Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (AOM) is a group of composers, musicians, and media artists living in Europe, East Asian and North America who explore together the interactive possibilities of the Second Life online virtual reality platform to create works with open, interactive and possibly "infinite" elements. Continuing from its beginnings in early 2007, the Orchestra works with ideas that challenge conventional practices of creating and performing music to find new ways to conceive of and erase notions of identity, place, social, cultural and sexual identity, and the roles of composer, performer and listener.
AOM compositions are created, rehearsed and performed with the online Second Life platform. Some performances occur only on Second Life, while many others are screened into physical concert and multi media events in Europe and North America through live online video projection with amplified sound. Some performances also include a non-virtual performance element, with performers situated at the physical performance venues interacting in both Second Life and in the physical venue for 'mixed reality' events.
AOM conceives, designs and builds its own virtual instruments for each composition. The instruments are made of single short sound samples uploaded into Second Life as raw material from which complex instruments are synthesized. AOM instruments, accessed through a Heads Up Display on the computer screen of each avatar, look similar to what video games display on screen for player control. Each individual AOM performer is thus able to trigger sounds independently from each other and to participate in a live and distinct performance that is unique each time.
For a visual representation of the instruments within Second Life, AOM uses ‘receivers’; animations built into the HUD controls that indicate that the avatars are making sound. The animations are usually in the form of objects attached to the avatar’s body (back, head or torso) that change colour and shape, and that sometimes animate the avatar to fly, hover, dance or to emit particles of light and colour.
AOM performances have been called "beautiful", "mesmerizing", "brilliant", "fascinating", and "transformative".
For more information about AOM, its members, and specific compositions, see: