Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of a former Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Jamm For Genes in Second Life

Last year we ran this event in second life. It ran for 27 hours and we raised about AUS$2000 for Children’s Medical Research Institute as a part of Jamm for Genes.

This year we’re doing it again. It’s on now in Second Life. We have 35 hours of live music lined up. All artists donating their time.

The schedule is as follows. All times are US/Pacific (or Second Life Time)

Friday 7th August 2009
6 PM - The Pocket Jamms for Genes
6:00 pm Von Johin
6:30 pm Gary Jonstone
7:00 PM Dallas Silverspar
8:00 PM Artel Brando
9:00 PM Pato and the Re-Tenders
10:00 PM OhMy Kidd
11:00 PM Rosedrop Rust
Saturday 8th August 2009
12 AM - The Pocket Jamms for Genes (continued)
12:00 AM - Phoe Nix
1:00 AM  - Angelica Svenska
2AM Laceys Place Jamms for Genes
2:00 AM OhMY and the Kids
3:00 AM Auzzie and The Lohners
4:00 AM Jackdog Snook
5:00 AM Rara Destiny
6AM Angels Place
6:00 AM Dann Numbers
7:00 AM Shane Kirshner
8:00 AM HölliVals
9AM The Old Barn
9:00 AM Bara Jonson
10:00 AM Don Cabassoun
11:00 AM Kaklick Martin
12 PM Sailors Cove
12:00 PM  Pmann Sands
1:00 PM Jonas Lunasea
2:00 PM This Device
3 PM Endeavour Cove
3:00 PM Jaggpro Mccann
4:00 PM OhMy Kidd
5:00 PM Maximillion Kleene
6:00 PM Paisley Beebe & Freddy Halderman
7:00 PM Cellandra Zon
7:00 PM Freestar Bay Jamms for Genes*********************
7:45 PM Freestar Tammas
8:00 PM Dale Katscher
8:30 PM Matthew Perreault
9:00 PM KelvinBlue Oh
10:00 PM Noma Falta
11:00 PM Randyb Magic
11:30 PM Freestar Tammas
Sunday 9th August 2009
12 AM Woodstock Jamms for Genes
12 AM Rosedrop Rust
1 AM Tpenta Vanalten
2 AM OhMy Kidd
4 AM onward - Mariposa Upsahw's Art Auction Spectacular

We’ve been going now for a bit over an hour and would love to see more folks come, listen and donate.


Written by Alan

August 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Music

New Song – That’s Just the way that it goes

Finished recording this about 2 hours ago. It’s now available on Myspace and The Sixty One as a download. I’ve just made the 128k mp3 available under the following license:

Creative Commons License
That’s Just The Way That it Goes by Alan Hargreaves is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

Which basically means as long as you don’t want to modify it, as long as you don’t want to make money out of it, and as long as you attribute it; you can download and pass it around as much as you like.

You can also listen to a copy from here.

The technical side of things.

I learned some things while recording this.

The drums I created with Rhythm Rascal (and I will register this shareware when I have some spare cash). I found this application incredibly easy to use and it produced a really nice wav file that I could import into reaper. I could have saved as midi, but I found I liked the samples that it used for the drums better than anything else I had.

The Bass line I did up in the midi editor in reaper using a bass sample from the Kore midi set (free download).

Now the guitar, … big lesson number 1. Put new strings on the guitar. I could not get a decent recording of the guitar with month old strings on.I also couldn’d get the exact sound I wanted inside reaper, so I ended up recording the guitar (and actually the vocals too) through my Digitech RP-150 with some hall reverb, bright EQ and slight compression.

The other really big lesson I learned is just how absolutely essential it is to use compression given the huge dynamic range of an acoustic guitar. That made an enormous difference.

In order to keep a decent strum going through the whole song, I recorded some incidental stuff for the guitar as well.After all that was done it was time to lay down the vocal. I set up the Behringer C-1 at head level and put a pop filter in front of it and kicked offf the recorder. Wow what a difference it makes to sing along against a full backing. It really helped to get into the feel of the song and I was bopping along while singing. Same thing adding the harmonies to the chorus.

All in all, I’m extremely happy with how this turned out and I hope you enjoy it too.


Written by Alan

April 14, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Music

Ben Folds and You Tube Covers (some good news)

I was watching Sky News Australia a few minutes ago and they ran an interesting story.

It seems that Ben Folds tried searching for his name on You Tube. Instead finding recordings of his, he found lots of fans doing acapella covers of his work.

Now many artists would consider asserting their songwriter copyright on that material. Not Ben. He decided to make an album with the best of these people. Here’s a link to the story carried last month in the Daily Princetonian.

I did find one part amusing, …

The Nassoons caught Folds’ attention with their version of his song “Time” from his 2005 album “Songs for Silverman.” The group’s version of the tune was arranged by Nassoons music director Jonathan Schwartz ’10.

Moonlighighting Jonathan? 😉

On a more serious note, I think it’s wonderful to see artists/songwriters encouraging this kind of thing.

There’s more on the project at his web site.

Written by Alan

January 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Music

Christmas All Year Through

Merry Christmas!

During the last month I’ve participated in an amazing collaboration. The result of which is the release of a song involving 22 Second Life Artists from all over the world.

Below is a URL where you can download a free MP3. The MP3 is a collaborative recording featuring 22 SL musicians all performing an original song entitled “Christmas All Year Through”, having recorded their contributions remotely from all over the world. The song was written by Djai Skjellerup and the final mix was painstaking put together by Toby Lancaster. The rest of the collaborators to whom we are hugely grateful for their excellent contributions are listed beneath the song name. I’ll try to get a copy uploaded to my tracks shortly.

URL for downloading Christmas All Year Through:

Information Website:

Project Log:

Collaborators: BabbleGrabble Swindlehurst, Carah Nitely, Franziskus Paine,
Jean Munro, Kaklick Martin, Kiarranne Flanagan, Krell Karu,
Lonnie Nightfire, Lyn Carlberg, Mambo Welles, Mimi Carpenter,
OhMy Kidd, The Professor, Rich Desoto, Saraine Sands, Slim Warrior,
Tommy Cult, Tpenta Vanalten, Vicki Nilsson, Zak Claxton,
Toby Lancaster and Djai Skjellerup

And as an extra bonus for you here is the last collaborative recording we did also free for you to download entitled Get It Together….

URL for downloading Get It Together:

Information Website:

Project Log:

Collaborators: Norris Shepherd, Zak Claxton, BabbleGrabble Swindlehurst,
Rich Desoto, Jambalaya Fonck, Lyn Carlberg, Kim Seifert,
Jean Munro, The Professor, Freestar Tammas, Mimi Carpenter,
Toby Lancaster and Djai Skjellerup

Please keep coming back to:
as well. It is only in it’s embryonic stage at the moment but will soon be updated with biographies of all the collaborators and other information.

Thanks for your time. We’d also like to send our best wishes to those who do not observe Christmas. We hope you enjoy our efforts all the same and have a happy time over the holiday period. My thanks to all the Get It Together collaborators for your efforts with a special mention to Toby Lancaster, Bree Birke and Cher Harrington for your invaluable contributions.

Written by Alan

December 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Music

Why I love the Second Life Musician’s Community

After getting back from CEC, I checked into Second Life to start playing some of my regular gigs again. One of the first things I saw was that one of our number (Dominick Manatiso and his real life family) lost their home in a house fire. Immediately the community pulled together to stage a benefit to raise money to help them towards the holiday season (they have very young kids).

After I finished playing my gig today I directed everyone who was listening to me to head over to the benefit and give what they could, I donated the pretty much all of the tips that I made at that gig.

As of me typing this blog, the community as raised Linden$648,338, which is roughly equivalent to about US$2300. Nothing can replace what these folks have lost, but it is good to see musicians donating their time to raise money for this family heading into the holiday season!

Written by Alan

November 20, 2008 at 12:33 am

Posted in Music

Second Life Blues Artist signed to recording contract

I have to say that this is incredibly cool. I’ve been listening to Von Johin for some time in Second Life and have the utmost respect for this awesome bluesman. I just heard yesterday that as a result of his following in Second Life and his performances therein that he has just been signed to a global recording contract. He just was written up in Rolling Stone for this deal.

Go Von, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

Written by Alan

August 15, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Music

Jamm for Genes in Second life – how we went – WOW

The event ended up running for about 27 hours instead of the original 24 and I am humbled to have been a part of this.

At the time of writing this blog entry we have raised a bit over 600,000 Linden dollars, when this is with drawn it will come to over US$2000, and a bit more than that in Australian Dollars.

A huge thank you not only to the artists who donated their time and brought their fan bases with them, but to everyone who helped out and especially those who showed up, listened and contributed.

I’ve put some photos up on Flickr if anyone wants to have a look.

What can you say, but “Wow, well done everyone”.

This money will be going to Jamm for Genes in support of The Childrens Medical Research Institute, an independent organisation committed to unlocking the mysteries of disease whose scientists investigate conditions such as birth defects, cancer, and epilepsy.

Written by Alan

August 2, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Music