Net_Music_Weekly: Music Environment in Second Life

hive23-figure1.jpgJay Hardesty, Drazen Bosnjak and Harris Skibell are developing tone23, a musical ecosystem where music is the primary agent defining interactions between users. Music evolves in this environment based on the musical preferences and encounters of users. Implemented at hive23 in Second Life, it creates original music variations and hybrids based on association among avatars.

Music Rooms: The hive23 environment contains three rooms. Each room is associated with a separate musical stream that is determined by the avatars currently within that room. Each avatar is “tagged” with music they have chosen from a list of musical pieces, available outside the entrance to the three rooms. When an avatar enters or leaves a room, a new sequence of musical variations is produced for that room. These variations combine and rework parts from the songs identified with those avatars then inhabiting that room.

Music Analysis and Remixing: Each musical variation embodies harmonic and rhythmic manipulations that impose musical coherence on each combination of parts drawn from the songs worn by avatars within a particular room. These manipulations introduce variety into the note structure within each part, and the contrapuntal structure across parts, in order to make each remix unique.

hive23-figure2.jpgScenario: Each avatar will start by exploring each of the three rooms, encountering shifting populations of other avatars that are also exploring those spaces. Eventually each avatar would presumably spend increasing amounts of time within the room that most consistently produces musical output preferred by that avatar. This preference develops collectively as other particular avatars also increasingly spend time within that space. The shifting population of avatars in each room potentially evolves into a collective musical author with discernible musical preferences.

Other Applications: The rooms in Second Life could potentially be implemented as physical spaces in a club or art installation, where persons (each tagged with a particular song) take the place of the avatars. Or the rooms could be implemented as channels in a location-based multi-user application, tied to something like GPS navigation systems in cars. A driver following approximately the same route at roughly the same time each day would gradually settle on a particular channel, as other musically compatible drivers do likewise.

The rooms could also be seen as publishing spaces, for example, web pages where several advertising jingles coexist in the form of ongoing remixes that evolve increasing compatibility over time. The necessary ingredient for each of these applications is a music software engine that can create coherence and variety, on-the-fly, among unexpected combinations of musical inputs.

Implementation and Hosting: The music engine is a Smalltalk/Seaside/C++ based process that runs on a separate server. It receives requests via http from Linden scripts attached to Second Life objects. The server process calculates new remixes, renders MIDI-based scores into audio results via Quicktime, and streams the audio via Shoutcast servers to SL land parcels underlying each shared musical space. The music engine / web server is currently hosted on a four-core Intel Mac Pro.

Location in Second Life: The hive23 environment is located on the Second Life mainland at Mabinogion (190, 43, 63). Or it can be found within Second Life by searching Places for “hive23”. The software is currently in testing mode. The list of musical inputs currently available will be augmented over time, including the addition of musical results generated within the environment itself.

Web Site: A web site describing the environment, as well as an existing Croquet-based implementation can be found at: For a closer look at the music engine there’s a Seaside-based single-user remixer called Qtone online:

May 11, 2007
Trackback URL

One Response

  1. The Meshverse Journal:

    Musical Mesh In Second Life…

    Previously on the MJ, I’d mentioned a Croquet-based musical ecosystem called tone23 which is now available in Second Life
    Jay Hardesty, Drazen Bosnjak and Harris Skibell are developing tone23, a musical ecosystem where music is the primary agent…

Leave a comment


Current interview:
Robin Meier, Ali Momeni and the sound of insects

Previous Interviews:


livestage music sound performance calls + opps installation audio/visual radio festival instrument networked audio interactive experimental electronic workshop video participatory writings event mobile exhibition concert live collaboration electroacoustic environment nature reblog distributed soundscape field recording net_music_weekly improvisation software history locative media space public noise recording immersion voice acoustic sonification lecture generative conference body tool sound sculpture net art art + science VJ/DJ light diy remix site-specific perception mapping film visualization listening laptop algorithmic multimedia city urban data wearable architecture open source game virtual biotechnology sound walk spatialization webcast hacktivism robotic image score platform electromagnetic new media cinema ecology found news composer telematic interface streaming residency interviews/other sensor dance circuit bending synesthesia physical political notation intervention object controller broadcasts conversation narrative second life responsive mashup place technology ambient social network symposium motion tracking hybrid intermedia augmented spoken word livecoding text phonography auralization acousmatic upgrade! gesture opera aesthetics mixed reality resource theory processing 8bit orchestra nmr_commission wireless device toy wireless network theater web 2.0 presentation community surveillance p2p 3D copyright soundtrack research podcast sample feedback psychogeography social chance interdisciplinary tactile recycle interview language systems code emergence presence cassette privacy free/libre software media play chiptune newsletter place-specific archives avatar education haptics activist surround sound audio tour glitch hardware tactical identity bioart asynchronous business tv tangible composition animation jazz transmission arts apps tag e-literature collective microsound relational synchronous Artificial Intelligence conductor convergence reuse simulation ubiquitous synthesizers im/material
3D 8bit acousmatic acoustic activist aesthetics algorithmic ambient animation apps architecture archives art + science Artificial Intelligence asynchronous audio audio/visual audio tour augmented auralization avatar bioart biotechnology body broadcasts business calls + opps cassette chance chiptune cinema circuit bending city code collaboration collective community composer composition concert conductor conference controller convergence conversation copyright dance data distributed diy e-literature ecology education electroacoustic electromagnetic electronic emergence environment event exhibition experimental feedback festival field recording film found free/libre software game generative gesture glitch hacktivism haptics hardware history hybrid identity im/material image immersion improvisation installation instrument interactive interdisciplinary interface intermedia intervention interview interviews/other jazz language laptop lecture light listening live livecoding livestage locative media mapping mashup media microsound mixed reality mobile motion tracking multimedia music narrative nature net art networked net_music_weekly new media news newsletter nmr_commission noise notation object open source opera orchestra p2p participatory perception performance phonography physical place place-specific platform play podcast political presence presentation privacy processing psychogeography public radio reblog recording recycle relational remix research residency resource responsive reuse robotic sample score second life sensor simulation site-specific social social network software sonification sound soundscape sound sculpture soundtrack sound walk space spatialization spoken word streaming surround sound surveillance symposium synchronous synesthesia synthesizers systems tactical tactile tag tangible technology telematic text theater theory tool toy transmission arts tv ubiquitous upgrade! urban video virtual visualization VJ/DJ voice wearable web 2.0 webcast wireless device wireless network workshop writings



Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan


Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul

What is this?

Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.


NMR Commissions

NMR commissioned the following artists to create new sound art works. More...
More NMR Commissions


"Two Trains" by Data-Driven DJ aka Brian Foo

Two Trains: Sonification of Income Inequality on the NYC Subway by Data-Driven DJ aka Brian Foo: The goal of this song is to emulate a ride on the New York City Subway's 2 Train ... Read more
Previous N_M_Weeklies


Guest Bloggers:


Massachusetts Cultural Council
Networked: a (networked_book) about (networked_art)
New American Radio
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.
New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency
New York State Music Fund
Upgrade! Boston

Turbulence Works