I am not ready for winter yet. Luckily for me, in London UK, the weather is still notably mild for the time of year, with warm sunshine in between the showers. So I am not ready to visit any snow covered Sims yet in SL, I made a point to wait until December. So while I was grabbing some virtual sun at the beach a couple days ago, I saw a Landmark to Chouchou while nosing at someone’s profile. I have been once before but long before I was blogging locations, and I do remember not really staying for long. So off I went to rediscover it.
When arriving at the Landing Point, the welcome message advises you to use the Sim Windlight, and gives you some basic rules and a link to a website that explains that ‘Chouchou is (named after) a Japanese music duo consisting of vocalist juliet Heberle and composer arabesque Choche, which is formed in a virtual world where there’s no national borders or boundaries.’ As you explore the Sim, you can listen to music by Chouchou on the music stream, which I will say right now is beautiful so make sure you take a listen. There are opportunities to buy their music from the website, iTunes and such, and follow them on various social networks. You can also join the inworld group and find out when to hear them performing live in SL.
There is also another cool thing at the Landing Point, which is a ‘Chouchou cinematic HUD’ that you can attach and it gives you an interesting cinematic effect to your viewer and adjusts your camera to move slowly around you. It comes with instructions for walking or concert mode, but it’s pretty simple to use and I played with walking mode for a while on arriving at the Sim.
The music sets an instant mood of the Sim and is relaxing and mesmerizing. The ground part of the Sim is mostly open water with small scattered islands, a tree here, a piano there, a huge ladder stretching up into the sky so far you can’t see the top. If you touch it, you will get a Teleport offer to other parts of the Sim to explore. My first two pictures were taken on the ground and then I TP’d up to Islamey, which is a beautiful Japanese themed garden. The cherry blossom trees are beautiful and the reflections in the lake, it’s an incredibly relaxing spot to spend some time. So then after chilling for some time there, I touched the next teleporter to go and see what ‘Memento mori’ was all about. I didn’t really know what to expect, but this final spot was my most favourite place of all. Memento mori is a huge.. I mean HUGE.. cathedral in the clouds. When I first arrived, the scale of the building was pretty impressive, and I stood for a long time on the steps just taking it all in. I also had this weird… ok not dream, because I was awake… but a daydream maybe, standing at the bottom of the many steps leading up to the huge cathedral, and the clouds are all floating around me and the ethereal music stream and nothing else, and it was all really quite surreal and, ok I’m just going to say it felt very ‘otherworldly’ to be standing there. In fact it reminded me of stories I have read, of imagined descriptions of the place between the earth plane and heaven. The in-between place. That’s how it felt I think. I walked up the steps and sat inside the cathedral, the benches are slightly transparent, which lends to the whole surreal otherworldly feel of the place even more. I sat there for ages, lost in the music and the incredible peace. The whole feeling of being removed from the world. After a long while, I climbed the steps inside the cathedral all the way up to the roof, hundreds of steps, and stood around some more in the amazing atmosphere. It was really hard to drag myself away from this place when I eventually had to leave.
Chouchou is a wonderful place to visit, created by some wonderfully talented people. I love it when I find a place that, even though I have been in SL for so long, can still take my breath away.