London Month of the Dead / Voices of the Ether

I will be taking part in this year's London Month of the Dead. My talk, 'Voices of the Ether' will look at EVP, audio technology and a series of writers - including Iain Sinclair and William Burroughs - who have, in one form and another, attempted to have conversations with the dead. The event will be taking place in a wonderful venue: Brompton Cemetery Chapel. Details below. 


Stone Tapes, Electronic Voices and other Ghosts with James Riley
Saturday 27th October 2018 from 1:00 pm

Shortly after the publication of Lud Heat (1975), his visionary study of London’s Hawksmoor churches, the writer Iain Sinclair was interviewed by the BBC. Recorded in situ, Sinclair discoursed on the city’s resonant energies but upon playback - and much to the consternation of the BBC engineer - the tape contained no trace of their discussion. Instead, the creaking recorder yielded only malevolent sounding grunts and shuffles: unexpected séance noises and ghostly mumbles. 
The episode brings to mind Nigel Kneale’s drama The Stone Tape (1972) in which ghosts are the echoes of past experiences held by their physical surroundings, as well as Konstantin Raudive’s experiments into Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP): the appearance of ‘post-mortal’ voices on tape recordings made in silent rooms. Technical fault, ‘genuine’ visitation or creative embellishment: each of these encounters speaks volumes about the extent to which parapsychologists and artists alike seek to have conversations with the dead.  
Using Sinclair and other writers like William S. Burroughs as spirit guides to London’s haunted history, this talk will discuss EVP and the other ghostly voices that emerge when technology, creativity and the paranormal intersect.  

For tickets and full venue details, please click here

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