You know a blog entry will be interesting when it starts off with an atheist, an agnostic, and the daughter of an ex-nun rolling up into a Catholic National Shrine parking lot. That was yesterday’s scene– about 15 minutes into Missouri at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, following lunch at my favorite pizza restaurant.
In truth, we’d been driving rather aimlessly when we ended up in Perryville. I recognized it from another aimless drive taken a few years prior, this being the home of the “freaky light room,” which I later learned was properly called a “votive light sanctuary.”
Basically, it’s a room adjunct the Saint Mary’s of the Barrens Church, at the National Shrine. Inside, along the walls of the darkened chamber, are racks and racks of flickering electronic lights. It’s rather like something you’d find in an old sci-fi movie, just before the hapless explorer is forcibly strapped to an operating table. Being the rational person that I am, I naturally assumed I had stumbled upon the “brains” of the operation, and made myself scarce so as not to be found out.
Still, the chance to check out the otherwise-beautiful shrine (and pipe organ!) was pretty cool. That’s why when we happened upon Perryville again yesterday that I suggested checking the “freaky light room” out again– partly to assure myself that it was still as strange as I remembered, and partly to get some video of it now that I knew it was nothing more than a cheap modern-day substitute for having 100,000 burning candles.
As a side note: what a shuck! For $10, the folks at the Shrine will turn on a small LED for you, as a “silent sentinel” representing your intentions at the shrine. For the next 60 days, your LED will be on, until the next installment is due, or Big Miracles Happen. I need to get one of these sanctuaries going in my shed out back– if you order now, I’ll turn on two LEDs for you, and you can badger the god of your choice for as long as you want– just slip me a twenty.
Seriously, I can’t fathom how people fall for this.
But I digress. The point is that the “votive light/vanishing money pit” has a great, droning sound. Credit seems due partly to the machinery controlling the light racks, and partly to the domed ceiling, which disperses the subtle click and hum into the highly-reflective walls and floor.
You’ll notice that the video is rather dark. I assure you that this is due to no trickery on my part– I just shot it a little later in the day, and the room is fairly dark already. 100,000 LEDs just don’t give off that much light!
Upon returning home, I finally signed up for a YouTube account so I could share this with you all. Hopefully, it will be the first of many interesting sound-related videos I’ll be able to post– and be sure to leave a comment or a friend add so I know you’ve been around to see me! Without further ado, here’s my video: