It was a dark and stormy night . . .

Although, in real life, it is going to be a beautifully sunny, not-too-warm, holiday weekend afternoon for me, I invite you to join me at the Ruined Watermill in Caledon Mayfair.

The Duke of Mayfair Steadman Kondor invites you to join him at the launch of the Ruined Watermill exhibit in Caledon Mayfair.

The jagged edges of a ruined watermill is the setting of gothic fantastical and urbane art and photography. Participating artists include: Elize Foxclaw, Monty Streusel, Elgyfu Wishbringer, Tali Rosca and Soliel Snook.

Exhibit launch and dance: May 29th, 1:00PM to 3:00PM
Dress code: Gothic or as you are

Your DJ is Otenth Paderborn. He will play gothic inspired music, including some ‘dark wave’ genred tracks from Scandinavia.

The exhibit opens through to the end of June.

Gabrielle Riel at “Music!” Aether Salon

I am oh-so-tardy in drawing your attention to the presentation given by her Grace, Gabrielle Riel at the New Babbage Aether Salon. Do go and read Aether Salon: Music! Edited transcript.

The first part of my presentation is all about the historical contexts in which Victorian Music existed. After a brief Introduction, I will discuss what is often referred to as “Classical Music” and its composers.

Then to the Ballroom, where I will give you an overview of the many types of dances that were invented in the Victorian Era, as well as the music that was needed to accompany them! Reaching further back into history, earlier than the Victorian Era, I will discuss Folk Music and its place in the 19th Century.

Next, a huge development in music that still affects us to this very day: Popular Music. I'll explain what it was and how it is the foundation of contemporary music. Finally, we travel inside of the Victorians' homes with Parlour Music.

Once I have provided you with the history, I can bring you into the present, and into what I call our “Imagined Past”, both in terms of music and how we all choose to live our Second Lives. Please keep in mind that many, many people would probably take issue with the overview I am giving you here of Neo-Victorian Music. They can go give their own presentation. 🙂 These are the examples I have chosen to give you today.

I'll speak about the music that is considered to be the some of the earliest “conscious” Neo-Victorian Music. And then I will delve into Goth (get out your black lipstick everyone), Steampunk, Dark Cabaret, Carnivale and Marching and Klezmer Bands.

And I will wrap up with how people in Second Life are using or applying both Victorian and Neo-Victorian Music in this environment.

Celebrating a community treasure

It will be my pleasure to DJ for the Palm Court Tea Dance at the Bashful Peacock, Sunday May 23, 3-5pm SLT. I started wondering just how long Sir Rudolfo has been hosting these events “for ladies and gentlemen who prefer the company of ladies and gentlemen, respectively,” and the earliest mention I found was a Radio Riel blog post on April 13, 2008. I’m very sorry we have not marked the second anniversary of these events!

In spite of other events in Caledon having been scheduled against the Tea Dance, I anticipate the same wonderful company and witty banter as always. Please do join us!

Ringing the changes

I became a Radio Riel presenter in September 2007, less than a year after I joined Second Life. That’s before I even had my horns! The intervening years have seen many changes and a lot of growth both for Radio Riel and for me as a DJ and music fan.

Radio Riel is in the midst of beginning an important new phase: Gabrielle Riel has set incorporation as a nonprofit as a major goal for 2010. The first change to take effect was the discontinuation of hiring out Radio Riel presenters as DJs for events. (Midgard Music: Adventurous Audio is my new DJ and event business.)

One of the changes that the new nonprofit goal brings to Radio Riel is an increased emphasis on professionalism (which is not to say that we didn’t behave professionally before!). And as these first few weeks of 2010 have gone by, I have discovered something about myself that I didn’t know before: I don’t want to be a professional DJ!

And so, I’ve resigned from Radio Riel.

I count everyone involved in Radio Riel as my friends, and that will continue (and I hope, continue to deepen with time). I count them all as my colleagues, and that will continue as well, as I will continue to play my idiosyncratic programs either for my own pleasure or for anyone to whom I hire myself out.

I’m tremendously grateful to Gabi, and to the Radio Riel staff, clients, and listeners, for helping me to recover a robust pleasure in music and awakening in me a more adventurous audio spirit. I’ve grown so much, in so many ways, through being a part of Radio Riel, and I intend to continue to do so as a listener.

Terpsichore Tuesday

I’ll be playing tonight from 6-7:30pm for Terpsichore Tuesday in Caledon Mayfair, hosted by Steadman Kondor. Please come join us!

Steampunk music discussion

There are a bunch of essays on Steampunk at the website this month. A few of them have to do with Steampunk music, and have great comment threads. The first music post is by Brian Slattery: What’s the Soundtrack of Steampunk?

At this point, steampunk’s visual and literary aesthetic has become specific enough that it’s useful as a generic and critical term. Its musical boundaries, however, appear to be fuzzier.

My contribution?

As a DJ for steampunks in Second Life, I once somewhat tongue-in-cheek blogged:

“What exactly is Steampunk music?”

Performer self-identification? Minor key and moody vocals? Retro-futurism? Appropriation of historic styles? Subject matter? Fan appreciation? DJ whim? Unusual instrumentation? Eccentricity? Goth musicians looking for a niche? Do-it-yourselfism? All of the above? Other?

I agree with @25 AeolianDissent that “steampunk seems to be based more around an idea than a music genre,” but dissent (groan!) from his conclusion that steampunk music doesn’t make sense.

The ideas that I think are at the heart of much steampunk music include:

* transgression
* anachronism
* appropriation of world influences
* diy
* post-modern winking at the listener

Some groups and musicians I would add to those previously mentioned (many of which I haven’t heard of before and will eagerly look for):

Clare Fader
Dandelion Junk Queens
Diego’s Umbrella
A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Hungry March Band
Jonathan Coulton
Max Raabe und das Palast Orchester
Ode Hazelwood
They Might Be Giants
Vermillion Lies
White Ghost Shivers

Why, yes, I do have peculiar taste in music. Why do you ask?

So my particular list leans towards dark cabaret, gothic roots music, and Klezmer fusion.

I also suggest that any band that produces acoustic pop music using the accordion, tuba, hurdy-gurdy, or jaw harp is pretty damn punk without being, you know, punk rockers.

Happy birthday, Radio Riel!

Full schedule below the poster (and click on poster for full-size view).

I began my association with Radio Riel as a listener, then became a host, and finally overcame my hesitations and began learning the art of being a presenter. It has been a wonderful addition to my life, moving my casual enjoyment of music into a deeper and more focused attention. I owe a debt of gratitude to Gabrielle Riel not only for making Radio Riel real, but for generously supporting my growth as a presenter.

You can see my programming schedule in the sidebar to the right (note that times are shown in SLT/U.S. Pacific time zone). My usual programs are our Wednesday From the Library and a Wednesday evening World Wednesdays hour (now on our main channel). But you will also find in the calendar my DJ and event gigs.

For our anniversary, we will presenting 24 hours of thematic programming, broadcast from our facilities in New Babbage. Please drop by and say hello, or listen at

Full Schedule (subject to change)

Time    Presenter    Program
0:00 Magdalena Kamenev Jazz/pop remixes
1:00 Gabrielle Riel Victorian/Edwardian Music
2:00 Gabrielle Riel Victorian/Edwardian Music
3:00 Gabrielle Riel Victorian/Edwardian Music
4:00 Soliel Snook Angst Music
5:00 Edward Pearse Scottish Sounds
6:00 Edward Pearse Mad Science Choons
7:00 Gabrielle Riel Steampunk
8:00 Soliel Snook Best of Baroque Blues
9:00 Diamanda Gustafson Loudband and Folk
10:00 Diamanda Gustafson Loudband and Folk
11:00 Gabrielle Riel French Music of all Genres
12:00 Soliel Snook The amazing Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
13:00 Elrik Merlin Early Music
14:00 Elrik Merlin Celtic Miscellanea
15:00 Elrik Merlin The Light Programme
16:00 Otenth Paderborn Scandinavian
17:00 Gabrielle Riel Modern Classical
18:00 Gabrielle Riel Modern American Classical
19:00 Magdalena Kamenev Nuevo Tango/Digital Cumbia
20:00 Mitsu Figaro Traditional Japanese
21:00 Mitsu Figaro Jpop/rock
22:00 Mitsu Figaro techno from where ever. 😀
23:00 Magdalena Kamenev Mash-ups