Saturday, December 29, 2012

NYE 2012 – Overnight for Dreaming Avatars

From Monday Dec. 31 at 2:00pm Second Life Time 
to Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013 6 am SLT
(SLT = Pacific Time Zone)

In Parallel: Dreaming into Alternate Universes 

with Norman Lowrey aka North Zipper

A Virtual Celebration of the New Year Across 9 Time Zones.

Join us for the closing ceremony of Ione’s 17th Annual Dream Festival 
in an overnight celebration of the New Year in Second Life.

You are invited to log on at any time, receive a Dreaming/Sleeping Cap animation
for your Avatar, sound Dreaming into Alternate Universes instruments, and dream
together with us from Central European Time (CET) to Pacific Time.

We recommend that you log on early and simply leave your Avatar in its Dreaming
state if you have to actually be at a live party or engage in real life sleep!

We’ll be meeting at the Odyssey Arts site, location of their recent End of the World

You can also contact North Zipper (aka Norman Lowrey) for teleportation to the
site. If you have any questions contact Norman Lowrey at

Friday, December 21, 2012

AOM at Odyssey Performance Festival December 21 2012

To celebrate the new long cycle beginning this day
The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse performs at the Odyssey Performance Art Festival

December 21, 2012, 10 am SLT at the AOM space at Odyssey in Second Life

and projected live at 
Museum Sorgdrager, Ameland (The Netherlands) 
and at the Black Bag Media Collective Studio, St. John’s, Newfoundland (Canada)

New Mayan-inspired mask instruments designed by Norman Lowrey will be shared with Second Life audience, and will introduce a seamless sound trip as only AOM can deliver.
With additional instrumental mixes conceived and/or built by AOM members Andreas Mueller, Pauline Oliveros, Viv Corringham, Bjorn Eriksson, Shintaro Miyazaki, Sachiko Hayashi and Tina Pearson and with elements from the work of Stelarc. Set by Frieda Kuterna.

For full Festival details:

Monday, July 16, 2012

AOM at the Newfoundland Sound Symposium

Avatar Orchestra Metaverse
Liz Solo and Tina Pearson

Long Shoreman's Protective Union Hall
St John's Newfoundland
Saturday, July 14, 2012
3:30 PM local


Fragula by Bjorn Eriksson, Solleftea, Sweden (2007)

Aleatricity by Andreas Mueller, Regensburg, Germany (2009)

PwRHm by Tina Pearson, Victoria, BC, Canada (2008)

In This Far Now by Tina Pearson, Victoria, BC, Canada and Liz Solo, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada with contributions from Frieda Kuterna, Max D Well, Norman Lowrey and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (2012)


Telematically via Second Life

Andreas Müller (Bingo Onomatopoeia), Regensburg, Germany
Frieda Kuterna (Frieda Korda), Regensburg, Germany
Brenda Hutchinson (Groucho Parx), San Francisco, USA
Liz Solo (Lizsolo Mathilde), St John’s Newfoundland, Canada
Max D. Well (Maxxo Klaar), Regensburg, Germany
Bjorn Eriksson (Miulew Takahe), Solleftea Sweden
Tina M. Pearson (Humming Pera), Victoria, BC, Canada
Norman Lowrey (North Zipper), New Jersey, USA
Chris Wittkowsky (Paco Mariani), Regensburg, Germany
Viv Corringham (Zonzo Spyker, Minneapolis, MN, USA / London, UK)

Liz Solo (virtual instruments, virtual camera, voice, movement)
Tina M Pearson (virtual instruments, conducting, voice, accordion)

P R O G R A M   N O T E S   and   B I O S


Composition and sound samples by Bjorn Eriksson.
Instrument design, animations and receivers by Andreas Mueller.
Fragula, a play with the words “fragment”, “fragile”, “fragula” and “Dracula”, was one of the first pieces of AOM, and continues to be a widely performed signature piece. One of its major ideas is to have the orchestra to wander from a fragile and fragmented digital synthesized sound texture into a more analog acoustic and not so fragmented sound texture, and then come back to where it all started. This is aurally symbolized in the granulated synthesized sounds of sine waves, square waves and sawtooth shaped sounds. Arpeggiated synthetic figures then gradually transform into the sounds of an old harmonium with imprecise playing.  A time stretched harmonium provides a transitional sound between the digital and analog sound sources. 
Three sets of instruments are played simultaneously, creating chordal sound textures.  

Björn Eriksson (Sweden) is a musician, composer and sound artist. He studied electronic engineering and music, and practiced professional sound engineering in Stockholm. He further explored the field of radio art, field recording and electoacoustic music. He teaches sound and internet media art and has been involved in various networked collaborative sound art and music projects and collectives such as Tapegerm Collective, Locus Sonus, sobralasolas!, .microsound, Placards, Vickys Mosquitos, nomusic sometimes under the artist names of International Garbageman and Miulew. He is also one of the forming members of MäAM and Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (AOM) where he composed two pieces called respectively Rue Blanche and Fragula.


Composition, instruments, particles and set by Andreas Mueller.
Aleatricity is 200 years of science, technology and cultural history put into a noisy little piece, with Frankenstein as the glue sticking it all together. Aleatricity uses only samples generated by circuit-bent instrument and homemade oscillators. Thus, these sounds cannot be assigned to a definite pitch or scale, they seem to be aleatoric at first glance. But upon a closer look at the technology of their electronic generation, one quickly realizes that they are not: they are created by unambiguous laws of digital logic, following simple yes/no-decisions. This is reflected in the title: "Aleatricity" is a blend of "aleatoric" (random) and "electricity", two words whose close relation is being illustrated by the visual realization in Second Life: the accidental discovery of the nerve-system by Luigi Galvani and the act of writing against the boredom of a rainy summer by Mary Shelley, which procreated the world's first science-fiction novel "Frankenstein" are brought into a visual and acoustic relation which exemplifies that seemingly unconnected things are often closely related.

Andreas Mueller, member of the media-art group Pomodoro Bolzano, started exploring the sonic universe with a tape recorder during elementary school, when he tried out things from a book on tape-experiments from the school's library. During his teenage years in the eighties, while playing guitar in noisy bands, he started publishing experimental tracks through the international tape-trader scene. Despite detours into other fields of art his focus has stayed on audio-art, performing mainly under the name Transponderfish. He has made computer-aided music for more than 20 years, and his background in both Linguistics and research programming fuel his unique perspective. With his avatar Bingo Onomatopoeia he researches the creative potential of the virtual reality in Second Life: by networking, collaborating with other artists, building instruments for the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse and by performing. Recently he built a large-scale interactive media-installation for the Regensburg high-school Von-Müller-Gymnasium, both as artist with Pomodoro Bolzano, as well as a programmer, custom building the required software in Processing.


Composition, instrument design and sine tones by Tina Pearson
Instrument design, construction and processed field recordings by Andreas Mueller.
Particle receiver and set for first version by Sachiko Hayashi
Commissioned by the Deep Listening Institute, 2008
PwRHm explores electricity and connectivity through the relationship of two sets sine tones tuned to the harmonic series of the Alternating Currents of the North American (60 Hz) and European/Asian (50 Hz) electric systems; modified field recordings of electric motors and generators from each continent; and the live breath rhythms of the globally dispersed players. Each avatar/player plays one or more instruments according to their present geographic location to create the soundworld of the piece, with breath rhythms determining pacing and intensity. The main group of players sounds two sets of sine tones juxtaposed, offering an intimate exploration of the insides of a just minor third, and the resulting textures of beats and difference tones. Two soloists play a selection of tuned generator and motor sounds. The piece is a question about the possibilities of musical expressiveness with such pared down materials in a context of telematic conducting and improvisation in a visually charged environment, ie) can we meet like this and make a new kind of wired music?

In This Far Now (A Cyber Song of Longing)

Composition: Liz Solo and Tina Pearson
Virtual Singing Masks and animations: Norman Lowrey
Set design: Frieda Korda and Max D Well
Texts: Liz Solo, Tina Pearson, Frieda Kuterna, Max D Well, Bjorn Eriksson
In This Far Now is an evolving story in mixed form inspired by a collective realization of the depth of our journey in hybrid realities. Having met in the virtual world of Second Life, Liz Solo and Tina Pearson meet here in St John’s to move forward their mutual questions about where the virtual and non-virtual meet, where they differ and if there is a difference. Within the “home” and safety of the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse’s strongly developed telematic improvisation skills, the onsite performers and virtual performers attempt a kind of hybrid communication using gesture, sound, voice, text and memory. While becoming increasingly digitized, hybridized and wired in many aspects of their lives, the artists also draw upon a recognition of pervasive longing, for a real or imagined past, present or future that has had a significant influence on their work.

Norman Lowrey is a mask maker/composer, Chair of the Music Department at Drew University with Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music. He is the originator of Singing Masks, which incorporate flutes, reeds, ratchets and other sounding devices. He has presented Singing Mask ceremony/performances at such locations as Plan B and SITE Santa Fe in Santa Fe New Mexico, Roulette and Lincoln Center in New York, and at the site of pictograph caves outside Billings, Montana. His most recent work has been making virtual versions of his masks for use by the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse online in Second Life.

Frieda Kuterna (Antwerp, Belguim) and Max D. Well (Regensurg) are media artists who collaborate and perform in multi media platforms as the “Vireal Couple’ ∞Compagnous de Route∞, researching the UniMetaInterTransVerse, the fringes between real and virtual life, vireality and constant neuropuncture. Max D Well is also a member of the Pomodoro Bolzano media art Collective in Regensburg, Germany, investigating Media and Performance Art, Multiple Avatars, Scouting, Manouver and Networking, Expanded media projects and Pataphysics. Frieda Kuterna is an actor and a costume, fabric and photo artist whose work has been seen in gallery spaces and sets in “real” and networked platforms.

Liz Solo is a cross-disciplinary, cross-platform interventionist specializing in performance. She is co-founder and director of the Black Bag Media Collective in St. John's, and is the current manager and Curator of the Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator in the online world of Second Life. Liz's band, The Black Bags are preparing to release their first full length recording due in the Fall of 2012 and her multi-media video piece “the machine” is also expected this year. Liz is a member of the online artist collectives the Second Front, the Third Faction and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, which she and Tina Pearson bring to Sound Symposium XVI.

Tina M Pearson is a composer and musician whose practice juxtaposes sonic phenomena, perception and modes of human interaction. She performs with voice, flute, glass and accordion, and telematically with physical, electronic and virtual instruments. She enjoys creating collaborative projects that play with the boundaries between languages, disciplines and cultures, and between creators, performers and audiences. Her music has been commissioned for dance, video, film, radio and spoken word performances and presented throughout Europe and North America. Tina currently performs with LaSaM, the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse and OPEN ACTIONS.

Thanks to Milly and Tony, Mike Kean, Black Bag Media Collective, Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator, the Newfoundland Sound Symposium and LSPU tech crews, Kathy and Jean, and thanks especially to Lyssa Pearson. 

All photos from onsite screen shots during live performance in St. John's by Lyssa Pearson.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Machinima release: Rotating Brains / Beating Heart

The Avatar Orchestra Meteverse is pleased to announce the release of the machinima

 Rotating Brains / Beating Heart 
May 12, 2012

 The full length machinima can be viewed on Youtube here
Information about the making of Rotating Brains / Beating Heart can be found here

Rotating Brains / Beating Heart

A virtual reality performance collaboration featuring
Pauline Oliveros, Stelarc and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse

Fifteen performers, two timekeepers, one conductor
Separated by geography, connected in virtual space

Avatars, objects, sounds, images and lights
Synchronized in real time

Recorded live at the RMIT Melbourne simulator in Second Life
during a networked performance for
New Adventures in Sound Art Sound Play Festival
November, 2010, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

Machinima by Steve Millar

Rotating Brains / Beating Heart

Created by
Stelarc, Pauline Oliveros, Franziska Schroeder, Tina Pearson, Norman Lowrey, Andreas Müller
and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse

Scored and conducted by
Tina Pearson

Performed by
Rotating avatar (Stelarc Luik), Stelarc automatons, voice

Daniel Mounsey
Rotating Stelarc automatons, floating texts

Pauline Oliveros
Flying avatar (Free Noyes) and drones

Norman Lowrey
Giant brain sound and images

Avatar Orchestra Metaverse
Floating avatars and virtual audio-visual instruments

Andreas Müller (Bingo Onomatopoeia, Regensburg, Germany)
Biagio Francia (BlaiseDeLaFrance Voom, Agropoli, Italy)
Brenda Hutchinson (Groucho Parx, San Francisco, USA)
Carolyn Oakley (Carolhyn Wijaya, Boulder, Colorado, USA)
Tim Risher, (Flivelwitz Alsop, Durham, North Carolina, USA)
Peter Wong (Gargamel Frequency, San Francisco/Oakland, CA, USA)
Tina M. Pearson (Humming Pera, Victoria, BC, Canada)
Norman Lowrey (North Zipper, New Jersey, USA)
Chris Wittkowsky (Paco Mariani, Regensburg, Germany)
Ryan Ross Smith (Pow Zero, Berkeley, CA, USA)
Seidi Palonen (Saara Edring, Helsinki, Finland)
Viv Corringham (Zonzo Spyker, Minneapolis, MN, USA / London, UK)

Leif Inge (Timekeeping)
Ze Moo (Additional automatons)

Set Design
Stelarc and Daniel Mounsey

Composition and Sound Design
Norman Lowrey, Andreas Mueller, Pauline Oliveros, Tina Pearson, Stelarc

Stelarc Luik Automatons and Animations
Designed by Stelarc, scripting and construction by Daniel Mounsey

Automaton Choreography

Flying avatar (Free Noyes) Choreography
Pauline Oliveros, Norman Lowrey

Avatar Orchestra Choreography
Tina Pearson, Tim Risher and Avatar Orchestra Metaverse

Virtual giant brain 5-Channel Audiovisual Mixer
Designed and Built by Norman Lowrey
Sound samples from the human nervous system and outer space
Images of the human nervous and circulatory systems

Virtual 9-Channel Audio Drone Mixer
Conceived by Pauline Oliveros
Designed and built by Norman Lowrey
Sounds from Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Franziska Schroeder, Tina Pearson,
Viv Corringham and Stelarc

Avatar Orchestra Virtual Instruments
Designed by Tina Pearson and Andreas Müller
Built by Andreas Müller
Sounds of the human circulatory system from Tim Risher,
in-womb heartbeats from Lilith and Doris,
mechanical processes from Andreas Müller,
tuned sine tones from Tina Pearson

Avatar Orchestra animations
Built by Tim Risher

Second Life performance filmed and edited by Steve Millar

Audio recording from Second Life by Andreas Müller

Filmed at RMIT Melbourne Simulator in Second Life

Rotating Brains / Beating Heart was originally created as a mixed reality collaboration
Premiered at the 2010 Digital Resources for the Humanities and the Arts Conference at Brunel University, UK
By Stelarc, Pauline Oliveros, Avatar Orchestra Metaverse,
Franziska Schroeder (saxophone) and Martin Parker (electronics)


RMIT University (Melbourne), OCAD University (Toronto), New Adventures in Sound Art, Nadine Thériault- Copeland, Darren Copeland,
Hector Centeno, Hannah Dean, Bentley Jarvis in Toronto, Canada;
Franziska Schroeder at Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast, Ireland, Dr. Lisa Dethridge at RMIT in Melbourne, Yael Gilks (Fau Ferdinand), Ze Moo, Dennis Moser, Sachiko Hayashi, Max D Well, Steve Millar (Arahan Claveau).

New Adventures in Sound Art Residency funding for Tina Pearson provided by the SOCAN Foundation, Canada

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Avatar Orchestra Celebrates Pauline Oliveros' Eightieth

photo by Frieda Korda
  Happy AOMBirthday, Pauline

"Life begins at Eighty"

On the occasion of AOM member Free Noyes/Pauline Oliveros' Eightieth birthday year, AOM will perform a concert as a birthday present for Pauline.

Friday April 20, 
1pm SLT Odyssey
4 pm Concert Hall at Drew University
Madison, NJ

Hosted by AOM member North Zipper / Norman Lowrey at Drew University, this mixed reality event will feature two new pieces created for the occasion, as well as newly designed versions of two signature pieces from the repertoire.

We want to keep the details a secret so that we can surprise Pauline, who will be in attendance in both Second Life and Drew, but suffice to say that there will be accordions and sine tones a plenty!

If you are in the vicinity of Madison, New Jersey, please join the celebrations. 

We will have room for ten (low prim load) Second Life avatars if you wish to join us there. Please comment on this blog listing to receive an invitation. (First come, first served.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Avatar Orchestra at Locus Sonus March 24, 2012

The Avatar Orchestra performed a live AOMprovisation at the recent Locus Sonus Symposium #7 in Nantes, France, organized by Locus Sonus Director Jerome Joy. The Symposium's theme was Internet Auditoriums:

This symposium will focus on auditoriums, their interrelations and influences within a technological framework and from the point of view of artistic assimilation and reception. Our intention is to clarify both current and past issues, which up until now have possibly been considered from a unique viewpoint. Thus, this reflexion convokes various domains: sound anthropology, sociology of communication, history and geography of sound spaces, acoustics, architecture, musicology, radiophonic studies, art history, aesthetics, philosophy, etc. And of course, artistic and musical creativity. (from the Symposium description)

AOM member Pauline Oliveros was a key guest presenter and performer at the Symposium, and was the onsite "conduit" between AOM, Locus Sonus and the audience.

AOM members performed in real time with a collection of virtual audio-visual instruments designed by its members. The instruments included giant pianos, particle emitting sine tone globes, delicately crafted Singing Masks, flying Fragulas, glitch-based exoskeletons triggering enormous biology experiment shapes and many others.

Performing in Second Life from around the globe:

Viv Corringham / Zonzo Spyker, USA/UK
Björn Eriksson / Miulew Takahe,  Sweden
Biagio Francia / Blaise de la France,  Italy
Brenda Hutchinson / Groucho Parx, USA
Leif Inge / Gumnosophistai Nurmi, Norway
Frieda Kuterna / Frieda Korda,  Belgium
Norman Lowrey / North Zipper, USA
Andreas Müller / Bingo Onomatopoeia, Germany
Pauline Oliveros / Free Noyes, USA
Seidi Palonen/ Saara Edring, Finland
Tina Pearson / Humming Pera, Canada
Tim Risher /  Flivelwitz Alsop, USA
Liz Solo / Lizsolo Mathilde Canada
Max D. Well / Maxxo Klaar,  Germany
Chris Wittkowsky / Paco Mariani,  Germany

Audio recording here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Immersed with the Avatar Orchestra - A Benefit for Odyssey

Saturday, March 24 1 pm SLT
Odyssey Art and Performance Simulator, Second Life

Bring your musical mind
bring your Lindens

and prepare to be immersed, soothed, inspired, mesmerized, energized and downright amazed.

Join the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse Saturday, March 24 in a celebration of their 5 years working at Odyssey Art and Performance Simulator in Second Life. Odyssey hosts some of the most adventurous and thought-provoking art-making in virtual reality. It exists through the volunteer management of Liz Solo and Fau Ferdinand. Funds raised will help fund the cost of renting the Second Life simulator from Linden Labs.

Guests will be given an insider experience of the Orchestral dynamic and offered virtual audio-visual instruments, animations, seats and the chance to play music with AOM in exchange for donations to Odyssey.

This is a rare opportunity to have access to a limited set of AOM instruments and instruction and to experience the deep telematic experience of playing with the seasoned members of the Orchestra in this platform.

The program features the creations of AOM's three instrument builders / script artists and members of AOM's performing core. (See list here)


Tim Risher's RITUAL,
in which the audience will be surrounded by undulating chanting sounds and the ritualistic dance of avatars.

Norman Lowrey's IN WHIRLED (TRANCE)FORMATIONS, with guest participants
preceded by a demonstration of Norman's amazing set of Singing Masks, which are offered for sale to support Odyssey. Participants will be instructed in HUD use and invited to perform this piece with AOM. (see photos and video below)

Andreas Mueller's WEE NO KRESH and ALEATRICITY,
preceded by the sale of dancing animations and sounding instruments that will enlighten your understanding of virtual dancing and rhythms.

ODYSSEY http://map​s.secondli​​ondlife/Od​yssey/133/​161/306

See you there!

How to buy Lindens:
Payments can also be made via Paypal to Odyssey - Email Odyssey: odysseyart​ssl@yahoo.​ca

Singing Masks offered by donation (minimum 500 Lindens)

Norman Lowrey's Singing Masks are modeled on Real Life Singing Masks. Info here. Each virtual Singing Mask / HUD embodies a set of specific earth element gives the wearer the ability to play a set of short and long sounds, emit particles, and perform ritualized animations.

Virtual Singing Masks and Sampanophones in action here

Singing Mask and Sampanaphone photos and posters by Flivelwitz Alsop aka Tim Risher

Images from Vancouver Calling, Improvising across platforms

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse performed in a networked composition by Pauline Oliveros during her presentation, via Skype, at the Canadian New Music Network Forum 2012 in Vancouver, January 22.

Randy Raine-Reusch introducing Pauline and AOM

The composition was performed after Pauline's presentation of the Deep Listening Institute's Adaptive Use Musical Instruments (AUMI) program, demonstrated by Jackie Heyen, also via Skype.

After the demonstration, musicians attending the Forum were invited to participate in the piece. Some were instructed how to play with the three AUMI programs installed on iMac computers in front of the stage.

Others were provided monitors that gave a view of two groups of AOM performers in Second Life and given information about the virtual instruments and visual representations of sound.

Pauline gave the performance instructions for Vancouver Calling to all the live players - musicians in Vancouver on acoustic instruments, AUMI players in Vancouver, Jackie playing AUMI via Skype in New York, and the Avatar Orchestra in Second Life. See the score here.

And then the global multi-platform telematic performance.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vancouver Calling - AOM and Pauline Oliveros

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse will make an appearance at the Canadian New Music Network Forum 2012 - Connecting Practices, Geographies and Cultures. The Forum takes place in Vancouver, BC, Canada January 19-22, 2012.

Reflecting the times and the rapid evolution of the practice and dissemination of new music, Forum 2012 brings together some of the most innovative thinkers in North America to discuss what is ahead for the art form and its networks.

From the Forum 2012 brochure:

"While music practitioners are redefining their roles within their home communities through intercultural collaborations and partnerships with education, environment, social, health and other groups, networked platforms have opened pathways for collaboration and dissemination in a globally interconnected context. Emerging technologies are transforming the way music is conceived, composed and performed through radical new instruments, interfaces and robotic intelligences.

New music is stepping more and more beyond conventional concert venues to inhabit an array of contexts and places that stretch both the music and the experience. Similarly, a blur between composer and performer and between audience and practitioner is evolving the art form as philosophical ideas and interactive methodologies become integrated into the practice of new music.

In the midst of these deep and far-reaching developments, at the core of Forum 2012 is a reminder and a recognition that the heart of any musical practice, whether ancient, modern or radically new, is about connecting — with sound, with place and with each other."

AOM will fit right in!

For this occasion, American composer and long-time AOM member Pauline Oliveros has composed a mixed reality composition, Vancouver Calling, for AOM, the Adaptive Use Musical Instruments system and onsite improvisors.

Stay tuned ...