• Ted Reyes

Exploring Virtual Worlds

My last post was on July 12 and it was about how politics and the pandemic have finally took a toll on us and how a magnificent rainbow provided us with a bridge that leads to acceptance and peace. And it did.


Now, I am busy with a lot of things and I barely have a moment to share things on social media so I would rather share it here on my blog. So what have I been up to?


1. OCULUS QUEST - I recently got this well-reviewed wireless virtual reality headset and man, did it blow me away. Since I was in college, I have been fascinated with mind-altering things whether natural, chemical, or technological so I read a lot of literature about this subject from Dr. Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience and Politics of Ecstasy to Michael Pollan's How to Change your Mind. I also spoke to former hippies who ate magic mushrooms and swear by the mystical powers of the fungi and how their way of life completely changed after their trip. The clouds and sky, melting like rainbow-colored ice cream in a slow-churning blender, pavements that breathe heavy and slowly swallowing them whole as if locking them in a motherly embrace, and the gradual disappearance of their sense of self, the dissolution of the ego. They have crossed the point of no return and from then on the "I" is forever buried and the "We" is reborn. The individual dies while the whole lives.


Ok, playing Dance Revolution in VR is not exactly that spiritual but the experience of traveling to a different "place" or consciousness is somehow close. The moment you strap the headset on it is truly like taking a trip to the unknown. The other night, I played this VR game called Color Space, which imagines the world as an infinite coloring book and your job, armed with a palette full of color pigments, is to color it. Yes, virtually coloring your world like Chicago. Super fun and trippy sometimes you just want to stay there and live in a world of your own making, free from the judgements of the real world. Suddenly, after a few strokes with your Oculus controller, the sky turns bright pink and the trees become baby blue. And then, the real world fades in the background, the ego separates from your mind, and all that is left is the hum of the headset as you dissolve into the colors you mixed in your pixelated world.


2. MUSIC - In between trips to the virtual world, I make a lot of music. Yes, I have a new band with Sheryl and we have our debut single out! The bands is called Scarlet Gum and the song is entitled "Tulips & Twigs for a Boy." It's streaming now on all platforms and we have a performance video on YouTube as well courtesy of Business Mirror. Listen to the song below. Don't forget to follow us on Spotify!


Also, Scarlet Gum just finished working our 2nd single and I can't wait to release it soon. It is extra special because we had the great opportunity to work with a team that's been an inspiration and influence to us since we were kids. So stay tuned for that.