Sonicity Radio featuring SL Musicians

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Cheer for All!

'Tis the night before Santa's arrival, and all through the grid - the musicians were in good cheer.   Some were resting with families; some gave one more round of good cheer.  Good Tidings to all!

Here are holiday scenes from early December -  from Sydney's Live Music featuring Pilgrim and Voodoo!  In between, wrapping gifts, I managed to post a few photos of their shows at Sydney's.

And with good cheer always, there's the wonderful Xara Fiasco - catch her
anytime of the year for amazing voice performance.  Just catching up on my

Happy Holidays!

From Soni

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Motown in Second Life

Update:  The Pip Story makes it to print in Best of SL Magazine.   Catch the December story here -

Happy Holidays!

from Sonicity

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pip William Guest Makes History Again, This Time in Second Life

A Midnight Train FROM Georgia:  A Pip's Journey
William Guest & Lady Dhyana Ziegler, PhD (Branden Books)

It started as a simple book party, a celebration of sorts, to honor book author/musician "Pip" William Guest, and his co-author Lady Dhyana Ziegler.   It grew into a major event that will be remembered as part of Second Life history.

Let's start with a short machinima that wraps up the events on YouTube - A Pip's Journey.

The video captures only some moments!  The biggest event of Second Life is over.    As I said, it was a once in a Second Lifetime event.   An original pip came into Second Life.   Do you know how rare that is?   We made history!  William Guest of Gladys Knight & The Pips came into Second Life to share his experiences about an era, about Motown, and so much more. 

All that to say, the band's stature is comparable to "Royalty" (to quote DJ Miles Eleventhauer) in the record industry.  Miles opened the show with his well-informed DJ set that paid homage to those great times with his personal stories and historical context. 
*    *    *
I had the good fortune to meet Lady Dhyana in the 1990s. (Yes, she was knighted; alas that is another story.)  My initial impression of her was she was fabulously intense and a go-getter.  Beautiful and poised, and you might say, if I knew Second Life back then, she would have been the ideal avatar - someone you would want your avatar to be like.  All to say, she is larger than life.  I am teasing, well mostly.  The real Dhyana is one of a kind, as is her brother-in-law and steadfast business partner/mentor - Pip William Guest.    I was pleased to create her avatar, an amazing replica (as close as one can get in a few days) of what she looks like in real life, and her graceful stances and walks model her style.   Belinda Barnes made all the Pips and Gladys Knight, with only minimal assistance from me.  Belinda told me you need to create Dhyana - you know her personality and mannerisms.   When I met her, she was already well known in the academic circles.  Yet she didn't let on how famous her family is to most of us.   She was so modest;  she simply said, "I come from a show biz family."  If that is not the understatement of the century.  

Lady Dhyana and William Guest go way back.   William became part of her family when he married her sister, and at the time Dhyana was a little girl.   She used to follow him around, as well as "Pip" Edward.    All were close friends.   William was cousin to Gladys Knight and Pip Bubba.   So yesterday was history in the making.    Guest wrote "Midnight Train FROM Georgia:  A Pip's Journey," a book with his "lil" sis Dhyana, and through her help as a professional journalist/educator, he recounted life back then, and even announced an upcoming solo project.  The book is a honest account of "A Pip's Journey."  He is a grand storyteller, and the more than 50 avatars (12-1: 46; 1-2: 53; 2-3: 40) that attended became aware, if they hadn't been already, that a legend was in their midst. He was now among them within the virtual realm.  William Guest is part of the SL community.   That is history!

Thanks also to Definitive Rock Concerts and especially Luv2 Brandi (pictured above in the sassy hot pink gown). She choreographed the Gladys Knight and The Pips Tribute Concert, complete with lighting and animations.  This event was produced by SoNice Productions, RingMyBel Productions, & Lowe Runo Productions.  Also it is important to note that this event was held at the co-partnered sim, Virlantis (Southern Illinois University & University of Western Australia).  Thank you to UWA's Jayjay Zifanwe for his hospitality, and being there to support us.  And special thanks to blogger Kara Trapdoor for helping out in so so many ways!

I would like to thank all those who attended.  It was a special event.  Dhyana had flown
back to Detroit to be with William and all the other pips and pipettes, for their family is large, fun, accomplished and never dull.    Now the little girl has grown up to command great respect from her nephews, nieces, cousins, and so many others.  They look up to her as she has looked up to William, once as that little girl and now as a seasoned journalist and successful business woman and scholar.  But to them she is Auntie, a wonderfully delightful mentor with stories of her own. Her road, like William, has been long but successful.

"A Pip's Journey"is available at all major outlets, and, as well as its publisher, Branden Books.   We hope you read the book to get to know the family better.   The intimacy that they share is refreshing.    And William is the master storyteller!  We also hope you got your "framed" autographed book cover.   And now that William has an avatar, we really hope he comes back soon.  There were mentions that he would, and that a theatrical production of their book was in the works already.   Our deepest thanks to William Guest for coming into Second Life to share his real life.   We are honored!

Excerpts from his speech will be hopefully posted this week. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Once in a Second Life Tribute Event!

A Once in a Second Life Tribute Event!
A Pip's Journey, with a special appearance from "Pip" William Guest

Date:  Saturday, November 9, 2013 Noon to 2PM SLT.    

RL singer/musician William Guest makes his first appearance in our virtual world, Second Life.

All are invited to "A Pip's Journey," featuring Pip William Guest, book author and original pip from Gladys Knight and The Pips.  William Guest was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. 

He is one of the Pips and cousin to Gladys Knight.   Both he and his co-author LadyDhyana will share some comments about their book titled "Midnight Train FROM Georgia:  A Pip's Journey" this Saturday in between music sets.   Guest's biography is available at all major book outlets; check online at &

Lady Dhyana Ziegler, DCJ (Florida A&M University, Ph.D.) is Professor of Journalism, President and CEO at Z Creators, LLC, and co-author (with William Franklin Guest) of "Midnight Train FROM Georgia" (Branden Books, 2013). Lady Ziegler was knighted as a Dame of Justice in England in 2008.

Come to the meet and greet, groove to the funk of DJMiles11thHour, followed by a special tribute concert in honor of Pip William Guest.  There will be two stages, one for the DJ, and the other for the Gladys Knight & The Pips Tribute concert.  Get there early to secure your place.   Autographed photos will be given away during the day of the event.

Schedule of Events: 
12:00-12:45:  Miles11thHour as DJ  (miles.eleventhauer) (Stage One)
12:45-1:00:    Comments from book authors   (Stage Two)
1:00-2:00:      Tribute Band (Stage Two, Performance Stage)

Or watch on YouTube,

This event is produced by SoNice Productions, RingMyBel Productions, & Lowe Runo Productions with Tribute Concert engineered by Definitive Rock Concerts (DRC).  The event is held at the co-partnered sim, Virlantis (Southern Illinois University & University of Western Australia).

Gladys Knight & The Pips Avatar creations by Belinda Barnes, RingMyBel Productions.
Choreography, Puppetry, Lighting and Dance Floor Animations by Definitive Rock Concerts. 

Media/Event Contacts -  
Coordinators, Sonicity Fitzroy, IM or
Belinda Barnes, IM

See you there!   Dress is 1960s, Motown, Formal, Cocktail or something party comparable. But don't let that hold you back from coming to the concert.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bewitching! SL Music Has That Old Time Radio Magic!

The Real Drama Begins.  Halloween is over.  But we have something sweeter than candy, and more bewitching than you can imagine.  
Coming back live....Sonicity Radio. This blog connects you to SL music, performers and personalities. Plus this Saturday, a tribute concert featuring William Guest of Gladys Knight and The Pips. Mr. Pip will be in SL in person, along with his co-author LadyDhyana, talking a bit about his new book, Midnight Train FROM Georgia, A Pip's Journey.

 Saturday, November 9th, noon to 2PM at Virlantis. Details and pics to follow soon!

Meanwhile start reading!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Girls Gone Miley

Not much to say about all this.   We were curious, that's all.   What possessed Miley Cyrus' recent performance at the VMA?   We have little to say about the matter, politically, morally, or any other way.    We understand all perspectives, but we just had to know what it would be like to be her - maybe if only for a minute or two.

Here's our virtual version, with much less of a budget, using Second Life as our platform.   No cameo from Robin Thicke, and we didn't have all those fancy bears.... Belinda Barnes and Kara Trapdoor brought the idea to me, and we all worked on various aspects of the outfits.  It was certainly a team effort and one long evening.  Kara created her own machinima (see her blog - Kara's Korner), as did I.   Bel made a great Miley, and Kara and I were happy to be supporting actresses  

Enjoy.   It took the three of us to make this happen - for you!   That's right, for you - we know, as much as you want to look away, you will be hypnotized.   - Soni!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aminius Writer at Music Soulmates

Music Soulmates presents Aminius Writer!   It was a fantastic way to start the week!  German singer Aminius is an incredible singer.   I am surprised that I never heard him before, although he has been in Second Life for quite a while.   What really got my attention is his rendition of Damien Rice - what a talent!

Just some photos from a great time! 

 Here's the line-up for the coming week!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Xara Fiasco at Kyle's Meatspace

One of my favorite places to just chill and listen is The Meatspace Piano Lounge, owned by Kyle Bronsdon.  I believe it was Belinda (Barnes-Fitzroy) that got me hooked (pictured near me).   Kyle took a break this week, and this was a rare occasion for him to hand over the microphone and his piano.  Xara Fiasco was a wonderful addition.  What an amazing voice!   She had a mix of covers and originals, and she made the "covers" come alive with her unique sultry style. 

Her wit and honesty brought us laughter, and she admitted to being a little nervous.  Not that we could tell!   The lyrics rolled from her lips smoothly with strong vocals that are telling of her long career ahead.  She like Kyle creates magic on the piano.
We hope Xara will return soon for another brilliant performance.   (Yet we are wonderfully content with Kyle!  Also look for him on Facebook.)
Join Kyle and the gang Tuesdays at 7:30 PM SLT at Meatspace!  He is an extremely talented
performer, well versed in storytelling via his songs.  Exceptional on the piano.  See you there, Tuesdays! 

For now, off the grid - Sonicity

Thursday, July 18, 2013

World Listening Day, July 18th

Listen up! Today is World Listening Day. So take a few minutes to really listen to sound around you whether you live in a city or the countryside. We are enveloped by soundscapes. - even in our virtual world -  This Saturday, you are welcome to an open house celebrating sound in Second Life at the UWA-SIU Virlantis sim [Machinima World - Sonic Lab].  It is part of an online course that I am teaching for my university, and tied to a much larger media project under development.
A few of us created the Sonic Lab where we teach sound online historically and culturally as art and practice. A multi-layer sound lab was constructed to help students develop critical listening skills, by virtually tuning into the modern origins of music and learning to appreciate the sonic environment, now and then, that contributes to our daily soundscapes. The virtual classroom experience leads students through time, place - and sound.
You enter the virtual world via a medieval realm soaked with layered sounds ignited by one's presence and touch. Visitors acoustically engage into a soundscape rich with nature's lush greens and harbor sounds, and perhaps stop into the local tavern for a chat and music.

Your travels take you to modern times, from Ragtime's Scott Joplin, to experimental masters Edgard Varèse and John Cage, to those they have influenced, Reich, Zappa, The Beatles, Hendrix, Ramones, Riot Grrrls, and New York's alternative scene to a mock up of Oblivion from the movie of the same title.
The sound installation was funded by a summer course development grant awarded by my university.  To learn about this project, attend the VWBPE Conference session, Sonic Immersion Part I: Hearing is Believing, Case Study: Sound Studies in Second Life, Friday, July 26, 8:05-8:55 AM SLT, Builder's Brewery Auditorium. Part II will be held at Virlantis during VWBPE's MOOC post-conference, with times to be announced soon. Admission is free.

Join us Saturday, July 20th, Noon to 2PM SLT for an Open House.  Musician and old friend AcousticEnergy Nitely and BOSL friend and colleague DJ CottonCandy will provide the entertainment. Visit the sim, spanning four levels and six regions, when we unearth the sonic mysteries of sound, as noise, music and art.

Special thanks to *Belinda Barnes,* Lowe Runo and Kara Trapdoor, as well as Jay Jay Jegathesan (Jayjay Zifanwe) of UWA for their support and assistance on this project.