Out of this World exhibition. I say event as that's what it was described as though to be honest wasn't sure what to expect, and came in good time straight from work thinking it would be a bit like a concert, sitting down in silence. Wrong, wrong, wrong....
The first sign was the costumes - tin foil and Star Wars helmets came into it, plus there were some performance artists from the Immaculative Extremists who did it professionally. Then no one really sat down - ok there weren't that many seats, but there was lots of mingling, chatting even, trips to the bar and it was all held in the British Library's main antrium, which is a pretty impressive space.
The program can be seen below.
Radio Science Orchestra playing a number of well known themes (think Doctor Who) plus versions of classics like The Swan by Saint-Saens played upon a theremin.
What's that you might ask? Well you can see it in action above played by Charlie Draper who basically waves his hands in the air very carefully (shaking definitely not a good idea) in a way that alters the radio system's resonant frequency via his capacitance - full and more accurate description on Wikipedia here. Note the use of that great word "heterodyne" which I first read in those classic pulp SF books by E.E. "Doc" Smith.
Anyhow, bravo to Charlie!
More here and they have an album on iTunes so click here for an uncut version.
After a break and another DJ it was on to the second part, the return of the legendary Global Communication, the ambient music group from the 1990s, performing their classic 76:14, one of the Guardian top 1,000 albums. Hmmm.... not exactly a short list, but then again it is a laid back piece.... a very laid back piece.
It did eventually get going and people started dancing.
I get the feeling that would never have happened in the old British Library reading room. Maybe things would have been better if they had - Karl Marx so busy dancing with George Eliot he never gets round to writing his up his big idea (what is known to SF buffs as an alternative history).
An enjoyable evening; all very cutting edge in a retro way.
Two big thumbs up - or should that be six waving tentacles up?
Updated: at the request of the Radio Science Orchestra have taken down the video - sorry!