We had the honour of being invited to a pre-preview of the new "You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970" exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in collaboration with Sennheiser.
It is an emmersive journey through 5 years of music, culture, film, war and human rights at a time where many different voices and styles where trying to be heard.
The V&A is a beautiful setting by night and if you are in London, or are willing to make a trip there, you will find a collection of some of the most iconic images, styles and music of the late 60s.
Once kitted out with your Sennehsier headphones and active audio guide, you can wander through the 5 areas at your own pace. We found ourselves looking at displays longer than usual, purely for the music that was playing. Walking from zone to zone the tracks change from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, to Martin Luther King interviews, to the Doors. Its difficult to move on once you are listening to a track you like and we found ourselves reading every little plaque in sight, just to hang on to the song!
There is a mixture of 60's Twiggy culture, to a display of classic album covers, to The Beatles and their Sergeant Peppers outfits. They have even got a replica Revolution Records store where you can flick through albums like you are browsing in the shop.
The highlight for me was the Woodstock Area. A large open room, with Astroturf flooring and huge outdoor bean bags where you can lay down and look up at a 30min highlight reel from the legendary Woodstock festival, all displayed on 3 huge projector screens. Adorning the room is one of Kieth Moon's drumkits with Who stickers all over it, as well as some Hendrix and Townsend Guitars, or whats left of them. What makes this area so good is how you can loose yourself for half an hour without even realising. Sennehsier have done a stellar job of making you really feel like you are in the middle of the festival. They call it Ambeo 3D sound, which essentially translates into a constantly moving audio experience. Projections change between the 3 screens and the audio changes with it. Sometimes making you feel you are further away other times closer than you actually are.
It all ends with Jimi Hendrix distorting his way through Star Spangled Banner, yet the film rarely shows him playing it, just his facial expressions and emotion.
When I say it all ends there, the exhibiton does, but the standard walk through the gift shop is still to come! Loads and loads of cool retro prints, vinyl, badges, bags etc.
As a bit of a suprise, Sennheiser also bought along the HE-1 and ff you havent seen it yet you have to!
10 years in the making, it is Sennheisers flagship product. The best way I can expain the HE-1 is "an occasion". You will have a ritual everytime you sit down to listen to these amazing headphones, weather it be a glass of red wine or freshly brewed coffee, the lights will be dimmed (mainly so you can see the 8 Valves glow!) and you will find yourself transported into a sound stage so detailed and open that, a bit like the Woodstock room, you will loose hours just listening.
The HE-1 is a thing of beauty, from the solid block of Carrara marble, to the way the valves and headphone storage open automatically. It is pure theatre but with the sound to back it up. Compare it to the classic Aston Martin DB5, stunning design, and although you wont take it to work everyday, on the occasions you do drive it will be worth every second.
We took some pictures of the event which can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/HarrowAudio/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1215256018526621
And the link to the V&A exhibition can be seen here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/you-say-you-want-a-revolution-records-and-rebels-1966-70