Today, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra performed live in Second Life. There were only 100 passes available, but I was one of the lucky ticket holders. Since it was work-related, my employer was gracious enough to have me install Second Life on my work computer. (The concert was at 7:30 p.m. in Liverpool, which means 1:30 p.m. in Chicago). Don’t worry, I didn’t take lunch.
The video and audio was as good as one can expect with live Internet streaming; I really enjoyed Ravel’s Sheherazade with Kate Royal. And even though I cannot even begin to compare this experience with a real-life concert performance (especially since I just last season saw Susan Graham with the CSO in Sheherazade), I think it was a worthwhile experience nonetheless.
During intermission I started chatting with some fellow Second Life audience members. It turned out that one of the avatars was a New York Times reporter, which I found out through the following (shortened and not word-for-word) conversation:
Me: How did you find out about this concert?
Reporter: I received a press release.
Me: Oh, so you’re a journalist?
Me: I work for the Chicago Symphony.
Reporter: What do you do at the Chicago Symphony?
Me: I work in the PR department.
Reporter: Oh, so you must know Synneve.
Me: Yes, she hired me!
Reporter: I just had lunch with her this week.
I didn’t want to ask for the reporter’s real name (I didn’t know if that was faux pas in Second Life), but I’m sure I’ll find out this week when the article runs.
The Q&A session after the concert was unfortunately a little chaotic and short, so I didn’t get to ask my question on how they think this new experience can benefit arts education.
If you want to see some impressions of the concert, click through to some photos at my Flickr account. What you will also find on my Flickr account is a hint for an upcoming Web site project I’m working on.