Pink Floyd Light Show Creates Techno Visuals For Retro Audios

Pink Floyd Light Show Creates Techno Visuals For Retro Audios

There is only one place where the universal theme that unites people all over the world can be digested in fifty minutes - the Floyd Laser light show: The Dark Side of the Moon.

With cosmic animation and laser effects, the Boston Museum of Science hosts the show every Friday and Saturday. Viewers can browse the entire Dark Side of the Moon album and see the main themes presented in each track.

It takes place at the Charles Hayden Planetarium, a $9 million, 57-foot dome that has hosted shows by Radiohead, Beyoncé and Fleetwood Mac. However, Laser Floyd is the only music-related show to use lasers in animation, the others being entirely astronomical images.

During the performance, at the beginning of the song "Time", a neon laser image of a clockwork glows against a dark red background. A sudden alarm rang out as bells tolled from the clock tower and images of clock hands, screws and gears flew into the crowd. Pyramid paintings filled the room, accompanied by drumming, with the presentation lasting about two and a half minutes.

At the end of Brain Damage, a synth solo is accompanied by images of various mushrooms growing on the screen. The song focuses on a man who goes crazy, hearing voices in his head telling him what to do. All these psychedelic images help the viewer to get lost in the thoughts of the song's characters.

Another highlight of the show is the opening and closing of multiple eyes looking at the audience during "The Color You Want". As a purely instrumental track, the space drift fits the aesthetic of the show. This is a digestible article that gives the viewer something new to look at.

As "Us and Them" begins to play, the red vinyl plays to the slow tempo of the song as the spinning action is set to the lead guitar riff.

The show's and album's final song, "Eclipse," contrasts with the show's "Us and Them" segment. The grand finale of "Eclipse" ended with a fast laser loop as the song's climax played out.

Charles Hayden Planetarium music and arts host Dale Edwards has been directing the Pink Floyd laser show for the past ten years.

"What you see in Astronomy is actually me flying live and making videos," Edwards said. "The same program was used in the astronomy demonstration... I also used the view."

The audience for the Friday night show is made up of people of all ages. School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Brenton Babb attended his first Pink Floyd Ledger show last weekend.

"The ability to go from story to abstract laser objects really enhances performance," says Babb.

Michael Villani, a sophomore at CAS, said the song "Money" stood out to him as the Egyptian portion of the show. Throughout "Time" with images, the Egyptian theme includes the pyramids.

"(The hieroglyphs) probably refer to the ankh, which symbolized life in Egyptian mythology," Villani said. "I don't know if anyone noticed…at least I have a lot of life and death symbols."

Susan Katz, a graduate student at Northeastern University, said the show was great and "very fast."

"I felt like I was on a roller coaster," says Katz. "Like I'm on my way."

The show ended with a laser shot of the iconic album cover in front of the moon.

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