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October 14th, 2006

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01:16 am - This is, of course, impossible.
I should probably be in bed.

Well, actually, I am in bed, but I mean, I should probably be asleep. I just turned down attending a party on the grounds that I have a headache, and though it's not getting any worse, staying awake is probably not helping. But here I am, typing a livejournal post and watching a movie. Feng Shui and sleep experts will tell you that it's a bad idea to use your bed for anything other than sleep and sex, so I'm probably tangling my chi and throwing off my circadian rhythm. Oh, well.

This has been a pretty good evening otherwise, though. I hung out with fuzzyinthehead and had dinner with her at Monty's Blue Plate Diner. My sister was working, so I got to prove to Liz that she actually exists. This has been a matter of some dispute among some of my friends for some time.

Anyway, the relaxing, semi-social evening is exactly what I needed. The last few days have been ridiculously busy at work, mostly because I'm covering for people who are out and I'm training on somebody else's duties so I can cover for her when she's out the day after Thanksgiving. As far as I can tell, her job entails doing nothing and making it take eight hours. If I hadn't been able to listen to the copies I'd just obtained of the original LP version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I'd have gone nuts.

Speaking of which: it's not very well-known, but after the first series (the first six episodes) of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were broadcast over BBC radio, the scripts were cleaned up and they were rerecorded and released on LP. These versions have never seen a CD release, which is a shame because they contain material not available in any other version. They're better produced than the radio broadcast, and contain a lot of original background music. When I was about ten years old, a friend of my parents loaned me a tape of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe copied from the record.

I bring all of this up because there's a piece of music that plays in the background of one of the Guide's narrations. If you're familiar with the book, it's the description of Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It's a gorgeous piece of music, and it's not available anywhere but on the LP. I've always been disappointed that it's covered by narration. Anyway, I got ambitious during my last hour or so of work, and threw together my own version, which I'm really happy with. Check it out:

Milliways.mp3 (1.99MB)

And, if anyone's not familiar with the Restaurant, here's the text of the original narration:
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most extraordinary ventures in the history of catering.

A vast time-bubble has been projected into the future to the precise moment of the end of the universe. This is, of course, impossible.

In it, guests take their places at the table and eat sumptuous meals and drinks whilst watching the whole of creation explode about them. This is, of course, impossible.

You can arrive for any sitting you like without prior reservation because you can book retrospectively, as it were, when you return to your own time. This is, of course, impossible.

At the restaurant you can meet and dine with a fascinating cross-section of the entire population of space and time. This is, of course, impossible.

You can visit it as many times as you like and be sure of never meeting yourself, because of the embarrassment that usually causes. This is, of course, impossible.

All you have to do is deposit one penny in a savings account in your own era, and when you arrive at the end of time, the operation of compound interest means that the fabulous cost of your meal has been paid for. This is, of course, impossible, which is why the advertising executives of the star system of Bastablon came up with this slogan:

"If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Millyways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe!"

Current Mood: soresore (but not unhappy)
Current Music: House II: The Second Story

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2006 06:29 am (UTC)
Wow, that is a gorgeous piece of music. It also times perfectly with reading the text you posted. Thanks for recreating it.

I knew of the LP version of the Hitchhikers Guide from Douglas Adams' introduction to the omnibus you gave me some years ago. I'd love to hear them; perhaps I could bribe you with an invitation to lunch some time?
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)
I figured that if anyone would enjoy this, it would be you. It's a nice little piece of music, and it wasn't until I decided to recreate it that I thought about how well it times with the text. The House on the Borderland has made me acutely aware of how difficult it is to do that.

I'll have to take you up on that invitation. Did you get the bittorrent links I e-mailed you? The LPs are in one of the files I linked to there. They're not of the best quality (96kbps), but they're as good as we're likely to get any time soon.
[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
I liked that. You are the best Arthur.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC)
Why thank you!
[User Picture]
Date:October 16th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
She's right! And could you e-mail me those links too, Colin? I've been DYING to get electronic versions of these audio files! What we did was AWESOME, and the fact that we had sound effects made our version REALLY cool, but as they say, there's no messing with the original.

I actually also remember this piece! It is true, and I even bungled reading it in time trying manage an appropriation in the semblance of an attempt at trying to shoot for a Brittish accent (ah, an homage to one of my very few lines in our project, LOL) :D It's FANTASTIC!

Send me those torrent links, I'd love to have ALL of these on file!
[User Picture]
Date:October 16th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
Ah, I'd forgotten that you were also one of the ones who heard that version of the radio show... Luckily for you, I made a post a couple of days ago for Jim which contained bittorrent links for the files in question. I've changed the filter on it so that you can read it too. Here's a link to my post.

What I've linked is actually two things, and I think you should check them both out. One of them is the LPs which you've heard part of. It's not a huge file (108 megs), but it's not well-seeded so it took a few days to get.

The other one is much bigger (951 megs), and contains the original radio series as well as three new radio series done in '03 and '04 based on the rest of the books. It's great, they got back most of the original cast. I'm also under the impression (correct me if I'm wrong) that you never read the books (or at least, not all of them), and these are a good, easy way to familiarize yourself with the whole story.
Garmonbozia for the soul.

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