The Musical Instrument Museum, affectionately known as MIM, in Phoenix, Arizona, depicts musical genres and displays 6,000 musical instruments from 200 of the world’s countries and territories.
As you stroll from one country to another, the music in your headsets magically changes to match the exhibit before you. With the music in quality stereo, musical instruments on display, and live performances flashing on high-resolution flat screens, you are immersed in one culture after another – from a symphony in Russia to flamenco in Spain, clapping and singing in Angola to bell ringing in South Korea and mariachi in Mexico.
In the Artist Gallery, you can reminisce over the songs, costumes, and instruments of musical icons like John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and Dwayne Eddy. Or wander into the adjoining room and experience one of the huge Chinese drums that opened the 2008 Olympics in Beijing – by not only seeing it, hearing it, but feeling the vibrations of the exuberant rhythms.
In the Mechanical Musical Gallery, self-playing instruments line the walls and fill display cases. Music boxes. Musical dolls. Player pianos. A towering 25-foot long, 680-pipe, 1926 Apollonia dance organ comes to life at the push of a button to imitate the movements of living musicians. Lights flash, cymbals clang, a saxophone wails, drums thump, a xylophone bongs, and organ pipes twitter to the notes of Hello Dolly and Alexander’s Rag Time Band.
The Experience Gallery is a hands-on happening. Drums of all shapes and sizes, harps, ukuleles, gongs, and tambourines are there for the playing. The waving of a hand through the air between the two projected electrodes of a theremin creates the eerie, hauntingly sweet sound reminiscent of early motion pictures. With visitors wandering in and out, the Experience Gallery constantly offers a concerto of disjointed musical enthusiasm. Pick your instrument and join in.
Landscaping around MIM reflects the beauty of the Arizona desert. The smooth, wind-swept rocks of a dry riverbed, varying shapes and shades of cacti. In contrast, most backyards in Phoenix grow a lemon tree or two. The pleasure of this lemon pie recipe is in the natural tartness. Be ready to pucker up – as if playing a trumpet.
Pucker Up Arizona Lemon Pie
(Makes 6 to 8 servings)
1 large lemon
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) white sugar
1 pie shell
Wash the lemon, trim the ends, and remove the seeds.
Cut the lemon into chunks and place them in a blender.
Soften the butter. Add the butter, eggs, and sugar to the lemon in the blender.
Pulse or blend until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the mixture into the pie shell.
Bake at 350 ° F (176° C) for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Allow the pie to cool. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or other whipped topping.