In my younger, nimbler years I would have been all over the idea of a groovy silent disco, but even as a former university student the opportunity never came up. So as an antisocial, cynical 26 year old I was quite anxious about accepting the invitation; I’m not gonna lie, I had an absolute bloody blast!
This of course wasn’t simply a silent disco, oh no, this was Hooked on Music, an experiment devised to find out how “dancible” music from different decades can be and what makes them great tracks to dance to. The experiment comes off the back of the game ‘Hooked On Music’, a challenge which asks you to recognize a number of popular tracks as quickly as possible, sing or mime for 4 seconds and select whether it came back in at the right point. As well as being a fun challenge for all those that play it, the ‘Hooked on Music’ game has been developed in hopes of aiding those who suffer with Alzheimer’s by testing the memory with popular music.
Anyway, we turn up to Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry and we are handed a pair of funky, glowing headphones with 3 different channels. Each channel corresponded to a particular era of music, with blue representing 60s/70s, red played 80s and green offered 90s & chart toppers; it was very rare my headphones were anything other than red. The instructions were simple, switch to whatever channel you want and dance like no one is watching, so after a glass of wine or 2 it’s safe to say everyone in the room was doing exactly that. For anyone that’s never been to a silent disco before, you’ll quickly discover there are 3 stages of Silent Discoing. Stage 1, you’re anxious and feel slightly embarrassed in a half empty room, scared of starting to dance, similarly to being the first one to crack into an open buffet. Stage 2, you swallow your pride, have a drink and gradually get into the swing of things, dancing your heart out and having the time of your life. Finally, there’s stage 3 which really took me by surprise, after an hour or so, you realise that everyone has earphones on, they can’t hear you if you sing at the top of your lungs, and low and behold you remove your headphones to test this theory and you’re deafened by the shrieks of everyone around you, singing loudly without a care in the world. It may have been arranged in the name of science and discovery, but really I think it was just an excuse for people to get drunk on a school night.
A big thank you to the Hooked on Music team and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry for the invitation and the chance to be part of an awesome experiment for an excellent cause. It was terrific fun and something I’ll be part of for as long as they need me, you keep organising these experiments and I’ll keep coming. If you ever see this experiment coming to your town, I cannot urge you enough to just go along, sure Invision is all about gaming and all things butch, but it’s also about having fun, which this event was all about.