The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse is a global collaboration of composers, artists and musicians that approaches the virtual reality platform Second Life as an instrument itself. The Orchestra conceives, designs and builds its own virtual instruments, making it possible for each individual performer in the Orchestra to trigger sounds independent from one another and to play together in real time. These instruments feature sound, visuals, and animations. A performance of a jumping, hovering, floating, dancing, and twirling Avatar Orchestra Metaverse is a truly spectacular event.

Avatar Orchestra performs regularly in Second Life and in mixed reality events at new media, music and visual arts centres in North America, Europe and Asia.

Monday, May 25, 2015

AOM to perform at ISEA2015

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse has been invited to perform at the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA) 2015, to be held in Vancouver, Canada August 14 - 18 2015.

The performance will feature the American composer Pauline Oliveros remotely conducting the virtual reality version of her composition Heart of Tones, which was premiered by the Avatar Orchestra in Victoria, BC in May 2008. Joining AOM in this special performance is Canadian vocalist Viviane Houle, who will join AOM onsite in Vancouver.

AOM will also perform PwRHm by Canadian composer Tina Pearson, in a new version featuring virtual helicopters (performed by concept artist Leif Inge) and a continuous virtual animation sculpture by code artist Gazira Babelli.

The performance features virtual instruments built by script artist Andreas Müller (Germany), particle designs inspired by media artist Sachiko Hayashi (Sweden), animations by composers Tim Risher and Norman Lowrey (USA) and a set design by Freda Kuterna (Antwerp, Belgium).

The performance will take place on the Odyssey Art and Performance Simulator in Second Life and onsite at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

Ten artists disconnected geographically meet in a networked world, where they create otherworldly
virtual instruments while experimenting with sonic phenomena, perception, identity, telepathy and
collectivity. Their instruments determine movement, sounds, and the release of light and textures that give visual indications of sounds made independently by the performers.

BlaiseDeLaFrance Voom (Biagio Francia), Agropoli, Italy 
Free Noyes (Pauline Oliveros, Kingston, NY, USA)
Frieda Korda (Frieda Kuterna), Antwerp, Belgium)
Groucho Parx (Brenda Hutchinson), San Francisco, USA
Gumnosophistai Nurmi (Leif Inge), Oslo, Norway
Humming Pera (Tina M Pearson), Victoria, Canada
Maxxo Klaar (Max D. Well), Regensburg, Germany
Miulew Takahe (Björn Eriksson), Sollefteå, Sweden
North Zipper (Norman Lowrey), New Jersey, USA
Paco Mariani (Chris Wittkowsky), Regensburg, Germany
Zonzo Spyker (Viv Corringham) (New York, USA)

Heart of Tones (Pauline Oliveros - USA) A tone is minutely explored within a half tone above and
below a prescribed pitch, through subtle timbre variations and movements by performers on virtual
and physical instruments. The resultant beats, timbre shifts and audio illusions create rhythms,
transformations and textures that are precisely mirrored in colour spectrum shifts on giant screens
and capes worn by the avatar performers.

PwRHm (Tina Pearson - Canada) Two sets of sine tones, tuned to the harmonic series of the AC
frequencies of North America and Europe, form two virtual instruments . Separated by continents,
performers use alternating breath rhythms, spatialized movement and coloured particle emissions to
explore sonic phenomena and relationships possible in a virtual meeting. Another set of instruments,
built on field recordings of electric motors from each continent, disrupts the mesmerizing purity.

Working remotely from one another, the usual symbiotic cohesion afforded by physical proximity is
disrupted in a performance by the Avatar Orchestra. Similarly, assumptions about how one creates,
composes and performs music together are challenged. Identities, immediately changeable in the
virtual world, can be elusive. But our attachment to these virtual forms becomes real when we resist 
visual variation and observe emotional responses within what was assumed to be the purist
audiovisual exploration of sonic phenomena.

The Avatar Orchestra creates audiovisual experiences that are yet unknown and/or impossible to
realize in “real life”. The disruption of sensibilities can be profound, provocative, exciting and leads to
new ways of thinking about technology and its intersections with thoughts, feelings, processes and

Visceral processes, such as breath and heartbeat, and elements derived from the performers’ physical
locations provoke investigations of the relationship between flesh realities and wired technology, as
do responses to the disruption of life and place by this preoccupation with the technology.
The years of working together has expanded the listening and perceptual skills of the group into
territories not imagined. The need to stretch the perceptual mind into the far reaches of possibility
creates an undeniably rich and complex, yet elusive connection with others.