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Poetry at Relay for Life

by Richard Elen on 1 Aug, 2013

in Art, Audio Production, Broadcasting

Poetry at Relay for Life

I love Shake­speare, but I’ve nev­er real­ly thought of per­form­ing any.

How­ev­er when we were prepar­ing for the Relay For Life of Sec­ond Life Telethon, sev­er­al mem­bers of the team were invit­ed to record a series of poems to be played dur­ing the Lumi­nar­ia cer­e­mo­ny (one of the most mov­ing parts of the event).

Luminaria600

Lantern release dur­ing the Lumi­nar­ia cer­e­mo­ny — image by Beq Janus

The Lumi­nar­ia Cer­e­mo­ny occurs at every Relay For Life event, whether in the organ­ic world, or as in our case, in a vir­tu­al world. As the sun sets, lumi­nar­ia lin­ing the track light up the night. A hush falls over the crowd that had been over­flow­ing with cel­e­bra­tion. Par­tic­i­pants, sur­vivors, and care­givers then gath­er to remem­ber loved ones lost to can­cer and to hon­our those whose fight con­tin­ues. The cer­e­mo­ny in Sec­ond Life includ­ed a won­der­ful addi­tion­al fea­ture: the releas­ing of illu­mi­nat­ed Chi­nese lanterns into the night sky (see Beq’s pic­ture above, tak­en in front of her amaz­ing Esch­er build that you can just make out).

The offi­cial com­men­tary is car­ried by T1 Radio, and they read a list of names, between which they play pieces of music. Now, they have a licence to play com­mer­cial records, but we don’t, so this year they kind­ly gave us a run­ning order and tim­ings and we were able to deter­mine what was to go in the slots occu­pied by music in their cov­er­age, so we could “opt out” to our own audio pro­gram­ming. This was the pur­pose of the pre-record­ed poems. Mem­bers of our team put these record­ings togeth­er with pro­duc­tion music (main­ly by Kevin MacLeod, see cred­it below) to cre­ate a series of real­ly beau­ti­ful sequences, which I will hope­ful­ly be able to link to for you short­ly where they’ll have full cred­its — they’re being assem­bled into a series of short videos accom­pa­nied by images of this year’s camp­sites.

One of the two pieces I chose to record was this speech from Pros­pero in The Tem­pest:

Our rev­els now are end­ed. These our actors,
As I fore­told you, were all spir­its, and
Are melt­ed into air, into thin air;
And, like the base­less fab­ric of this vision,
The cloud-capped tow­ers, the gor­geous palaces,
The solemn tem­ples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inher­it, shall dis­solve;
And, like this insub­stan­tial pageant fad­ed,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our lit­tle life
Is round­ed with a sleep. (IV.i.148–158)

In addi­tion to send­ing the voice-only record­ing off to the guys for incor­po­rat­ing in the sequence, I found a piece of music [Vir­tutes Instru­men­ti, Com­posed and per­formed by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Cre­ative Com­mons: By Attri­bu­tion 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/] and ran it under the voice record­ing. As it will nev­er be used for any­thing, here it is, and I hope you like it:

Prospero’s Speech with music — click to play

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