Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vibration Institute Releases Johnvon Watanabe's Grid Topology

Vibration Institute ( Artistic Director John von Seggern began exploring the Second Life music scene in April 2007 through his avatar Johnvon Watanabe. Watanabe got his start in the virtual world playing live techno PAs and DJ sets at various clubs throughout the grid, and before long he had created a Vibration Institute performance space there.

Watanabe was soon asked to do a weekly residency at Trash Palace, one of Second Life's most forward-thinking techno clubs (run by Dave Attenborough of Munich record label Vakant), and became known as one of Second Life's leading electronic music performers. His virtual Vibration Institute club space has hosted a range of electronic music events including collaboration with the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art that featured a performance by Argentinean sound artist yaco (Yaco Despres in SL).

In June 2007, Watanabe began recording his first set of tracks produced in Second Life, with the output of his studio streaming directly into the Vibration Institute SL performance space. This 'virtual open studio' project quickly resulted in a set of ambient electronic explorations, now being released under the title Grid Topology. This release attempted to capture something of the strange new feelings and ideas emerging from our increasing societal immersion in virtual realities. Grid Topology is available for download at

Watanabe's latest project is a weekly series at Vibration institute, Institutionalized, featuring live performances by leading experimental electronic musicians in Second Life.

In addition to participating in Second Life as Johnvon Watanabe, John von Seggern is also becoming a noted commentator on the virtual music scene, with his blog post on the significance of music in Second Life being picked up by such outlets as Wired’s Listening Post blog:

Visit Vibration Institute yourself in Second Life at or join the 'Vibration Institute' group in-world to receive updates about VI’s virtual events.

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