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 seance 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.  

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

James Riley
James Riley is Fellow and College Lecturer in English Literature at Girton College, University of Cambridge. He works on modern and contemporary literature, film and counterculture. Recent publications include a volume on British fiction of the 1960s. His next book will be Playback Hex, a study of William Burroughs and the tape recorder. James is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He writes about his research and other matters at the blog Residual Noise.

The Venue - Bromptoon Cemetery