Wednesday, December 13, 2006
A few days ago my husband brought home a Christmas CD. He thought he was buying orchestral music. Well, sort of, in a rocky way. It was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Over the weekend I popped in the CD to listen to it.
One song caught my attention. “Hey,” I know that!” It’s the tune for that totally rad video of flashing Christmas lights that I watched over and over again last year. You all probably saw it somewhere, either on the Internet, or perhaps a little part of it on the Miller Light beer commercial.
Well, my goodness, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s song (“Wizard in Winter”) got me in the mood for watching the video again. Besides, it’s Christmas season. So I went hunting on the Internet. Took me all of about 10 seconds to find it.
Turns out, according to snopes.com, the light show was the work of Carson Williams, an electrical engineer from Mason, Ohio. I always wondered about the guy’s poor neighbors. I mean, I love the music—but every night, over and over again? Turns out Williams put up signs for all the folks who drove to see his display, telling them to tune into a certain low-frequency radio channel to hear the music. The neighbors got to sleep after all.
Williams sequenced 16,000 lights to the music in his 2004 show, and over 25,000 in his 2005 version (at a cost of $10,000). Unfortunately he had to discontinue his display after traffic became so snarled that someone had an accident. Now Williams is showing his display in Heritage Oak Park on Highway 42 from December 2 through 31. Man, I wanna go! Anybody from that area who can tell about it firsthand?
Another of Williams’ displays at his house can be seen here. The music’s not nearly as much fun, though. Give me the TSO any day.