Now I have got my two lanterns working with LED lights, I spent the weekend beginning to catalogue the slides I have recently acquired. It turns out I have hand-painted slides of the Hymn Rock of Ages, very similar to the set which the Salvation Army used in one of Australia’s first outdoor projection in Melbourne in1894; as well as many complete sets of Life Model and Song Slides, such as were frequently used in Australian missions and churches. I’m now thinking of where to go next with my research, I’m currently looking at the reaction of nineteenth century Australian audiences to the lantern through newspaper searches, but there are so many other exciting things to do:
- Commission contemporary artists to make contemporary lantern slides — paintings on glass or anything that can be sandwiched between 82 x 82mm glass!
- Recreate shows using the Song Slide sets and the mp3 transcriptions of the Edison wax cylinders and Columbia records which the Library of Congress have made available on-line
- Recreate shows using the Song Slide sets and Life Model sets with sheet music available from Trove and the recitations available online with performers interested in the genre of melodrama and sentiment
- Build a rig that will allow me to ‘wear’ the smaller lantern as part of a performance (which was a technique developed by the London Polytechnic)
- Collaborate with contemporary performers and musicians