Theremins, Boomwhackers and Internet Radio, Oh My!

This Saturday, Nov. 5 is Night at the Museums in Golden. From 5 – 8 p.m., folks can visit museums in town for free. Golden History Museums will be participating and presenting some unique experiences to correspond with the Turn it Up!: Golden’s Musical Memories exhibit. Here’s a quick run-down of what you can do at the Golden History Center (GHC) and the Astor House Museum (AHM) tomorrow night.

Build your own theremin and play our boomwhackers
The theremin is a unique instrument that can sound like a DJ scratching a record, a violin or a bass. One of the first entirely electronic instruments, it isn’t actually touched when it’s played. Instead, theremins use antennas and hand movement at varying intervals to control the sound. While we won’t have a full-sized theremin here for you to play, we will have all the wires, speakers and sensors for you to build a small theremin to try out.

Jessica brought in a prototype she made to a staff meeting earlier this week. All of us were immediately intrigued and started messing around with it (to Jessica’s consternation). I can attest that it is lots of fun to experiment with these mini-theremins. Young and old alike will have fun with these. We even found an interesting tie to Colorado with the theremin. One of the most famous psychedelic rock bands from the 1960s, Lothar and the Hand People, formed in Denver in 1965 and featured the theremin as a key instrument to create their ethereal music.

Another way to make your own musical memories tomorrow night will be with our boomwhackers. These fun plastic tubes are pitched to a specific note. To play them you just whack them on the ground. They are colorful and great for young kids, in particular.

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Internet Radio Comes to GHC
Research and collections guru Mark Dodge brought the long history of radio broadcasting at Colorado School of Mines (CSM) to light for us a few months ago. We thought it would be fun to connect the history of the radio station at CSM to their current internet radio station. So tomorrow night we’ll have some CSM disc jockeys here to broadcast live from the GHC. We’re excited to welcome these fine college students to showcase their broadcasting talents from the museum.

Fun crafts and activities at AHM
The Astor House will get into the Night at the Museums action by featuring some interactive Victorian parlor games. Kids can also try rolling out “dough” and cutting cookies. We’ll also have some warm cider to keep you going on what is sure to be a cool evening.

Be sure to check out the other museums in town as well. The American Mountaineering Museum, the Foothills Art Center, the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, the CSM Geology Museum and Coors Brewery Tours will all be free and most of the sites will be offering special activities. Please join us this Saturday for a great Night at the Museums in Golden!