The Pink Floyd Exhibition at the V & A Museum was on the top of our Student Ambassador and Student Bloggers list of places to visit for her Music in London project. Alexandra Jonassen from AVC is studying this Fall in London, England with Southern Californian Foothills Consortium. Currently, she is working on a Music in London project and will be documenting her experiences uncovering musical history, culture and events. She recently visited the British Library where she saw the original lyrics from British icons such as The Beatles and Elton John. This week, she is shifting her attention to Pink Floyd.
Read on to find out what she discovered:
Pink Floyd in the V & A
You don’t typically associate Pink Floyd with the V & A. However, the V & A are currently hosting The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains. Luckily, I managed to snag a ticket!
The V&A is a gorgeous museum. However, the Pink Floyd Exhibition was beautiful in it’s own right. It covered virtually everything the band did since they first formed and consisted of around ten different subsections and rooms. Each section would walk you through a chapter of the bands history and included numerous artifacts from each period. These included posters, instruments, handwritten lyrics, music sheets and interviews with the band members and artists they collaborated with. British telephone booths were also in each room and contained items that represented the time period. In a way, they resembled time capsules.
Get the audio guide
One really impressive aspect of the exhibition was the audio guide system. Every ticket was given a pair of headphones and a box to hang from your neck. When you walked up to a screen, the audio would automatically switch to whatever topic the screen was on. When you walked away from a screen, it would go back to playing amazing riffs and music to fit the theme of each room. This awesome audio system in combination with trippy lasers, disco balls, and psychedelic colors created a very Pink Floyd-esque experience for all to behold.
I felt that each room was dedicated for a particular experience. The actual entry way was a giant black van with a single white line that Pink Floyd first started in! And it opened up in such a way as if it was welcoming you into their world. Animations on giant round screens of some of their signature music videos played throughout. My personal favorite section was the room dedicated to “The Wall” album, which featured the signature colossal wall and blow up character of the Professor from the movie with bomber fighters soaring up ahead. Costumes and masks from those shows were also on display, as well as artwork from one of my favorite artists, Gerald Scarfe, who did the animations for the movie. It was hard to take my eyes off of everything.
The performance zone
For the grand finale of it all, they had the last room be a “Peformance Zone” where we all sat on the floor and stared up at the four panels surrounding us as they projected the band playing the classic “Comfortably Numb”. As numerous purple, red, and blue lasers shone down and across our faces I began to feel extremely grateful for where I was. I was with two great friends that I had just met, in a room full of people appreciating some amazing music, and I was further away from home than I’d ever been before. I will never forget it. It was honestly one of my favorite experiences in London so far. I went with two of my new friends Jona and Virgina and they seemed to love it just as much as I did! It was a perfect tribute to one of the UK’s finest bands.
Alexandra Jonassen is a Student Ambassador and Student Blogger who is studying abroad this Fall on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program in London, England through the Southern California Foothills Consortium.
Follow along with Alexandra’s time study abroad in London on her Instagram: @alexandra.jonassen.