November 11, 2009

LabGraal - celtic Live Music in SL

The other day I was bored in SL and did some map-hopping: pulling up the map, reduce the zoom level, and check for sims that either look interesting, have an interesting name or have a number of green dots on them. After some sobering experiences, and actually close before I gave up, I found the sim of Glendalough, whose name and map-image captured my attention.

After teleporting there I found myself in a beautiful Irish-themed setting, with an incredible amount of wild vegetation, the ruin of an abbey, right enough a pub, a solemn cemetery and loads and loads of beautifully designed corners and places and many hidden corners. You can see that a lot of care has been taken to make this place as authentic as can be, and to make it beautiful with a love for detail.

Near the pub was a stage announcing the concert of a band using some celtic symbols, but the poster said Saturday and it was Sunday. I regretted this a bit since celtic folk, celtic rock and celtic fusion is the kind of music I like very much, but the sim had enough beauty so I did not mind longer.

However, suddenly, an announcement was made that the concert is about to start soon - whether it was a repeat or they rescheduled it was not mentioned - and I went to the stage area where the band assembled themselves. And a minute later a bagpipe made its war cry across the sim.

The act I was fortunate to attend was a celtic band from - of all places - Italy. I knew that France - especially Brittany - has a vivid celtic scene, but Italy was new to me. The band LabGraal (LABORATORIO MUSICALE DEL GRAAL) is a "real life" band who has released 6 CD's by now. They have dedicated a portion of their website to their Second Life involvement. Anyhow, the music was very energetic and driven, the lead singer had a lovely accent and lead nicely from song to song, but what was most amazing is that they actually had a stage show!

I attended concerts - both of solo acts as well as of bands - in SL before, and none of them had a stage show. The musicians usually loop through the very same animations - which is especially confusing in the pauses between songs. Not so LabGraal - the musicians moved on the stage, they changed instruments, they used appropriate animations during solos - and they even clapped their hands above their heads during an especially exciting solo of one of the players.

All in all it was an amazing evening, the sim was packed with well over 30 avatars, and I had a great time. My dear friend Nissa, who joined me after a while, was quite surprised as well. It was her first live music event in SL - and it probably got her hooked.
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