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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Musician Spotlight- Swina Allen's Italian mood in Second Life- Sandy Demina Reporting...

Staff Reporter
• Thursday, August 12, 2010
Swina Allen is an IT manager whose life has always gone with the music.
When he was 14 he bought his first Eko guitar and he started playing and writing his own music. He loves also playing keyboard and piano:he has an awesome 1920 's Hofman-Khune piano on whose ivory keyboard he took his first jazz piano lessons...but the guitar was always on his way.When electronic music was accessible to his pocket he bought his first Roland hardware sequencer and a Roland synth and arranger. Soon after he got a Yamaha like strato electric guitar with a 100 W Montarbo valve ampli. He love to work with software sequencers like FLStudio, Sonar or Cakewalk to produce his own music.
A couple of years ago he discovered the virtual stages in Second Life, where he has packed all the inworld venues where he performs. His love of the jazz/blues genre comes through in his melodic verses and smooth rhythms. 
He only performs original tunes but sometimes he sings in his own way some greatest tunes:Springsteen's "Devils and Dust" and Sergio Endrigo's "Io che ho amo solo te" or Ivano Fossati's "Il bacio sulle labbra" among his favourites.

Most of the original songs are licensed under Creative Commons License and are free to download (some rights reserved).

Swina also believes that music contamination is the most interesting thing for a musician: a way to meet musicians all over the world, to develop a new sound and to feel new emotions.
He is also used to play guitar in jamming sessions with SL artists like UKD Project (live), Ezcape Hax (using ninjam), Ridha Cooljoke (live). He has also recorded guitar and piano tracks for Jax Streeter, Ezcape Hax and UKD Project songs.
As usual we had a nice conversation about music and (second) life...

SANDY:where are you from?
SWINA:I'm from Italy.

SANDY:How long have you been playing music?
SWINA:I play music since I was 14 years old, when I bought my first guitar...

SANDY:What instruments do you play?SWINA:Guitar and keyboards

SANDY:How would you describe your style?SWINA:It's always difficult to define a style, but I like to think about a mix of blues, funky, r&b and soul

SANDY:You are a composer too,how long does it take to write a song/piece of music?
SWINA:It depends. Sometimes a song requires just some days, in other situations months. There are no rules about time to write a song.

SANDY:How prolific are you?
SWINA:I like to record all ideas, some very little like a guitar riff or some melodic line. During last 2 years I wrote about 35 new songs...maybe SL inspired me!

SANDY:What do you spend the most time on:music or lyrics?SWINA:Music. Everything starts always from music.

SANDY:Which acts have most inspired you?
SWINA: I think some of Beatles best songs as Yesterday, but also some of Santana and BB King songs.

SANDY:Where do you get ideas for songs or pieces of music?SWINA:From everyhing gives me some good vibration.

SANDY:Except for other musicians what else inspires you?
SWINA:Good music itseld is an excellent source of ispiration!

SANDY:What has influenced you to get your to where you are today musically?
SWINA:Many years of music. Starting from 70's rock bands through jazz, blues and funky.

SANDY:Which song would you most like to have written?
SWINA:The thrill is gone (BB King)

SANDY:Let's start spending some words about SL : How did you discover it?SWINA:I read a magazine abut this new virtual world, and my curiosity brought me inworld!

SANDY:Did you ever think to use your real name for what you usually do in Second Life?
SWINA:No. I'm not used to.People and fans know me as Swina Allen and this is really amazing for me!

SANDY:What you like to do here in Second Life when you are not playing?
SWINA:I like meeting my friends and also of course going and listen to other musicians.

SANDY:Do you like shopping or going to music concerts or art exhibits?
SWINA:I don't like shopping,neither in RL or SL! I prefer to go to music concerts or art exhibits: I guess SL is a an amazing stage for human creativity!

SANDY:Do you think SL can be a valid showcase for your RL works?
SWINA:I think that is one of the best. Maybe the only one ehre I can play live gigs at home!Every musician should try it!

SANDY:In SL you have opened a live music venue:can you explain to us why did you start this virtual adventure and what are your aims, business or just fun?SWINA:I created since June 2007 the :::Italian Mood:::, something more than a simple music club:it's been since the beginning a sort of an international community of people who love gathering to enjoy good music, share experiences and have fun together.
We've been hosting live performances from the best SL musicians, from the most celebrated artists to the new emerging talents, across all boundaries and music styles and of course it's my favourite stage where I like to play!But of course Sandy, you already know it! (editor's note:"Yes friends.I had some part in it!" ).

SANDY:Do you use other kind of digital promotions?SWINA:Yes, I have my own website (, MySpace, Facebook and many music social networks. I think that a today musician has to think as a digital adopted. Digital promotion is the only solution at the moment. I don't think there is a better way to promote music.

SANDY:Where do you see yourself a year from now:will Second Life still exist?
SWINA:I think so, I hope so.I like to imagine myself still rocking on some virtual stage here inworld!


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