Thank you, Gabi!

I love so many things about my current relationship to music.

For most of my life I was a fairly passive consumer of music. There was music I liked, but I didn’t really seek out new experiences. I’ve become quite adventurous about buying and listening to all kinds of music, however.

Except for concerts, which can actually be kind of impersonal, I usually listened to music alone. Now I share the music I love (and some music I don’t love but am exploring) with other people just as often as listening alone at home.

I used to buy music only occasionally, and only from musicians with whom I was already familiar. The number of musicians to whom I pay attention has expanded by an order of magnitude, and I feel I am supporting them, rather than just conducting a commercial transaction by buying their music. I seek out and purchase music sold through small distributors.

And all this increase in musical richness in my life is largely attributable to one person: Gabrielle Riel. First, Gabi shared her love of music with others by hosting wonderful weekly dance parties. I showed up and had fun hearing new and old favorites as well as chatting and gossiping with friends. Then when she added events, and the young Radio Riel was born, I was a host in support of the DJs. Eventually, through Gabi’s encouragement, I took the step into DJing in Second Life. And my musical life has never been the same!

So, thank you, Gabi!

At this very moment, I’m broadcasting from Caledon Highlands for Radio Riel’s fifth anniversary celebration. I’ll be playing Scandinavian music until 8am SLT, and then Balkan music til 9. Please join us!

Challenging music

The idea behind my “Not So Easy Listening” program on Radio Riel is to present music that might not otherwise have a place in our programming: long forms, oddities, music that needs explanation, and, yes, sometimes, music that’s hard to listen to.

Tomorrow (Thursday 24 March, 6pm SLT), for my second such program, I’ll have music that challenges us in two ways.

First I will have a few songs to mark the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers died in a factory fire in downtown Manhattan. Most of them were young immigrant women. The factory owners had locked some of the doors, and the victims either succumbed to the smoke and flames or leapt from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors.

The longer portion of the program is music by composer Philip Glass, including selections from early works such as Music in Similar Motion and the opera Einstein on the Beach, as well as concert and film music.

Launch party for Radio Riel Volksmusik

Radio Riel has launched a sixth music stream: Radio Riel Volksmusik. It features traditional and contemporary folk music of Eastern, Central, and Northern Europe.

In honor of today’s launch, I’ll play a special live Volksmusik program from 6:00pm – 7:00pm SLT on both Radio Riel Main Stream and Radio Riel Volksmusik. If you are in Second Life, please join me at the Edison Ballroom in New Toulouse Bourbon ( for the party, or you can tune in on either of the simulcasting stations, Main or Volksmusik.

Supporting alternative music in Second Life

If you enjoy the kind of alternative programming Radio Riel provides to residents of Second Life and other denizens of the internet, and if you have a business you would like to promote to that community, I encourage you to check out the Radio Riel Sponsorship Program. In short, in exchange for a monthly sponsorship, we will broadcast a brief message about your support and how to contact your business several times a day on all five of our streams.

The daily programming on Radio Riel is provided gratis by that day’s programmer. We have regular ongoing costs for stream rental, venue rental in Second Life, and very modest payments to presenters for events. Please consider making a commitment to our work through a monthly sponsorship. For details, see the link above or contact Gabrielle Riel in Second Life.

Music for walking

For the next 24-36 hours, I’ll be playing music on Radio Riel in honor of Relay for Life of Second Life. The program ranges from gospel to new age, with a bit of classical cello and viola da gamba to bridge the gap. Notable among the religious music is a variety of Sacred Harp selections, including both highly stylized and very traditional renditions.

Please consider donating to Relay for Life, which supports the work of the American Cancer Society and their international partners.

Klezmer, polka, and drones

On Sunday, July 11, 3-5pm SLT, I’ll be DJing for Riel Day for Life, a fundraiser for Relay for Life of Second Life. I’ll be picking up from “French Classical Music” at 3 and playing a set of Klezmer and polka, as requested by Frau Annechen Lowey, until 4. Then from 4-5, please join me in celebrating the vibration, the overtone, the rasp, the twang–yes, the drone, in all its varied glory.

Riel Day for Life is in support of the New Babbage RFL team.

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.

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