Friday, October 16, 2020

Avatar Orchestra Metaverse Live: 

Breathing Cyberspace

October 21, 2020 

 19:00 UTC / 12 noon Pacific / 3 pm EDT / 21:00 CET

on Vimeo at

Please wear headphones or use high quality external speakers for the best aural experience.

Hosted by Digital Arts Resource Centre, Ottawa Canada 

for Independent Media Arts Alliance Digital Shift Victoria Canada, 

and Manifestations 2020, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

While we cannot be with each other in person, the Avatar Orchestra invites you to an interlude of breathing, listening, sensing and dwelling in creative virtual space, where we have been finding unique ways to connect for 13 years ... we imagine you and breathe with you.

Breathing Cyberspace is a multi-located collective performance with dreaming spinning avatars inside telematic virtual brains, an audiovisual spectral fantasy by Tina M. Pearson, and a discussion with Avatar Orchestra members, all coming live from within the virtual environment Second Life.

“[Avatar Orchestra’s] unique performance pushes the boundaries of online interaction, the utility of [multi-user worlds] and aural perceptions of virtual environments.” --Vektor Festival, Toronto

Watch trailer


Dreaming This
by Avatar Orchestra Metaverse
with scripted objects, animations and instruments by Norman Lowrey, Tim Risher and Andreas Müller

Breathing PwRHm
by Tina M Pearson
with scripted objects, animations and instruments by Andreas Müller, Sachiko Hayashi, Tim Risher

Discussion with Avatar Orchestra
with landscape and set design and scripting by Frieda Kuterna

Camera operation and streaming by Dan Kaunisviita, Digital Arts Resource Centre, Ottawa
Audio and streaming by Jason Sonier, Digital Arts Resource Centre, Ottawa
Digital Shift Host: Catlin Lewis
Digital Shift Tech: Marina Glassford


Miulew Takahe / Björn Eriksson, Sollefteå, Sweden

--Sound artist, improviser, composer, Deep Listening® practitioner, founding member of AOM

JORI Tokyo / Johannes Riedmann, Regensburg, Germany

--Visual and mixed media artist, performer

Maxxo Klaar / Max D. Well, Regensburg, Germany

--Concept and media artist, ‘pataphysician, scout, curator, founding member of AOM

Paco Mariani / Chris Wittkowsky, Regensburg, Germany

--Designer, concept and media artist, performer, sculptor, founding member of AOM

Gumnosophistai / Leif Inge, Oslo, Norway

--Old/new media artist

Cuirec d'Erc / Harald Muenz, Cologne, Germany

--Composer, sound artist, speech performer

Frieda Korda / Frieda Kuterna, Antwerpen, Belgium

--Media and textile artist, photographer, set designer

FredMadison / Gema FB Martín, Madrid, Spain

--Multidisciplinary artist, psychologist (Technoethics), scientific researcher

Zonzo Spyker / Viv Corringham, New York, USA/ London, UK

--Vocalist and sound artist, Deep Listening® practitioner

North Zipper / Norman Lowrey, Kingston, NY, USA

--Composer, mask maker, performance / video artist, Professor Emeritus of Music at Drew University, Deep Listening® practitioner

Humming Pera / Tina M. Pearson, Victoria, BC, Canada

--Composer, sound artist, improviser, facilitator, Deep Listening® practitioner


Avatar Orchestra Metaverse is a global collective of multi-disciplined artists. They meet remotely in a networked multi-user world, where, together as avatars, they imagine, build and play new cyberworld audiovisual instruments while experimenting with identity, perception, telepathy and collectivity. Their HUD instruments determine movement, audio emissions, and the release of particles and textures that give visual indications of sounds made independently by individual players in real time. Their performances, without input streaming, are created completely within the networked 3-D environment world Second Life, which the artists consider an instrument to explore and push as well as a venue. Since 2007, they have developed and embraced a sustained collective telematic evolution that informs their listening, creation, and performance skills, as their brains and bodies reorient and adapt in deep drift inside digital and networked technologies. 

Breathing PwRHm by Tina M Pearson is a development of a work commissioned by the Deep Listening® Foundation in 2008. It explores two facets of multi-user 3D environments: presence and intimacy between visceral, virtual and telepathic worlds; and the electric hum – the voice of the power grids that make it possible for us to connect in this way. Sonically, it explores the relationship of the Alternating Current (AC) of the North American (60 Hz) and European/Asian (50 Hz) electric systems through two sets of tones representing the harmonic series of the two ACs, and modified sound samples of electric motors and generators from each continent. The result is a soundworld of just-intonation harmonies, beat frequencies, and microtone textures as the two systems meet. In performance, the remotely located performers’ individual breath rhythms determine the timing and pacing of tones they play; the Europeans’ cue is their exhale, the North Americans’ cue is their inhale. This breathcentred performance practice simultaneously focuses and extends the players’ attention while providing temporal structure and pacing for the piece. Globes held by the avatars are 'receivers' that emit differently coloured particles according to their particular AC instrument, and the pitch and volume of the specific sounds they each play in real time. Avatar animations, choreography, real time conducting, and the telematic symbiosis of the globally dispersed players create a kind of surreal entrainment inside the wired worlds that power our connectivity.

Monday, October 12, 2020

 AOM at Virtual Haidplatz

October 5, 2020

AOM at Festival ECRÃ, Rio, Brazil

August 29, 2020 

AOM presented a live performance followed by a discussion for the Rio Film Festival in Brazil.


Networked Performance 

KHM Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany

June 4, 2020

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse presented a remote concert and discussion for the KHM Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. Due to COVID-19, the audience was present via the Zoom platform, with AOM streaming its audio and video directly to the platform.

The performance was hosted by curator Hans W Koch (Cologne) and featured two sets designed by AOM members: The virtual Haidplatz, modelled on the real Haidplatz in Regensburg, Germany; and a magical Forest land designed by orchestra member Harald Muenz.

Compositions included
A short CptrPwRHm (By T Pearson and L Inge) with virtual helicopter piloted by Leif Inge;
Fragula by Bjorn Eriksson;
Being Forest, by Norman Lowrey.

The performance was followed by a discussion with AOM and the audience: AOM simultaneously present as avatars in Second Life and as their visceral selfs in the Zoom conference.

 Week 2 Bi-Continental Residency

January 8-9, 2019, 

Week 2 Mini Residency in Immersive Virtual Performance Installation with Avatar Orchestra Metaverse in virtual space, Leif Inge in Oslo, Norway, and at MediaNet Victoria BC, with Catlin Lewis, Marina Glassford and Kirk Schwartz.

This residency focused on plans for an immersive performance and workshop at MediaNet Victoria planned for Spring of 2020, which was indefinitely postponed due to the corona virus, and for an immersive audio presentation in Oslo for 2021.

 Week 48 Bi-Continental Residency

November 26-December 2, 2018

AOM participated in Week 48 Bi-continental Residency led by AOM member Leif Inge, at Atelier Nord Oslo, Norway, with AOM member Tina Pearson at MediaNet in Victoria, Canada, and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse in virtual space.

The residency focused on multiple screens, tests for immersive potential of Pauline Oliveros' Heart of Tones, and ideas for simultaneous mixed reality performances in remote locations.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

AOM performs at
La Casa Encidida in Madrid, Spain

March 3, 2018

The Avatar Orchestra performed during a networked performance extravaganza at La Casa Encidida in Madrid, Spain. Hosted by AOM member Gema FB Martin, the performance afforded audience members a chance to experience the virtual set, sights and sounds directly through one of our generic extra avatars, which was connected to a computer with very large monitor, and 10 extra sets of headphones for additional listening by others. (See pre-performance set up below).

From the program:
"A day in the life of the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse: Meeting in a networked virtual world as avatars, AOM members design and play new otherworldly virtual instruments while experimenting with identity, perception, telepathy and collectivity. They present the sounds, images and movements from a few of their repertoire works, using custom-designed instruments that determine movement, audio emissions, and the release of particles and textures that give visual indications of sounds made independently by individual players in real time. Combined with their unusual sets and scripted objects, gestures and machines available in Second Life, they create a rich and wildly varying otherworldy experience, perceived in a unique way by each visiting avatar."

Performers for the event:
Cuirec d'Erc (Harald Muenz, Cologne); FredMadison (Gema FB Martín, Spain); Frieda Korda (Frieda Kuterna, Belgium); Groucho Parx (Brenda Hutchinson, USA); Gumnosophistai Nurmi (Leif Inge, Norway); Humming Pera (Tina M Pearson, Canada); Maxxo Klaar (Max D. Well, Germany); Miulew Takahe (Björn Eriksson, Sweden); North Zipper (Norman Lowrey, USA); Paco Mariani (Chris Wittkowsky, Germany); Zonzo Spyker (Viv Corringham, USA).

In addition to AOM members' avatars engaging with the stream of audience members who used the guest avatar, AOM performed variations on pieces from its repertoire:

In Whirled (Trance)formations by Norman Lowrey (Madison, USA)
Fragula by Bjorn Eriksson (Solleftea, Sweden)
Breathing with PwRHm by Tina Pearson (Victoria, Canada)
Helicoptering with PwRHm by Leif Inge (Oslo, Norway) & Tina Pearson (Victoria, Canada)
2John by Viv Corringham (New York, USA / London, UK)

with creations by Harald Muenz, Frieda Kuterna, Leif Inge, and instruments by Andreas Mueller, Norman Lowrey and animations by Tim Rischer, Andreas Mueller and Norman Lowrey.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Still Listening: For Pauline Oliveros 

AOM performs Heart of Tones

Still Listening, In Memory of Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)

June 1, 2017, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Pauline Oliveros' The Heart of Tones
performed by the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse
and vocalists Kathy Kennedy, Viv Corringham and Tina Pearson

Pauline Oliveros became a member of AOM shortly after it formed, and continued to be involved in and a champion of its activities until her passing. Oliveros was instrumental in three significant AOM works: Her own The Heart of Tones; the Stelarc collaboration Rotating Brains / Beating Heart; and Vancouver Calling, her multiple reality-ability work made for performance by AOM in Second Life, the Deep Listening AUMI (Adaptive Use Musical Interface) program and live musicians, performed at the Canadian New Music Forum 2012 in Vancouver. As her avatar Free Noyes, Oliveros also welcomed the New Year annually within Norman Lowrey's environment Overnight For Dreaming Avatars in Second Life as part of her partner Ione’s Annual Dream Festival. Oliveros encouraged her students and colleagues to investigate the potential in such networked platforms as a way to expand their listening and explore new contexts and possibilities for their work. Oliveros' belief in the possibilities of connection, of listening beyond the borders of place, culture, ability , language, skill and genre pushed AOM beyond what it thought possible. Her modelling of community, acceptance, love and her tenacity in trying out challenging ideas have become fierce norms of the group.

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse dedicated this performance of The Heart of Tones with deep gratitude and appreciation to the memory of Free Noyes and Pauline Oliveros.

The Heart of Tones (mixed reality version)

The Heart of Tones was originally commissioned in 1999 by Abbie Conant and her Wired Goddess Project and composed for trombone and two oscillators. Oliveros created an ensemble version of the piece in 2008, adapted for the mixed realities of Second Life and Real Life, combining virtual instruments with live trombones and voices streamed into Second Life, with the result brought into a venue via projection screens and audio system. The premiere of the mixed realities The Heart of Tones took place at Open Space in Victoria BC.

In The Heart of Tones, a tone is minutely explored in the smallest possible increments within a half tone above and below a prescribed pitch, through subtle timbre variations and spatial movements by performers on virtual and physical instruments. This is accomplished with a custom Heart of Tones (HoT) virtual instrument designed within Second Life, in collaboration with Oliveros and the Avatar Orchestra luthier, Andreas Müller. The instrument includes individual controls for volume, duration, frequency and colour spectrum of 95 microtones within the space of a half tone above and below D4 (296Hz). The instrument also includes avatar animations, and exacting choreography performed by the avatars is designed to provide subtle varations and evolutions in the perception of the received sound. The resultant beats, timbre shifts and audio illusions create rhythms, transformations and textures that are precisely mirrored in visual colour spectrum shifts on activated capes worn by the avatar performers. The focus is on listening to the acoustic beat frequencies and the overtones that result from playing tones together that are very very close together in frequency. The musicians decide independently and intuitively on the variations.


Second Life Avatars
Chris Wittkowsky, Regensburg, Germany (Paco Mariani)
Frieda Kuterna, Antwerp, Belgium (Frieda Korda)
Max D. Well, Regensburg, Germany (Maxxo Klaar)
Leif Inge, Oslo, Norway (Gumnosophistai)
Ole-Xin Foss, Oslo, Norway (Ba Na Na)
Gema FB Martín, Madrid, Spain (FredMadison)
Björn Eriksson, Sollefteå, Sweden (Miulew Takahe)
Norman Lowrey, New Jersey, USA (North Zipper) 
Liz Solo, Toronto, Canada
Cathy Fern Lewis, Victoria, BC, Canada (Fernsing)
Viv Corringham, New York, USA (Zonzo Spyker) i
Brenda Hutchinson, San Francisco, CA, USA (Groucho Parx) 
Tina Pearson, Victoria, BC, Canada (Humming Pera)

Kathy Kennedy
Viv Corringham
Tina Pearson

Timekeeper: Brenda Hutchinson
Conductor: Tina Pearson
Second Life Camera Operator: Kevin Gironnay
Second Life Set Design and Construction: 
Tina Pearson, Norman Lowrey, Frieda Kuterna

AOM Performs at Firenze MultiMedia Festival

November 28, 2016, the Avatar Orchestra presented a performance of a few of its repertoire works for the 2016 Diffrazioni Firenze Multi Media Festival

Mixed Realities at 

Ariadne's Phylogenetic Shoelace, Berlin

In Whirled (Trance)Formations

Avatar Orchestra Metaverse performed Norman Lowrey's "In Whirled Trance(Formations)" for the closing ceremony of "Ariadne's Phylogenetic Shoelace," a video/sound installation held in Berlin, Germany, January 24-31, 2015. The show was organized by Ryan Siegan Smith and Ayaka Okutsu.

Video/Machinima Excerpt of the performance from the Second Life perspective.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Avatar Orchestra at Posthuman Corporealities

November 27, 2014, Lisboa, Portugal


Ambient Aomprovisation
With the Fadheit and Pleides HUDs, Second Life gesture sounds, bird sounds and electronic squeaks and Animation HUD In InThisFarNow Animation (made by Norman Lowrey) 
And using the Gazira Babeli gesture sculpture "Come Together

Composition and sounds by Bjorn Eriksson, HUD and animations built by Andreas Mueller

Composition and sounds by Tina Pearson. HUD built by Andreas Mueller. Animation HUD built by Tim Risher.

PwRHm with COPTER Interlude
Composition by Tina Pearson and Leif Inge
Animation HUD built by Norman Lowrey

In Whirled (Trance)formations
Composition and sounds by Norman Lowrey based on his Singing Masks.
All masks, HUDS, animations and set elements built by Norman Lowrey.

Instrument, HUD and Sampanophone animation by Norman Lowrey
All Over animation by Fau Ferdinand

Thursday, September 18, 2014

AOM at the Network Music Festival, Birmingham, UK September 28, 2014

Avatar Orchestra at Network Music Festival

Sunday, September 28, 2014, Birmingham, UK

Works by Björn Eriksson, Tina M Pearson and Norman Lowrey

Ten composers, artists and musicians spread through Europe and North America meet in a networked virtual world. There, together as avatars, they design and play new otherworldly virtual instruments while experimenting with identity, perception, telepathy and collectivity. The instruments determine movement, audio emissions, and the release of particles and textures that give visual indications of sounds made independently by individual players in real time. There is no streaming involved – the performance is created completely within the networked 3-D environment world Second Life.

Bjorn Eriksson's Fragula moves from granulated sine waves, square waves and sawtooth-shaped sounds through arpeggiated synthetic figures into samples of an old harmonium with imprecise playing. Each sound control triggers a specific small or big movement and animation of the avatar, while exploding each avatar’s sound sack into colour.

PwRHm: Breathing the Network Electric by Tina M Pearson uses two sets of sine tones tuned to the harmonic series of the AC currents of North America and Europe. Separated by continents, AC frequencies and instrument sets, the two groups of performers play according to their individual breath rhythms while exploring sonic phenomena effects and the pure just intoned sonic relationships that occur when they meet within the 3-D virtual world. A separate set of instruments built on the processed field recordings of electric motors from each continent gives added possibilities.

In Whirled (Trance) Formations by Norman Lowrey invites performers to transform themselves through Singing Masks as "vehicles of transformation." The result is a spontaneously playful shaping of sound, light, and motion, using virtual mask instruments to connect with alternate realities, modes of cognition, or underlying fabrics of energies.


BlaiseDeLaFrance Voom (Biagio Francia), Agropoli, Italy 
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)

Virtual set by Frieda Kuterna, Liz Solo, Tina Pearson and Norman Lowrey
Virtual Instruments built by Andreas Mueller and Norman Lowrey
Animations by Andreas Mueller, Tim Risher and Norman Lowrey
Performed at Odyssey Art and Performance Simulator in Second Life