Edited Transcripts

Music! with Gabrielle Riel

Jedburgh30 Dagger: Hello everyone! Ladies and Gentlemen, Viv, Serafina and I are pleased to welcome you to the May Aether Salon – Music! An exploration of Victorian music, both real and imagined. I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us today.

As many of you know, the Aether Salon meets to discuss steam and Victorian topics on the third Sunday of each month, in Palisades and Academy, New Babbage. This is our 17th salon and I hope you are all as excited about being here today as I am.

Just a few matters of housekeeping before we get started. If you are standing in the back, please move forward onto the maze so that you can be assured of hearing the speaker. Please hold your questions until the end, and as a courtesy to all, please turn off everything that feeds the lag: all HUDs, scripts, AOs and so on. Please no weapons, bombs, rogue scripts, or explosive undergarments. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Edited and unedited transcripts will be posted this week on aethersalon.blogspot.com so you can revisit today’s merriment, read transcripts of past salons, and for a laugh, peruse “overheard at the salon.” Please join the Aether Salon group and receive notifications of future salon events, click the lower right hand corner of the large brown sign by the entrance. We sincerely appreciate the support we receive from everyone in the community and we humbly thank you all.

Many fine people have contributed to today’s salon: We are grateful to Canolli Capalini of Capalini Fine Furnishings for the wonderful salon chairs, Ianthe Farshore for our craft contribution, Miss Ceejay Writer, Mr. Rafael Fabre, Miss Redgirl Llewellen, Miss Breezy Carver, Miss Ahnyanka Delphin for the stage and the citizens of New Babbage who make this event possible.

Mark your calendars for next month’s salon, Photography! with PJ Trenton on June 20 at 2 pm SLT. As a reminder, all speakers’ fund jar donations go directly to the speakers. Now I will turn the stage over to Miss Serafina for the introduction of today’s speaker. Sera?

Serafina Puchkina: Today it is my great pleasure to introduce today’s speaker. Her vision, intelligence, and talent have made her a well respected figure in the Streamlands. Chances are, most of you have attended at least one dance with her as dj, but you might not know her background:

Gabrielle Riel is the General Director of Radio Riel, an internet radio station based in Second Life with 4 music streams: Eclectic Classical, Early Jazz/New Orleans, Steampunk & Dieselpunk. She is also the Prim Minister (Owner) of the New Toulouse Estate in Second Life, which is based on New Orleans from 1890 – 1920.

She has been in Second Life for 4 years and launched Radio Riel 3 years ago. Please join me in welcoming our speaker, Miss Gabrielle Riel.

Gabrielle Riel: Thank you Ms Sera! Thank you all Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here this afternoon for this May Aether Salon. For those of you who do not know me, I am Gabrielle Riel.

I was born and raised in the Independent State of Caledon and became the Duchess of Caledon Carntaigh at a fairly young age. One of my primary projects as a Caledon Duchess was bringing actual Victorian music to our world here in Second Life, primarily via formal balls and dances.

This avocation became a vocation when I realized a greater interest and need for this music outside of the ballroom. I started Radio Riel 3 years ago and one of its main goals is still to provide a breadth and depth of exposure to certain music genres to our listeners that can not be found anywhere else.

I am here today to speak to you about music of the Victorian era and the new, exciting and ever-changing genre of Neo-Victorian music. I hope that you enjoy the history I will present to you today and that you will find the future fascinating and ripe with potential!

I will give this presentation via text here in Main chat, however as a optional supplement to the presentation, I will be playing examples of music on the parcel audio stream. I will not be speaking on air at all.

If you do not hear the music via your Second Life client audio, I recommend that you open the music URL in a media player that is external to SL, for example iTunes, Windows Media Player or WinAmp. After you have opened your media player, find its “Open Stream” or “Open URL” feature and then enter the following URL into its field: http://music.gabrielleriel.com .
It is my hope that you will all be able to hear and enjoy the music. 🙂

First of all I would like to give you all a quick summary of what I will be discussing in today’s presentation. You can see the outline for the presentation here on the slide. The first part of my presentation is all about the historical contexts in which Victorian Music existed. After a brief Introduction, I will discuss what is often referred to as “Classical Music” and its composers.

Then to the Ballroom, where I will give you an overview of the many types of dances that were invented in the Victorian Era, as well as the music that was needed to accompany them! Reaching further back into history, earlier than the Victorian Era, I will discuss Folk Music and its place in the 19th Century.

Next, a huge development in music that still affects us to this very day: Popular Music. I’ll explain what it was and how it is the foundation of contemporary music. Finally, we travel inside of the Victorians’ homes with Parlour Music.

Once I have provided you with the history, I can bring you into the present, and into what I call our “Imagined Past”, both in terms of music and how we all choose to live our Second Lives. Please keep in mind that many, many people would probably take issue with the overview I am giving you here of Neo-Victorian Music. They can go give their own presentation. 🙂 These are the examples I have chosen to give you today.

I’ll speak about the music that is considered to be the some of the earliest “conscious” Neo-Victorian Music. And then I will delve into Goth (get out your black lipstick everyone), Steampunk, Dark Cabaret, Carnivale and Marching and Klezmer Bands.

And I will wrap up with how people in Second Life are using or applying both Victorian and Neo-Victorian Music in this environment.

A quick conclusion, and we will be done! All of the music that I have been playing on the audio stream during this overview, and that I will continue to play during the Introduction, is from the “Victorian Vision” album, which was put together by the “Victoria and Albert Museum” in London. And please, please please ask questions or contribute to the conversation as we go along. Because I want to know if you are all still awake. 😉

Viv Trafalgar: Miss Riel we are not a quiet group by nature, but if you insist…
Viv Trafalgar nudges the peanut gallery

Ceejay Writer snores. Not.

Moses Mureaux holds up a lighter, “FREEEEEBIRD!” Er, sorry.

Ceejay Writer rolls eyes. “Cant take him anywhere. He keeps coming back.”

Gabrielle Riel: Introduction Time! Historians define the “Victorian Era” as the period of Great Britain’s Queen Victoria’s reign from June 1837 until her death on the 22nd of January 1901.

Even though the term “Victorian” specifically refers to history and culture in Great Britain, its influences and effects were felt worldwide due to the fact that the era was also when the British Empire had its widest reach and control of nations and territories all over the world. Music really expanded during The Victorian Era, with the birth of new musical styles and genres. New types of venues appeared that allowed ALL people to attend musical events, not just the rich.

Please note that I have the title of this next slide in quotation marks. “Classical Music” has become a generic term for many Western musical styles and eras from the 9th Century until today. In reality “Classical” is the term that describes the period of Western music from 1730 – 1820. People are probably most familiar with the Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I am now playing Mozart’s “Turkish March” on the music stream. Classical Music, like the Baroque Period before it, was highly structured.

The Victorian Era actually falls directly in the Romantic Music Period, which was roughly from 1815 – 1910. Composers began to “break the rules” in terms of the structures of their pieces and music became more expansive and lyrical. They brought more emotion to their works. Many composers used poetry for inspiration for their music during this era.

A huge change in the music world happened during the Romantic Period, and that was who the audiences were for these composers. Composers had always depended on the patronage of royalty, the aristocracy or the rich to support themselves. In the 19th Century, musicians turned to the Concert Hall, where members of the growing middle class could purchase tickets to their performances. Musicians could support themselves from this income, and a greater percentage of the population could hear their works.

A few of the big names that were writing music during this era were: Brahms, Liszt, Chopin, Mahler, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff and so many more. I am now playing Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 – Variation 18” on the music stream.

These changes in the music world also included Opera. The Romantic Opera composers wrote many famous Operas that musicians are still performing today. Just a few of the composers of this period were: Puccini, Bizet and Wagner. Oh this is just a brief sample of Romantic Composers – I could fill 10 slides with all of their names

I am now playing a vintage recording of Bizet’s “Chanson Boheme” by Geraldine Farrar in 1914 on the music stream. The social dance scene did exactly what the music of the Romantic Period and the British Empire did: it expanded.

The Waltz, which originated in Vienna, debuted in Great Britain in 1812, before Victoria’s ascension to the throne, but people initially condemned it as shockingly inappropriate, due to the fact that the dance partners were in such a close hold! 30 years later, and for the rest of the 19th Century the waltz was worldwide phenomenon.

Here comes the Waltz King. I am now playing Johann Strauss Jr’s “Wine, Women and Song” Waltz, composed in 1869 on the music stream.

The Polka appeared in the mid 19th Century and came from Central Europe. The Mazurka was a Polish Folk Dance that became a popular dance in the Victorian Ballroom. The Schottische was a Bohemian Folk dance that was also a part of the Ballroom “folk dancing craze”.

I am fascinated by the Victorians fascination with Eastern European Folk Dances. I wonder if they thought it was quaint? Fun to go “slumming”? It’s very interesting.

Gabrielle Riel plans to look into it more in the future

Gabrielle Riel: Composers were writing new music for all of these dances. I am now playing Johann Strauss Jr.’s “Champagne Polka” on the music stream. This is one Frau Lowey will like – it has explosions.

The term “folk lore” was coined in the Victorian Era, and the term “folk music” became used in the later 19th Century. What the Victorians called Folk Music was actually music that had been passed down over centuries. It was the popular music of the “common folk” that they kept alive through oral tradition. Sometimes the composer of a song was known, but more often than not the name of the composer was long lost.

I am now playing the English Folk Tune “The Dargason” on the music stream, which appeared in the 16th Century. Composer unknown, although it was a popular country dance and ballad for hundreds of years.

This music thrived in the rural areas and countryside while composers of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical Period courted royalty in the Capitals of the Western world. The upper classes has always disdained this music, but things began to change as some Composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries began to use folk melodies in their compositions.

I am now playing the final movement from Gustav Holst’s Suite 2 in F, “Fantasia on the Dargason” (1911) on the music stream. Notice how Holst overlays the famous English Folk Song “Greensleeves” into the piece as well. So the Composers were as fascinated by the tunes as the Ballroom was with the dances.

A new form of music and music venue appeared during the Victorian Era. The Music Hall was born from the entertainment of public house saloons that was common in the 1830’s. The saloon was a room that charged an admission fee to see the singing, dancing, drama or comedy that was performed there. The first Music Halls built for the purpose of public entertainment appeared in the mid 19th Century.

I am now playing a vintage recording of one of the “stars” of the Music Hall, “Mer-iah” sung by Gus Elen…who just happens to be the Great Uncle of Radio Riel Presenter Elrik Merlin! 🙂

These venues created a demand for new and catchy popular songs. Traditional folk songs were no longer enough to feed the public’s desire for entertainment. Music Hall owners hired professional songwriters to fill this demand, something that a completely new concept. Music Hall, or Popular Music, was its own distinct style by the 1850s. The song lyrics became more contemporary and humorous, as they needed to catch and hold the attention of rowdy, urban audiences.. Single piano players were replaced by larger in-house orchestras.

The songs of American Composer Stephen Foster became extremely popular in these venues all over the world. Irish jigs, Polkas and Waltzes all influenced Music Hall songs in England while Vaudeville exploded in the United States, with a substantial influence from African American music in the late 19th Century.

Let’s try that again – The songs of American Composer Stephen Foster became extremely popular in these venues all over the world. Irish jigs, Polkas and Waltzes all influenced Music Hall songs in England while Vaudeville exploded in the United States, with a substantial influence from African American music in the late 19th Century.This track is also Gus Elen. ” ‘Arf a Pint of Ale”

By the 1870s, venue owners were creating exclusive contracts with composers and singers, as the public associated certain songs with specific performers. This business model continues today with record labels and pop stars. *coughs* yes today’s music industry is based on a model from the mid 19th Century. I bet that clarifies some of their issues with Media 2.0

There were not a lot of musical entertainment options for people who lived in small towns or rural settings in the 19th Century. Therefore, they brought the music directly into their homes.

I am now playing “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls”, performed by Patrica Sabin, from an album entitled “A Victorian Parlour Evening”.

By the 1850s, most middle class families had a piano in their Parlour and at least one family member who could play it. Families and friends would gather there and create their own music. Thanks to the brand new music publishing business, music and bookstores sold songs in sheet music form.

By the late 19th Century, Parlour Music became more complex and sophisticated. Singers and musicians, both amateur and professional, played this music in public recitals. And with Parlour music, this concludes your History Lesson on Victorian Music! Now it’s time to hop into H.G. Wells’ Time Machine…to Neo-Victorian Music.

The topic of Neo-Victorian Music is hugely contentious and has musicians and music aficionados fighting it out with each other all over the Aether. At this point, we can not define it with start and end dates. It has an ever changing definition.

I am not even going to try to define it here, except by introducing you to some of the styles of music that are often classified as Neo-Victorian. Think: music that has a sound or theme that somehow connects to the Victorian Music that I just spoke about on the previous slides.

The “Roots” Music is the music that people, looking back with hindsight, see as foundational styles and themes for today’s Neo-Victorian scene. Probably the artists that most people agree was the father of it all was Paul Roland, a British musician who released some Victorian and Edwardian themed songs in the early and mid 1980s. Adam Ant’s early work is sometimes seen as foundational as well. I am now playing “The Great Edwardian Air Raid” by Paul Roland on the audio stream. I have a compilation of Paul Roland’s work. It’s really amazing – totally relevant today

Goth is more than just music. It became an entire subculture. Goth music actually does not have much connection at all to Victorian Music, as it is rock music that combines dark, often keyboard-heavy music with introspective and depressing lyrics.

It was the attire of the subculture that made the link to the Victorian Era, as Goth Fashion is heavily influenced by Victorian Fashion. I am now playing “This Corrosion” by the Sisters of Mercy on the audio stream. But Maar Auer’s Menuet works with it! It’s quite amazing how it works with everything.

Linus Lacombe: hmmm…if they thought waltzes were scandalous, what would they have thought of this music!?!

Gabrielle Riel: Steampunk, just like Goth, is a total subculture and not just about music. It’s a science fiction sub genre that imagines a past where the steam engine came to prominence, rather than what actually happened historically. Some Steampunk music is an offshoot of the Goth Music sound. But I also consider any music that is mechanical, or that is a contemporary arrangement that incorporates elements of Classical Music, to be Steampunk. I am now playing “Building Steam” by Abney Park on the audio stream.

Say hello to the twisted Great-Great Grandchild of the Music Hall! Dark Cabaret music draws on the aesthetics of the decadent, risqué German Weimar-era cabarets, burlesque and Vaudeville shows with the stylings of post-1970s goth and punk music. I am now playing one of my favorite Dark Cabaret songs on the audio stream, Jill Tracy’s “Evil Night Together”.

I see more and more Dark Cabaret artists out there these days. Carnivale music is exactly what is sounds like, contemporary music influenced by traditional carnival and circus music. There are more and more musicians out there using this style, such as The Circus Contraption Band. It also has a substantial influence in Natalie Merchant’s recently released album, “Leave Your Sleep”. I am now playing “Roustabout” by Beats Antique on the audio stream. This is one of the Neo-Victorian sub genres that has a direct connection to the Victorian Era, because Victorians loved carnivals and circuses. Both were extremely popular in the 19th Century.

I received a report just last night from Mr. Tenk that there are Marching and Klezmer Bands all over the place at the Steampunk Conference in New Jersey this very weekend.

I am now playing “Rivolta Silenziosa” by Humanwine on the audio stream. Marching Bands, or small Brass Bands, were very popular in the 19th Century. They played Popular Music in parks and on boardwalks.

Klezmer on the other hand – I have to say I am fascinated by its appearance in the Neo-Victorian world! Klezmer is Folk Music of the Ashkenazic Jewish people of Eastern Europe. You now know that the Victorian Ballroom went through an Eastern European Folk Music Craze with the Polka, Marzurka and Schottishe, and Klezmer Bands play all three of those dances.

Now I ask the question: how are people applying Victorian and Neo-Victorian Music in Second Life? In terms of actual Victorian Music, you can hear it on parcels that have their audio set to a Classical Music station. Other than that, it’s quite rare. It was this lack of actual Victorian Music that inspired me to start Radio Riel 3 years ago.

As far as I am aware, Radio Riel Presenters are the only people playing it, and playing all of the varieties that I mentioned in this presentation. I would love to know if more people are playing it!

I created a Second Life version of a Formal Ball 3.5 years ago, using notecards as dancecards, although these Balls have been rare in the last 18 months. I do hope to start a schedule of them throughout the Steamlands in the near future.

Annechen Lowey: Bats Enoch plays a good bit of dark Cabaret.

Gabrielle Riel: Actually I would LOVE if more people did it!

Viv Trafalgar: I think discussing the music, and getting people educated about it is a great start – and can lead to more uses

Gabrielle Riel: Brent Renard, an actual world Opera Singer, has been singing live in SL over the last few years, so thanks to him there is an Opera presence here.

Lelani Carver: I’ve attended a few live music concerts with classical music, wish there were more.

Gabrielle Riel: Neo-Victorian Music fares much better in Second Life. There is a fairly strong presence of it here, both with Radio Riel Steampunk and a decent amount of semi regular live music events in New Babbage and Armada Breakway. So now you have (hopefully) learned something about Victorian Music History, as well as an overview of Neo-Victorian Music. I have also discussed how people are applying these two types of music in Second Life. Does anyone have any questions? I am always happy to discuss these topics, so please feel free to contact me if you would like to do so!

Bookworm Hienrichs: I have a question! How do you view the future of neo-Victorian music? Is there room for more evolution of it?

Gabrielle Riel: Oh it SO malleable still. I don’t think it will ever fully solidify. Music in general is more and more about niches. There will be the core groups – like Abney Park – that most people will agree are Neo Victorian. The only thing left for me to say is thank you! Danke! Merci! Thank you so much to the Aether Salon Ladies for inviting me to present here! And thank you to all of you that came out to hear this presentation today. It has truly been my pleasure!

Jasper Kiergarten: what is your musical background?

Viv Trafalgar: We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Miss Riel for joining us today – and to all of you who join us month after month. This was a new subject for us and we are so grateful to have it in our archives!

Gabrielle Riel: I started playing the piano when I was about 4. Played for about 10 years (I was not very good). I did play Clarinet for 10 years – and was decent with that 🙂 And I have been in various choral groups for 35 years

Viv Trafalgar: and encourage you to tell all your friends what a wonderful salon you heard today. Thank you again Gabi. Please join us for our 18th and final salon of the spring season next month when we will have photographer PJ Trenton who will be speaking about Photography! Thank you to all the salon friends and family and to you for keeping us going through thick and thin.

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