Furillen latest

We have had a few days of rain – and some awesome pictures. You really outdid yourselves this time with some incredibly varied and creative images that demonstrate – once again – the value of a sim that doesn’t dictate how it should be photographed …



It is about a balance under the rain

I had to get 'brolly' ;p Hang on kitty! It's a mad dash to the good ole airstream before this paper brolly breaks!

Damm is lost in the Thoughts @ Furillen

Looking for shelter @Furillen

Pigeons, a bumper car and soaked sneakers @ Furillen ;)


Sir BabOOn



Date'Boots @Furillen

what is she thinking?



Really pretty

@hill.s enjoy's the rain

This is just a sample of the pictures you’ve been making during the last few days. If you want to know why I make an effort with the sim, this is the answer.


Furillen is likely to be bathed in warm, Spring sunshine again this weekend. The experiment with rain went well. Most visitors reported minimal lag issues, and everyone I spoke to thought the torrential downpour looked and sounded great.

Having cleaned up the scripts in the rain, I’ve been preparing it all for packing into a rezzer – because as I said before, it would be great for the weather to vary at the sim. If you’ve seen me standing around at Furillen with my arm in the air and ‘unavailable’ over my head, this is why.

busy gif

I’ll be looking at other variations in the weather during the next few weeks.

weather gif

batman weather

Before all that, though, we have some events coming up that I wanted to remind you about.

First: Today – 4 March at Midday SLT – is deadline day for Round 3 of the Furillen photography competition. Given the slightly more complex nature of the task this time around, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of entries received so far, and I’ll be sifting and sorting them into a new flickr stream later on today.

There is no voting this time. I have been putting together a small panel of judges who visit Furillen regularly and have some kind of connection with it, but no obvious vested interests. I will be a member of the panel – so if you want to bribe me, go right ahead and try, but bear in mind that my prices are really high …

Apple for the teacher cartoon

As before, this is a low stakes contest, there is no big prize, and I’ll do my best to feature as many of the entries as I can on this blog.

So relax and enjoy seeing what people came up to convey ‘The Meaning of Furillen’. The winner will be displayed in one form or another at the sim.


Details of Round 4 will be announced in due course. I personally think it’s worth going on with this competition, because it adds another layer to the increasingly rich and enjoyable artistic life that we all enjoy at Furillen. It is never the primary focus of what happens there, and not everyone wants to join in. But for those who do, it provides a good challenge.

bring it gif

Second: While we’re waiting for the judges to do their work, we may as well party – so there will be a small Abba event at the sim on the evening (Euro timezone) of Saturday 5 March. Just costumes and music for this one. It’s a bad taste festival – you know what to do.

bad taste

I’ll announce a more precise time window for this tomorrow morning, but your best bet is to have your music switched on and listen out for ‘Dancing Queen’.

danxing queen gif

Third: The rather more serious and tasteful Radiohead event happens next weekend. This follows on from what we did with Bowie, but steps things up a bit because a lot of what gets seen at the sim during the weekend will consist of art made by you. I’ve been receiving videos and pictures all week, and will start going through them towards the middle of next week.


There is still plenty of time to pull something together for the event. But to be clear: I won’t be displaying lots of pictures on the sim and turning it into a giant gallery. You know my feelings about that. So most of what gets made will turn up as part of a slide show. I’ll also be displaying pictures, movies and other information about Radiohead.

radiohead gif

I’ll be putting all of this together during the next week.

Ever the optimist, I’m still hopeful that the boys from Abingdon School might drop their new album just in time for us to add it to the music stream. And if they do, I will – obviously – claim that I’m Thom’s best friend and he did this as a Furillen favour.

But I would – of course – be lying.

creep gif

Fourth: Is there life after Radiohead? At Furillen we certainly think so, and to prove it I plan to run a series of exhibitions featuring a mix of photography from first and second life. This makes sense to me, given that the virtual Furillen has a strong connection with the real Furillen.

I’ll be giving out details about these events in due course.

Besides all of this, I am sure there will be plenty of other – impromptu – developments at the sim as the janitor continues to get to grips with his relatively low boredom threshold.


New weather patterns, a few new toys, a new building or two, some music events, and other stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.

small head gif

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, for a sim in which – by design – ‘nothing happens’ … an awful lot is happening at Furillen.

Hope to see you at some point over the weekend – I’ll be off and on intermittently.

But if you’re not wearing spandex, I’ll want to know why.

spandex abba



Radiohead … stuff

With just two weeks to go before the Furillen Radiohead weekend …


… I thought that some of you might benefit from a bit of inspiration.

So I put together some links for you to browse.

Right here is series of ‘geeky facts’ about the band, put together by NME just before the last Radiohead album – The King of Limbs – was released in 2011.

One of my favourites on that list is the review of Kid A by Mark Beaumont in Melody Maker. Giving the album 1.5 out of 5, Beaumont called it

tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory, look-ma-I-can-suck-my-own-cock whiny old rubbish.

I think we’re meant to snark up on Mark with the benefit of hindsight and tell him what a crap critic he is.

Not me, though.

My view is that anything that actually sounds like ‘look-ma-I-can-suck-my-own-cock’ must be …


… and Kid A most certainly is.

So … nice one Mr Beaumont, you really nailed it.

For slavish Radiohead watchers, I guess the reddit is as good as it gets.

So … here it is.


As you might expect, the Radiohead reddit is rife with speculation about the new album release date – but you’ll find lots of other ‘interesting’ threads there too, such as Need Puppy Names for a Yorkie puppy (ya know, because of Thom Yorke).

On that last one, I am so tempted to suggest they call that puppy ‘my owner is really weird’ …

weird gif

… but I don’t do reddit.

For those of you who, like me, admire Radiohead’s album artwork, you might enjoy this piece, in which the artist responsible for it – Stanley Donwood, aka Dan Rickwood – talks about what he did.

I was particularly struck by what Donwood said about the difference between Kid A and Amnesiac:

Kid A was for me a fucked up phone call whereas Amnesiac felt more like someone had left a really, really long answerphone message.

I don’t know what he means, either … but that doesn’t stop me from liking it. And just look at the Amnesiac cover …


… so, Stanley … your bullshit is forgiven.

On the opposite end of the bullshit spectrum, here is Thom Yorke in a 2006 interview, telling us that he feels hypocritical playing large stadium gigs because of their environmental impact.

Asked how this conflict can be resolved, he says …

Fuck knows.

Thank you Thom. For everything.

And especially for that.

Finally – for now, at least – here is something for those of you who dislike Radiohead … although I seriously doubt that you scrolled this far down if you do.

This is what an especially charming Radioheadphobe had to say about Thom Yorke:

He’s just a strange little British man who dances like a spider monkey.

But – really – who on earth would want to argue with that …

yorke dancing

A happy weekend to all!

Furillen catch-up

I’ve not been inworld much this week, having been caught up in a whirl of meetings and gigs in first life. I won’t bore you with details about the meetings, but the music is worth mentioning.

I am in the midst of seeing two bands twice. Many of you might not have heard of Enter Shikari – people try to give them a genre, such as post-hardcore or Electronicore, but this approach doesn’t really work for me. They are a ‘political’ band, citing Rage Against The Machine and Sick of it All as influences – although here, too, a label doesn’t do them justice.

Anyway, they are really great live – and having seem them twice in 2015, I wanted to catch them as they step up from medium-sized rooms to what in the UK we call ‘arenas’, i.e. spaces holding around 10,000 people.

On this tour they are playing a few Mindsweep remixes from Hospitalized, and the sound coming from the long line of sub-woofers in front of the stage was – literally – causing a breeze.

Here’s a clip from the show I attended with my daughter – a huge fan – last weekend.

In case you are wondering – no, I wasn’t taking this video. I was getting bruised ribs right at the front.

I’ll be seeing them again tomorrow in London’s best arena. I say ‘best’ because there are no seats at all, and there is something about standing – and moving – with 9,999 other people that I rather like.

The other band I saw twice is a duo from Columbus, Ohio, called Twenty-One Pilots, playing back-to-back gigs in Bowie’s part of London, Brixton. I have been to a lot of gigs recently, and – having seen them three times now – these are, for me, the best live performers of them all.

Their sense of theatre, with some great masks and costumes, and their movement around the stage – quite an achievement for a duo where one guy is a drummer and the other often plays piano – are brilliant.

Here’s a clip from last night’s gig of them performing Car Radio.

Once again, this isn’t my video. I am – with my daughter, again – in front and to the right.

So what’s all this got to do with Furillen?


When I look back on my gig list from 2016, Radiohead are bound to be on it. Several times. I’m hoping they will headline Glastonbury this year (I have a ticket), and will try to catch them at one or two other festivals on their calendar.

Their album could – will! – drop any moment between now and late May. If we are lucky- who knows? – it will be out in time for our Radiohead weekend at Furillen.

But even if it’s not, keep making those pictures and videos, because it’s one hell of a back catalogue.

Seeing as I’m giving you clips not pictures today, let’s sign off with a link to the full hour of Radiohead’s legendary set from Glastonbury 1997 – and no, alas, I was not there.

May all your Fridays be good ones.

coming up at Furillen

We have a few events on the horizon at Furillen, so I thought I would note them down in one place for easy reference.

First. Round 3 of the Furillen photography competition is due to end on Friday 4 March at Midday SLT.

pier poster_001

I know that some of you are working on this, but others were a little reluctant because it seemed like too much work, or too complicated. So while there are still almost two weeks left before the deadline, allow me to simplify what this round involves.


Of, and about, Furillen.

Furillen in SL. And also – if you wish – Furillen in RL.


Theme: ‘what Furillen means to me’.

So … if you are holding back from this round because it seems too complex, please think again.

Second. The Furillen Radiohead event – 12-13 March 2016.


This is a weekend with a difference, because although I will do everything I can to pull something together that is every bit as rich and as fun as the Bowie event was, on this occasion I wanted to go a step further …

So I am inviting you to make your own pictures and videos inspired by Radiohead songs to display at the sim during the event.

Which give me an excellent excuse to show you this, of Thom Yorke, going kind of apeshit himself …

… and also to brag about being present when this happened – unannounced – during the UK’s Latitude Festival last summer. Thom with Portishead, singing The Rip …

Many people are already working on producing pictures and videos for this weekend. I’d like to make it a really collaborative event in which everyone who wants to contribute, can do so.

If you have an idea but you’re not sure about whether it fits, contact me or Mareea Farrasco, who is helping out with the organization.

The likely answer in most cases is ‘yes’.

Third. Abba. Some of you said yes. But I’d like more. All I have in mind is a costume party, based on one of Sweden’s greatest exports. (I could, of course, have chosen Ikea or Volvo … ?)

Now click this, and I dare you not to be moved, somehow

If you’re a child of the 1970s, or a more recent convert to the music of this great spandex quartet through watching the wonderful musical and movie, Mama Mia, let me know.

Want more bad outfits? OK …

Fourth. Other musical events. Someone – she knows who she is – mentioned a heavy metal show. I can well imagine an event with avatars dressed up to the music of great bands like Slipknot, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, AC/DC, Marilyn Manson … a Furillen version of the UK’s great Download festival, which I will doubtless be going to.

You might not love the music, but come on … the costumes??





I rest my case.

Enjoy your Sundays!


As I’ve said before, although Furillen stands in many ways for solitude with its emptiness and austere mood, it is a sim that lives and thrives on the strength of the conviviality one finds there. The sim is a virtual community of artists as much – if not more – than it is a landscape.

Furillen people

This is expressed in the art that gets made there: in the way that creative ideas are realised and expressed, shared and displayed. With our previous events – the Moon Edenbaum exhibition of portraits and the Bowie weekend – these qualities have been merged to create occasions that have been genuinely immersive and involving, and really quite memorable for those who took part in them.

In more spontaneous forms, too, Furillen is finding its own particular ways of expressing itself as a social space. The flashmob events are a great example of this process – and we had another last night. The line-up reached a peak of avatars on the sim within minutes of being announced, and while people came and went as first life commitments called on their time, a large gathering of Furillenites remained in place for several hours during the evening, plotting and planning future events and collaboration.

Furillen people  v.1.2

This was, for me, Furillen at its very best, as expressed in these extraordinarily fine pictures by Nhera Larnia (above) and Laura …

Flash mmmmmmob

Of the future events we talked about during the evening, perhaps the most exciting will be the Radiohead weekend.

radiohead & furillen

2016 will be a big year for the band. Having been on hiatus for a number of years, they dropped their ‘rejected’ Bond movie theme song – Spectre – onto an unsuspecting public on Christmas day. The song, which I love, has been on the sim’s music stream ever since that time, as are a number of other Radiohead tracks.

Here is Spectre as we might have heard and seen it in the movie theatre, were it not for the exceptionally poor musical taste of the film’s producers…


One of my personal all-time favourite songs by Radiohead is Exit Music (For a Film), which is beautifully conveyed in this ethereal movie …

A new Radiohead album – likely to be released without warning – is due out any moment now. A summer tour is also being planned, with festival dates already being announced regularly on the band’s website.

Here is the image the band is using to publicise the tour – and possibly the artwork that will be used on the album itself – mocked up as Furillen’s welcome mat. Please note – geek alert! – that the font I have used  here (BD Plakatba) is from the Kid A album …

radiohead 2016 furillen2

As a few minutes on Google will testify, Radiohead’s music lends itself very well to all kinds of original artistic expression, and this is what we would like to tap into and celebrate at Furillen.

We are therefore inviting producers of machinima and pictures – as well those who work in other media – to join us in exploring any aspect of this band’s music that inspires them. Our suggestion – but it really is only a suggestion – is to focus on a particular song and produce a work that conveys it or responds to it in some way.

We have been approaching people individually to invite them to contribute, but if you read this and feel excited by the project, please get in touch, I am very open to ideas.

As ever, I am pulling this together with help from others. In this instance, Mareea Farassco is lending a hand, so please also speak to her if you want to take part.

Let’s fix a date in mid-March for this.


Not everyone likes Radiohead’s music, of course – and not every band or music genre demands or justifies a full weekend of attention. In this spirit, I wonder about holding some smaller, shorter – evening-long – musical events in which we can face the music and dance.

So here’s a question for you. For a shorter music event at Furillen, involving striking costumes and music from Sweden that you can sing along at home to, does anyone fancy some of this?

Let me know, and I’ll ensure that it happens very soon.


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.