Amazing Lights on a Thursday Afternoon

Amazing Lights on a Thursday Afternoon

I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon at the Light Odyssey rehearsal at the Winter Gardens.

They tell me that my voice isn’t much to write home about (it sounds OK to me…) but I do love music. I’ve always loved music, anything from ‘easy listening’ as they called it in the 70’s, to the latest chart music. I quite like classical too, my two favourite pieces are a piece by Chopin and Adagio for Strings.

When I found out that Adagio for Strings was on the menu at Light Odyssey, that was it, I just had to be here!

Amazing Lights on the Promenade

The glorious sunshine helps, what a beautiful day it is. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, and as verbose as I am (no, really!) I can never seem to put down in words that fizz of excitement that I get when I’m in Blackpool. So it would have been churlish not to have a wander round first and take some ‘sunshine in Blackpool’ pics.

Amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon

Blackpool in the sunshine, amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon

Blackpool in the sunshine, amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon

It looked like they were setting up  another one of the Art Trail items up on the Comedy Carpet for the Lightpool Festival next week. Or maybe they weren’t, you can never tell in this crazy, amazing place! It’s just another random Thursday afternoon on the prom, you know how it is.

Comedy Carpet, Blackpool. Amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon

There’s also a ‘Light up the North’ conference taking place in the Winter Gardens. Major northern towns are part of a network which are inspiring each other and sharing best practice, to use light as a creative tool in tourism. So the Empress Grill was full, and the café, and the whole place was buzzing.

And so to the point of my afternoon out…

As I walked into the darkness of the Empress Ballroom it was echoing to the sounds of musicians tuning their instruments, it’s amazing that such beautiful music comes out of a racket like that. Anyway, from my perch up on the balcony I settled down to my own show.

Transforming the Empress Ballroom

Once order descended over the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, away we went. I’m not going to pretend to know which pieces of music were which, but they were certainly all very different. The first piece was what I’d call traditional classical music and I smiled to myself as rabbits and squirrels hopped across the ceiling.

Amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon in Blackpool
Rabbits and squirrels hop across the ceiling of the Empress Ballroom

Next up was my favourite, Adagio for Strings. I recorded all ten minutes of that one, purely for my own pleasure. I doubt I’ll see the BBC Philharmonic play that live again, so it’s one to save for posterity. You’d probably recognise it even if you think you don’t know it. It’s often used on the TV for soundtracks. Hearing it live is quite something, especially played by such an orchestra. I know their performance is legendary but, even at the rehearsal, they were so good, so note perfect. (Why do I sound surprised?) It’s just like listening to a recording where you know the performer’s had no end of chances to re-record things and cynically wonder how many takes it took to get it right.

Amazing Lights

The Light Odyssey bit does create amazing lights around the room. Adagio for Strings, for example, starts as a quiet piece that builds pace and volume. As the music unfurls, the projection show animates the space around it. It’s very clever.

In a faster, louder piece, the geometric lights of the sharper notes bounce around the ceiling in time to the music.

amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon in Blackpool

Of course it wouldn’t be me unless something weird happened. I was thinking how clever it was that one projection made the walls tremble as if in time to the music, when it was actually the workmen drilling next door in the Conference Centre works! So, if you are lucky enough to have tickets for tonight please don’t expect the earth to move – clever, but not that clever!

Another Experience for the Scrapbook

So, I’m sat up here in the dark with my laptop on my knee, typing away while the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra play in front of me. It’s quite a surreal feeling to think I’m silently ‘talking’ to you, telling you a tale about my afternoon out. And here I go again, what an amazing opportunity,  to live and work in a place like Blackpool. I love it!

amazing lights on a Thursday afternoon in Blackpool

And so, my ‘Beside the Seaside’ blog is done and I’m off back out into the sunshine. As I’m ‘on holiday’ this week, I think a pop into one or two shops might be in order. Like you do!

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  1. Is there a video or CD if this event as my photo – ‘Twighlight Across the Wyre Estuary’ is one of the ones selected to be projected, and I would love to see it and hear the music and be able to keep a record of the occasion ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Lesley, your photo will be projected onto the front of the Tower, during the Illuminations. The work projected at Light Odyssey was synchronised light art to the music.

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