The SecondLife music jams are a great opportunity for people involved in the SecondLife music community - performers, venue owners, music lovers - to come together in real life to share a weekend of music, friendship, and laughter together. I had the privilege to attend the Dallas, Texas, Jam held October 24 - 27, 2019. Like all the jams, it seemed to take forever until it was time to go to the jam, but the weekend flew by and was over just as we were getting going. While the jams always seem to be too short, we are all always exhausted when they're over. As I mentioned to someone, we hate for the jams to be over, but we might not survive if they lasted much longer!
In Dallas this year, we had a plethora of performers of all styles and from a variety of places, including most of the U.S., and from other countries as well. It was a great time to re-connect with old friends, as well opportunities to meet people I had not met before,
make new friends, hear performers I had only heard in SecondLife, or had not heard at all, and generally to feed my musician's soul.
One of the things that I was reminded of, when talking to some of the 'jam virgins' especially, was how intimidating it often is to take that leap the first time to go to a jam. There are many reasons for this: we live in a virtual world where our visual representations are so 'perfect', that to expose our real life imperfections seems scary; the perception that the performers who go to the jam are somehow 'better' so the fear of not being good enough to be there. I remember feeling those same kind of doubts and fears before going to my first jam. What most find when they get to a jam, however, is an exceptionally welcoming group of real people, just like them, who embrace them as part of the group, and who listen to and applaud the musical expressions of all levels and types.
Every Jam is unique, has it's own character, it's own positives and negatives. However, overwhelmingly, every jam I have been to the positives have outweighed the negatives and have made the experience worthwhile.
In Dallas, we started off doing acoustic jamming on Thursday evening, since there was as yet no sound system set up. While the jamming started in the main jam room, eventually most of it moved into rooms of individuals, who spent time making music in the 'after parties'. This process would be repeated most evenings, with some staying in the main jam room, and others disappearing to smaller groups throughout the hotel.
For me, the acoustic jamming sessions are always the true highlight of the jams. It's during those times that we are doing less 'performing' and more just making music together. It's also during those acoustic sessions that I get the best opportunity to watch other musicians up close to see and hear their techniques and styles, and learn from them.
In Dallas, as always, there were a lot of stellar performances during the amplified sessions, as well as a great deal of just plain fun, and collaboration with other performers. I was fortunate to get to play music with several people who are friends as well as those I have admired 'from afar' and to build new friendships.
Here are some videos from the live performances during the Dallas jam. Enjoy!
The Dallas jam is now over, but the memories, music and friendships live on!
-♫ M ♫-