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Second Life: An Interview with SpaceJunky

Second Life is an MMO like no other. Not so much a game as a virtual world, the Linden Labs experiment mirrors the real-world in many ways, including up and coming musical acts. MMORPG.com Second Life expert David Greene (known in game as Arra Jinx) sits down with Shakti Cianci of the band SpaceJunky to talk about Second Life, the band and how it all comes together.

It has been asked “Is Second Life really a game at all?” I would tend to say Second Life is far more than a game, or role-play experience. Second life is a virtual world where the only limits are that of the user, instead of the world itsself. Dreams can be dreamt one day, and realized the next is this wondrous achievement known as Second Life. One such incredible story is that of the band SpaceJunky, who through the power of Second Life, have truly brought their music to the world. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with Shakti Cianci lead singer of the band and talk about Second Life, and the music Shakti and SpaceJunky have given to us.

MMORPG.com:

Hello Shakti and thanks for making time for MMORPG today.

Shakti Cianci:

No problem my jet lag is dreadful. I think I only slept about 2 hours.

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MMORPG.com:

Lovely home Shakti, I love the use of crystals.

Shakti Cianci:

The house is a pyramid outside. I love crystals in real life and use them a lot in Second Life, I drive everyone nuts with them here

MMORPG.com:

When did you and the band first discover Second Life, and what were your first impressions?

Shakti Cianci:

I discovered Second Life in 2006. I had just come back from Tibet in real life, and was researching some ancient symbols. An oracle in Tibet had told me that SpaceJunky would be heard by many people and the album would be successful. I had no idea how to promote my album, as my band lived on 3 different continents. While looking at the symbols, I found a blog about flying monks, which was about people in Second Life remaking the monasteries that the Chinese had destroyed. I had just been to Drak yerpa in real life, which was one they made in Second Life, so I came to Second Life. Second Life made me realize that I could use the platform in an interesting way to bring the band to life here. We thought we might get some real life press, which we did with CNN in Jan 2008. I was fascinated by Second Life having had no previous experience with games at all except to write music for Nintendo years ago.


Second Life Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

What was the bands initial response to the idea of being on CNN

Shakti Cianci:

Well right now we work on separate projects as we are all in the music industry and record and tour with other artists. I just met with Dan the guitar player, Zaphod on Second Life in Sydney. We did some music and did the theme song for our new TV show Life On Line. Right now we are in promotion mode and working on a real life concert tour. Spacejunky is my vision, so I do a lot of the groundwork. The other guys are session musicians also

MMORPG.com:

How has it been finding a balance between real life and Second Life for you and the band?

Shakti Cianci:

What there is a real life? Where? I thought they did away with that program lol. Well it’s been great, as a lot of things have happened real life because of Second Life which has been incredible. Sony Acid did a remix contest with the band recently and it was the first time they came in world to do an event. We wanted to bring it back into Second Life, as that was how they found us, so we promoted the contest here as well. We actually had a release party in Second Life before the winner was announced on their site, and announced the winners first here in Second Life.

MMORPG.com:

How has the response to your album been, and where can our readers find a copy?

Shakti Cianci:

The response has been great so far. You can buy from iTunes, CD baby, and other download sites like ours at www.spacejunky.com.


Second Life Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

The music has awesome energy; do you attribute some of that to your spiritualism?

Shakti Cianci:

Yes absolutely, as we say in Australia ..."it’s all about the vibe"

MMORPG.com:

While on the subject of amazing, SpaceJunky Island is amazing, what was the design concept behind it and what do you see in the future for the bands piece of Second Life?

Shakti Cianci:

Well I wanted a place that reflected the band’s music and the subject matter, space being a large piece and obviously crystals...lol. We started with the amphitheater, then the star which is sacred geometry that it sits on which are made of crystal. We have a spacepark and the stupa is to honor the Tibetan connection that bought us here. We wanted to have place where people can come and hang out, have fun, buy some things, and meditate. We are putting in a crystal beach soon for meditation, and the crystal pyramid. The crystal pyramid will be a place where you can go and have a chakra balance on a custom made healing bed with my chakra music in it too.


Second Life Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

Beyond your contribution of your music to the community of Second Life and the island are you involved in any other projects?

Shakti Cianci:

We are starting to make products that reflect our theme here like a SpaceJunky Cosmic Love Bed and musical crystals items. We have done a lot of fundraising in Second Life for real life, like Susan Komen For the Cure, we once raised 600.00$ US in an hour, with an auction. We also have helped sim owners who were in danger of losing their sim with fundraisers for them. We like to give back where we can.

MMORPG.com:

With the launch of Life on Line do you foresee an increase in virtual concert dates?

Shakti Cianci:

Yes we do, although we don’t want to do too many and over expose ourselves, keeping the balance is important, don’t want people to get sick of us.

MMORPG.com:

What advise can you give to the performer just starting out in Second Life?

Shakti Cianci:

Talk to other musicians, most people are friendly and will help. Form good strong friendships with people, we have had the same team of people working with us since the beginning. There are great people here, talented and loyal....and when you find good people look after them as it’s a team effort always.


Second Life Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

Your look is amazing Shakti, would you care to give a shout out to any designers out there in Second Life?

Shakti Cianci:

Yes Bare Rose is one of my favorites; June the owner of Bare Rose keeps me in clothes. There is also DE Designs and Solange. Solange and bare rose have stores on the island. Minx is my choice for shoes.

MMORPG.com:

Do you design any of your own clothing?

Shakti Cianci:

Not yet but have talked about it, it’s on the list. I am bringing my Tibetan jewelry line in here some day; I have a jewelry company called Crystal Gypsy Designs www.crystalgypsy.com. We deal with old and rare Tibetan amulets, so I want to recreate them in Second Life.

MMORPG.com:

There is so much to love about Second Life, but if you were to put your finger on one key thing what would be your favorite feature of Second Life?

Shakti Cianci:

I think for me it is the ability to bring people together in unusual ways. I call second life consciousness waiting for intention. Second Life is about creating your dreams because it can be done here. I am also a hypnotherapist in real life, and the ability to creatively visualize in here is amazing, as it’s a physical manifestation of a non physical realm, very Buddhist as the Dalai Lama would himself say. The real life / Second Life overlap is amazing I find it fascinating, I have had a vision and 1 day later I’m standing in it in Second Life.

SpaceJunky has a number of upcoming concert dates the next being at The Shark club & Paradise, I would encourage any of our reader to hop into second life and experience what SpaceJunky has given to those of us already in Second Life.

Here are some Surls to locations mentioned in the interview also, enjoy your explorations.

The Shark club & Paradise - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Custer/63/163/38

Main Stage @ SpaceJunky Island - http://slurl.com/secondlife/SpaceJunky Island/41/204/22

BareRose - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Bare Rose/146/14/33

Minx Shoes - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Hauwai/61/96/96

Solange - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Wall/198/168/97

DE Designs - http://slurl.com/secondlife/DE Designs/115/132/38

Also here is a link to their webshow Life Online.

Life Online - http://life-on-line.ning.com/

David Greene / I love MMORPG’s, but I love RP even more. I started with AD&D in 1979, and between 1990 and 1994 I was a GM at GENCONs (one of many). I started my love of MMORPGs with the Beta of UO and have been online gaming every since.

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