain & Where Have all the Good Times Gone, originally recorded by The Kinks …


Low (1977), which includes Sound and Vision & Warszawa


… Tonight (1984), which contains Loving the Alien & Blue Jean


Never Let Me Down (1987), including the Chernobyl-inspired Time Will Crawl & Day-In Day-Out, which is about homelessness and urban decay …


Tin Machine (1989), which features Heaven’s In Here alongside a cover of John Lennon’s Working Class Hero


Black Tie White Noise (1993), which contains You’ve Been Around & Nite Fights


Earthling (1997), including Dead Man Walking & I’m Afraid of Americans


… and ‘hours …’ (1999), containing Seven & The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell.

So I think in terms of music, we have it pretty much covered.


Besides all of this music, we will be displaying well over 100 images – including some hand-written lyrics and drawings by Bowie, as well as pictures of some of his great outfits. This one, for example …


Finally, we have movies for you. These will include a ninety-minute compilation of music videos that seems to have been put together by Bowie himself, and a conceptual movie that was made to accompany the 2003 album, Reality.


We are, in short, doing the great man proud.


Where are we now?

Had to get the train
From Potsdamer Platz
You never knew that
That I could do that
Just walking the deadSitting in the Dschungel
On Nürnberger Strasse
A man lost in time
Near KaDeWe
Just walking the deadWhere are we now, where are we now?
The moment you know, you know, you knowTwenty thousand people
Cross Bösebrücke
Fingers are crossed
Just in case
Walking the dead

Where are we now, where are we now?
The moment you know, you know, you know

As long as there’s sun
As long as there’s sun
As long as there’s rain
As long as there’s rain
As long as there’s fire
As long as there’s fire
As long as there’s me
As long as there’s you


Music from Bowie’s 2013 album, The Next Day
Movie by SaveMe Oh
Filmed at Furillen

latest news from Furillen

It was a busy weekend at Furillen.

First, we saw two brilliant impromptu art performances from SaveMe Oh, given on Saturday and Sunday evening. I wrote about the first here, and will have something to say about the second later on.

It was compelling. I love this art, and enjoy the sense of drama – imagined and real – that surrounds it.

Second, we had a competition winner – the talented Carolyn, whose series of Furillen pictures impressed me hugely when I first saw them, enough to make one of them picture of the day.

The winning picture engages with the ‘cold’ theme in a direct but nonetheless subtle way. For me, as for many others I think, it is the light in Carolyn’s picture that really grabs – and holds – one’s attention.

By the time you read this, the winning picture will be on display in the hotel reception.

Tomorrow, I will announce a theme for the next competition, and set down some other new ground rules – just to keep things interesting.

Third, the great Rinnuendo continued working at the movie player. We discovered – and worked around – more SL-specific quirks, and we are starting to believe that we may now have one of the best – no, the best – movie screens on the grid.

Many Thank's Serene ;-) @Furillen

In a previous post, I said that the screen is only a temporary installation at the sim, and I believe this is the right choice. So do enjoy this while it lasts – and please be patient if you are not so keen (derendering is your best option).

If you tweak your preference settings for media at distance, you can hear and see (or glimpse) the screen from all over the sim. To me, it has the feeling of a vast, empty cinema.


If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you follow the instructions on the board next to the screen – and avoid pressing buttons repeatedly as you might with your TV at home. Give the movies time to load, particularly those you haven’t yet seen.

movie instructions f

Fourth, the outside cinema was the location of not one but two ‘flashmob’ line-ups. These are great fun – a good test of photography and lag survival skills, and a really pleasant social occasion.

Happy Afternoon @Furillen

There are some really exceptional characters at Furillen, which has now taken on a social and creative life of its own far beyond anything that I have created or can (or would want to) control. I called myself the janitor with good reason.

Fifth, preparations are well underway for the Bowie weekend that will take place at Furillen on 13-14 February 2016. I have the music well covered, but if there is any digital Bowie-related art – including movies – that you think would enhance the weekend, please get in touch.

bowie weekend b

Before then, I will be resuming my nocturnal first life habits as I come out of hibernation and start going to a gig or two in London. This week it is Slipknot and All Time Low. I’m looking forward to the theatricals in both gigs, especially the former.

But the working week, alas, starts now. Whatever you get up to, do make the most of it …

The Furillen Bowie weekend

Someone requested that we hold a Bowie event at Furillen.


This is no doubt partly a response to the wall-to-wall Bowie music, featuring 17 of his albums, that we had streaming through the sim just after he died.

bowie a

I think it’s a great idea. We could simply have a party, but with a homestead limit of 20 avatars I can imagine the carnage that would ensue if I issued an invitation with a start time on it. So instead, I propose a Bowie weekend …

bowie weekend b

… during which you are invited to come to the sim appropriately dressed, in outfits that the great man himself might have enjoyed at some point during his long and distinguished career as a style icon.

Besides a spaced out Janitor, greeting you at Furillen will be …

  • as much of Bowie’s back catalogue as we can pump out through the music stream;
  • a slide show of Bowie pictures on the wall of the main house; and (hopefully!)
  • some Bowie movies on the big screen.

If you like the sound of this, pop over to Furillen next weekend, February 13-14 2016, to celebrate the life and work of this extraordinary – unique – artist.

So …

giphy (2)

… let’s dance !


music at Furillen

One of the most neglected aspects of sims that I visit in Second Life is the soundscape. Occasionally, I have visited a sim and been captivated by what I hear – music, or other sounds (birds, creaking doors, the wind – whatever fits).


More often, alas, I visit a beautiful sim, switch on music, and hear traffic news, or an advert for something really shit that ‘you always knew you needed’ …


There was a sim called October Country – does anyone else remember it? – that streamed audio books and plays. Visitors – me! – would sit for hours in a spooky graveyard listening to classic broadcasts, usually of science fiction. It made for a wonderful atmosphere.

I wondered about doing this sometimes at Furillen. If I did, it would surely have to be War of the Worlds to start everything off …


Although there is a separate page on this site referring to music at Furillen, I wanted to mention it here partly to draw attention to the fact that the sim has its very own music stream.


I won’t bore you with how it works, but there is around 60 hours of music on a random loop. I have 12gb of server space, so there is room for plenty more. But I reserve that for special occasions …

… there were some Christmas tunes for a very short time …

shutterstock_CHRISTMAS-MUSIC-940X540 (1)

… the new song released by Radiohead on Christmas day was uploaded and played once per hour (just wait until their new album is dropped – any time now!) …


… when David Bowie died I uploaded 15 hours of his music and played it for two days, and I still use this playlist from time to time …

bowie a

… and this weekend, I will be playing music chosen by Moon Edenbaum to accompany his series of portraits that will be on show.

moon exhibit

I don’t know many other sims that have their own music stream permanently running. Elysion – a favourite place on the grid for many of us – is one. There is always great music on there, and I enjoy talking to the owner – Syn Beresford – about music choices.

The music I uploaded to the stream is mainly what I’d play when working – or running, strangely enough. It’s mostly ambient, very atmospheric, usually without words.


Biosphere, Eno, BVDUB, Hammock, John Foxx, Nils Frahm, Oophoi, Stars of the Lid, This Will Destroy You … all feature heavily, alongside a smattering of other stuff, including some classical (Avro Pärt, for example) …

I think it not only fits the sim’s special atmosphere, but enhances it.


One feature of the stream you might find odd is my voice, intermittently telling you that you are listening to Furillen radio, etc. This is done in order to prevent – or discourage – a larger commercial sim from latching onto the stream. It would sound a bit strange …

I do this because there are 50 listening slots on my stream. More than enough for a homestead like Furillen, but easily swallowed up …


The stream provides listening stats, which are interesting reading. On average, I would say that between 50-70% of those on the sim at any one time listen to the stream. Those who tune in listen – on average – for around half an hour.

One in ten listen for well over an hour, some for more than 4 hours …


But here is my favourite statistic. Since the stream began, listeners have tuned in from a total of 102 countries.

Want a list? Alright then, if you insist. Here they are, in order of listening minutes …

United States US

United Kingdom GB

Germany DE

France FR

Italy IT

Netherlands NL

Romania RO

Brazil BR

Argentina AR

Mexico MX

Japan JP

Australia AU

Canada CA

Spain ES

Russian Federation RU

Belgium BE

Switzerland  CH

Portugal PT

Thailand TH

Estonia EE

Korea, Republic Of KR

Sweden SE

Slovenia SI

Ecuador EC

Chile CL

India IN

Croatia HR

Greece GR

Serbia RS

South Africa ZA

Singapore SG

Colombia CO

Venezuela VE

Norway NO

New Zealand NZ

Denmark DK

Hungary HU

Turkey TR

Peru PE

Ukraine UA

Latvia LV

Finland FI

Belarus BY

United Arab Emirates AE

Malaysia MY

Hong Kong HK

Indonesia ID

Poland PL

Philippines PH

Qatar QA

Lithuania LT

Israel IL

Moldova, Republic Of MD

Puerto Rico PR

Ireland IE

Bulgaria BG

Bahamas BS

Macao MO

Saudi Arabia SA

Armenia AM

Austria AT

Jamaica JM

Algeria DZ

Uruguay UY

Isle Of Man

Saint Lucia LC

Bosnia And Herzegovina BA

Mauritania MR

Kuwait KW

Kazakhstan KZ

Czech Republic CZ

Pakistan PK

China CN

Sri Lanka LK

Luxembourg LU

Albania AL

Dominican Republic DO

Cyprus CY

Honduras HN

Trinidad And Tobago TT

El Salvador SV

Lebanon LB

Bangladesh BD

Zimbabwe ZW

Georgia GE

Slovakia SK

Oman OM

Viet Nam VN

Bolivia BO

Iceland IS

Panama PA

Tunisia TN

Montenegro ME

Egypt EG

Reunion RE

Malta MT

Palestinian Territory, Occupied PS

Nigeria NG

Iraq IQ

Morocco MA

Costa Rica CR

If nothing else, this demonstrates just how cosmopolitan the grid can be.

But I hope it also encourages those of you who haven’t listened yet, to tune in …


… and enjoy how Furillen sounds, not just how it looks.


the man who fell to earth

bowie a

Yesterday was Bowie day at Furillen. I streamed the following albums:

Space Oddity (1969)
The Man Who Sold The World (1970)
Hunky Dory (1971)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
Alladin Sane (1973)
Diamond Dogs (1974)
Young Americans (1975)
Station to Station (1976)
Heroes (1977)
Lodger (1979)
Scary Monsters [and Super Creeps] (1980)
Let’s Dance (1983)
Outside (1995)
Heathen (2002)
Reality (2003)
The Next Day (2013)
Blackstar (2016)

I will let the stream play on today, before reverting to the usual ambient music.

I had a fascinating time going through Bowie’s catalogue: the incredibly productive period in the 1970s, of course, but also some real gems from later on. Even supposed duds like Outside (1995) contain some great music.

As for Blackstar – the man’s style, in passing, leaves me speechless.

I also recommend this video, which is of David singing ‘Heroes’ at my favourite festival, Glastonbury, in 2000.