Archive by Author


25 May




Baron & Raagnagrok 9.6.12

23 May

A beautiful poster by Baron’s Alex Crispin, for the forthcoming Baron/Raagnagrok gig at Night of the Long Swords 8th Anniversary party.

It’s free, you will want to be there!


The Magician at Brighton Fringe

21 May

As part of the Brighton Fringe Festival, come see The Magician, Rex Ingram’s rarely-seen 1926 silent film so shocking that Aleister Crowley tried to ban it* – a ripping yarn of sorcery and seduction starring the mesmerising Paul Wegener as lecherous occultist Oliver Haddo.

With an introduction by Gary Lachman, and a live soundtrack by the fabulous Ragged Ragtime Band, featuring members of Blondie, Indigo Octagon, Raagnagrok and Time.

* Historical note: OK, this isn’t strictly the case, but it’s sort of true in a round about way…

Click here or below for booking details:

Sanosex & the mysteries of the M.M.

11 May

A couple of images from the intriguing Bob Richel Collection at the wonderful Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Kernow.

Richel lived in Amsterdam, and according to the Museum was a humble man with a big smile and a passion for the occult and ritual magic.

Richel’s collection came via his father-in-law, a Mr Eldermans, head of a sex magickal org called the ‘Ars Amatoria’, or A.A. This may or may not have been related to Aleister Crowley’s order the A.A., which depending on who you talk to, may or may not have stood for Argenteum Astrum, the Silver Star. There may have been some overlap between the two orders, while both Richel and Eldermans were involved with another group, the M.M., about which nothing much is known.

Much of the Eldermans collection was destroyed before Richel could save it and unfortunately the index was burnt.

You can also buy a beautiful – and justly, fabulously expensive – book of some of the Richel-Eldermans images, The Occult Reliquary, assembled by Daniel Schulke and Three Hands Press – here’s a glimpse.


The Hills Are Alive

8 May

An extended interview with Paul Devereux and Jon Wozencroft about their Landscape & Perception project , for the Bite in The Wire 339. 

The tiny village of Maenclochog in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is an unassuming place, but its name, and its folklore, provide clues to the remarkable landscape that it inhabits. It’s said that alongside Ffynnon Fair, a nearby holy well, were rocks that rang like bells and these may have given the town its name: maen (stone) and clochog (bells). The rocks, the story goes, were broken up by locals who thought that their hollow tones suggested treasure, and in a way they were right.

North east of here atop the Preseli Hills is Carn Menyn, a ridge of dolerite, known as Preseli Bluestone, which forms the basis for neolithic tools found all over the UK. It’s thought that 80 large bluestones from the region once made up two concentric rings of Stonehenge, 200 miles to the east.

Around Carn Menyn are flat, fallen stones – like huge xylophones or, more correctly, lithophones. Grab a smaller rock and start banging on the larger ones and you will discover that these stones, and many others in the area, ring with rich, resonant tones that sound startlingly musical to modern ears. One has to wonder what ears 4300 years ago would have made of them.

It’s a question we can probably never answer, but clues can be found at Landscape And Perception, launched in March of this year by Touch founder and Royal College of Art tutor Jon Wozencroft, and Paul Devereux, author, researcher and editor of archaeological journal Time And Mind. Devereux is a longtime champion of archaeo-acoustics, the study of sound at ancient sites, as part of a wider mission to explore the archaeology of mind. Wozencroft first heard of Devereux’s work in the early 1980s via Chris Watson and Andrew McKenzie of the Hafler Trio, but they wouldn’t meet until 2006. The website is the result of that encounter.

Full interview here


Brains on Film: Wellcome 19 May

6 May


At 5.30pm this coming Saturday 19 May I’ll be joining Fernando Vidal of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science to discuss Braaaaiiiins onnnnn Filllllllmmmmm, following a free screening of the pulsating-killer-brain-in-a-fishtank classic, Donovan’s Brain (1953) at the Wellcome Collection.

Amongst other things we’ll be discussing mind control technologies, transplant memories, telepathy, head-swapping, the seat of the soul and whether a brain in a jar can really smoke $2 cigars.

Earlier that afternoon the good folk at the Wellcome are showing Joel Berlinger’s Gray Matter, a powerful documentary about the brains of children operated upon by Nazi eugenicists.

15.00: Gray Matter (2004) with discussion with Marius Kwint

17.30: Donovan’s Brain (1953) with Fernando Vidal and Mark Pilkington

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE

Both events are free though tickets can only be picked up on the door on a first-come first-served basis. More info here.

Meanwhile, here’s another brain in a jar that you might enjoy…




Genesis (Ron Hayes, 1981)

27 Apr

Deftly riding the membrane between bathos and transcendence, a beautiful video feedback and computer animation film by Ron Hays with an instant classic synth score by Ragnar Grippe.

Ron Hays worked with Nam June Paik’s video Synthesizer and produced some amazing (and often supremely cheesy) music videos and animations in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but sadly died of AIDS in 1991.

Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe’s web site reveals a rich musical career incorporating film scores, choreography and electronic music, as well as this great photo of him at the controls with a monster Moog modular behind him.

Thanks to Rose Kallal for the tipoff.

‘Implicate Explicate’ / Rose Kallal

17 Apr

Multiple 16mm film installation by Rose kallal.
Sound by Rose Kallal & Mark Pilkington using modular synthesizers.
Exhibition and performance at The Hidden Noise project space in Glasgow, UK March 23 – April 14 2012.

Mirage Men film trailer

10 Apr


Here’s the first trailer for  Mirage Men the Motion Picture, created by mine and John Lundberg’s new partners on the project, Roland Denning and Kypros Kyprianou.

Huge thanks are due to both of them for their amazing work.The music extracts are by Earth (‘Mirage’ from Hex or Printing in the Infernal Method) and Cyclobe (‘You’re not alone, you’re dreaming’ from Luminous Darkness), and are used with permission.

Thanks to Roland and Kyp, the film is well on its way to completion now, and we’ll have more news, clips and information about preview screenings over the coming months.


Gef takes to the airwaves

9 Apr

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Researcher Chris Josiffe talks to Mark Pilkington about the strange tale of Gef, the talking mongoose (pictured below) of Cashen Gap on the Isle of Man (above) – a mischievous creature, imp or spirit that moved in with the Irving family in 1931. His antics made him, and them, internationally famous and created an enduring mystery that remains a classic in the annals of forteana.

This programme was originally broadcast as part of the series Strange Attractor on Air, on Resonance 104.4 FM in November 2010.

[Here's a direct link to the page.]

And as a bonus, here’s Brian Catling and Tony Grisoni’s brilliant Vanished: A Video Seance (1999), a bold, dramatised retelling of Gef’s story by the spirits of the Irvings themselves: