With so many wonderful sims in Second Life falling to the wayside, it was great to see the return of the stunning region created by the group ChouChou. After being gone for a while, the group recently announced the return of the region, along with a new album!
Chouchou is a Japanese musical duo formed in SL that creates electronic ambient music and has also created some visually stunning regions in SL as a unique way to promote and present their music to the rest of us. The three regions are simple and contemplative, much like the groups music. To put it simple, they have figured out how to do more with less. Yet each region makes a huge impact as you explore all the group has created.
To get the full effect of the regions, you want to make sure you have some basic viewer settings in place before you go. Make sure you have your viewer set to play a land’s music and media and you need the latest Quicktime on your computer. You also want to be sure and have your sky set to “Use Region Settings”. With these settings, the unique sky settings move from day to night (every four hours), bells chime on the hour and the waters around you glow in a variety of colors. If you really want to have some fun, pick up the free “Chouchou Cinematic HUD” and get a real cinematic experience as you take in the music.
The first and main region, aptly named ChouChou, is a pale barren landscape. The horizon line between land and sky is almost non-existent. As I walked along the region the water around me slowly changed colors form yellows and blues, to pinks and lavenders. As I watched others, i noticed we were all just sort of standing still, in our own little spaces, taking it all in.
Climb a slender tower and you will find the second region, Islamey or “The Garden in The Sky”. It is a beautiful garden like setting that also serves as the groups live performance area. As I walked around and listened to the music, I was amazed at how the group had done so much with so little. I probably have skyboxes in my inventory that use more prims than these entire regions!
The last region, Memento Mori, is my favorite of the three! It is a giant cathedral in the clouds that is breathtaking in its dimensions. To enjoy its full impact, set your view distance to 512m. I have made a point to experience this place at both night and day and both are equally stunning.
ChouChou has recorded their music and it is available on Itunes. It would be easy enough I think for the group to just plop in world and stream their music in a club or other static setting. Instead they have used all the tools that SL has at an artists disposal to create a visual experience that intertwines with their music