robertisenberg

Egypt: 2

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Much to my surprise, Kylan’s mother wanted to visit the pyramids the first day — that is, at night. As it turns out, the archaeological site is active at all hours, thanks to the little-known Giza Pyramids Sound & Light Show.

At first I expected some kind of Pink Floyd train-wreck, with the cartoonish outlines of rockstars jamming out against 4,000-year-old masonry. Nothing seemed more insulting to Khufu than to cast his colossal gravestone in neon and project the face of Roger Waters. The lunatic would most certainly be on the grass.

The Giza Pyramids Sound & Light Show was nothing like this, of course. Rather, it was a dramatization of the pharaohs’ lives, as performed by a range of famous British actors, including Alec Guinness. The show was composed in the early 1960’s and is considered the first “son et lumière” production in Africa. How’s that for a distinction?

The show was interesting enough, a kind of radio-drama with sword-and-sandal music thrown in. It had the same tone as Jecques Cousteau documentaries, with the slow, jazzy atmosphere and very sincere acting. The colored pageantry made me smirk, but Kylan’s mother was riveted. Pyramids, triple-check.

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