Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Burst of Weird and AWESOME!

Oddities and Awesome abound!

:: The Galaxy Garden is a garden whose plants are cultivated, grown, and placed in such a way as to represent the Milky Way Galaxy. This is amazing! It reminds me, in a way, of the Carl Sagan "Solar System Walk" in Ithaca, which I see part of every year when The Wife and I go there for the Apple Festival, but whose comprising monuments I can never get pictures of because they're always crowded with people.

:: The other day I posted a video of a Star Trek: The Next Generation clip, in which Captain Picard joins a woman he's met in playing the flute he acquired in an earlier episode, one of the more memorable episodes called "The Inner Light". Here, then, is another video, wherein a guy plays that same melody on the Theremin.

Wondering what a Theremin is? Here's the basic background. It's an early electronic musical instrument, invented in the 1920s by a guy named Theremin. (Hence the name!) I'm not sure how it works, but the pitch and such are literally controlled by the position of the performer's hands in the air around it, so it's the only musical instrument I know of -- save the voice -- that can be played without touching anything. It was used a lot in movie filmscores of the mid-20th century, especially in science fiction flicks.

:: Map of Metal -- as in, I think, heavy metal, that wonderfully glam music whose heyday was in the late 70s and early to mid 80s. I wasn't a huge metal-head, relatively speaking, but I enjoyed quite a lot of it at the time. (Never went to a concert, though. In fact, to this day, the closest I've come to attending a rock concert is the Beatles tribute band that played with the Buffalo Philharmonic last year.) I'm actually linking this site on an "unvetted" basis, as it appears to be quite heavily graphical in nature, and with my recent connectivity issues, I haven't been able to load the entire site to see what it's like. Someone let me know if it's cool, OK?

More next week!


Unknown said...

Yay for the Theremin. I had the chance to play one at a science exhibition and ever since I've been thinking about building my own. Maybe someday...

Roger Owen Green said...

When I think Theremin, I think of the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations. I have a live recording of the song, and it's nowhere as good as the recording, maybe because they haven't mastered playing that instrument, or maybe it wasn't tuned properly.