World Tour: New York – The Joshua Light Show

Tonight I was lucky enough to catch The Joshua Light Show’s performance “Fulldome” in the Planetarium at the National History Museum.

Legendary for their liquid lights show , The Joshua Light Show was made famous in the late 60’s and early 70’s as a visual accompaniment to psychedelic bands such as Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix. Joshua White and his team of artists used what White terms “analogue” technologies – reflected liquid images – to create live moving pictures of light exploring ideas of synesthesia.

In this contemporary performance, the light show takes centre stage in this 360 degree experience at the planetarium.  The 50 minute show, is improvised by Joshua White and his group of artists is performed to a soundtrack written specifically for the performance.

In this video Joshua White explains how the show was put together:

A Studio Visit with The Joshua Light Show from Kickstarter on Vimeo.

The result was breathtakingly beautiful- whirling colours and shard of light flew around our heads in time with sound – perhaps this is just the synesthesia at work.   The live performance of this work is a rare chance to experience a piece of lighting history – particularly in the wake of new LED technological craze.  For the most part the images made are done by hand, and you can tell the difference, saturated colours are softer and more varied, the movement more fluid.  Call me old fashioned by there is a definite art to making this kind of show, and there is something particularly magical about seeing people make this images by hand write in front our your eyes.  The added bonus of getting to see a show like this in a space like the planetarium was a chance to completely immerse yourself in colour, light and sound.  The experience of seeing the Joshua Light Show was truly mesmerising and transcendental – even without the aid of hallucinogenics.  I guess it just shows  you just can’t beat those old technologies.

Here is some footage from the concert: