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Crystal Voyagers

27 Nov


The Wire Salon, presented by Mark Pilkington
Crystal Voyagers – A Journey Through The New Age

London Cafe Oto, 6 December 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door only.

Enjoy our New Age video playlist

Off an overgrown path towards the back of a Hampstead churchyard lies a stone slab decorated with a large nine-fold geometric symbol, the enneagram, and a statement that ends:

“…we ever cease to be hereafter
The unreal has no being
The real never ceases to be”

The grave belongs to AR Orage, a pioneering populariser of the early 20th century mystics George Guirdjieff and Peter Ouspensky, and editor from 1907 to 1924 of the weekly progressive journal, The New Age.

At the dawn of the modernist era, Orage’s journal both defined and named a burgeoning global movement that, over the next century, sought to expand minds and change the world via a potent combination of mysticism, self-discovery, humanitarian politics, environmental concerns, and the embrace of technology.


The art and science of ghosts

15 Oct

The wonderful folks at Boing Boing asked me to explain to our friends overseas what all our ‘hauntology’ business is about – apparently it’s ‘catching on’ in the USA.

Rather than a comprehensive guide, which would fill an encyclopedia, I prepared a very partial ghost train ride of connected themes, artifacts and people ranging from MR James to Are You Being Served?

I think it works quite well, the more so for having something of a timeless feel itself: bar one or two references it could have been written any time in the past six years!

As an aside, in discussing the material with American friends, it becomes clear that they didn’t really have a comparable vein of culture, i.e. one that was designed to scare the crap out of kids. More generally of course the nostalgia industry is booming on both sides of the pond via the endless stream of Hollywood remakes and clones, the ‘hypnagogic pop’ movement, retro gaming etc, but really I think that’s just a perpetuation of a state of affairs that’s been with us for decades. Hauntology is… something else.

Anyway, here’s the piece: Hauntologists mine the past for music’s future

London Ghost Conference

15 Oct

Will Fowler of the BFI’s Flipside nights and I will be presenting a cinematic survey of London’s Vampires at The London Ghost Conference on 27 October at the Bishopsgate Institute, organised by Scott Wood of the London Fortean Society. You can read all about it here, or below the break:

London Ghosts Conference
27 October 2012 10.30am-6.00pm
Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH
£20 (plus 10% booking fee.)
Tickets from We Got Tickets


They’re coming!

3 Oct

3.10.12 Circuit Blasting at Jiggling Atoms

26 Sep


3 October, 8-8.30pm – FREE!

The Rag Factory, 16 – 18 Heneage St, London, E1 5LJ

Unsound festival, Krakow

20 Sep

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting a version of my Akashic Records talk at the Unsound Festival in Krakow, Poland, somewhere I’ve never been before!

3pm, Thursday 18 October:

Where Does a Circle End? Magick and pop music in Britain, 1888-1978.

Magic and music are as old as humanity, but organised witchcraft, a British cultural export whose influence has been felt all over the world, is younger than jazz. In this talk, illustrated with images, music and rare recordings, Mark Pilkington, author of Mirage Men and publisher of Strange Attractor Press, explores British occultism’s origins in the bohemian groves of late 19th century London, and charts its impact on popular music and some of its players, from the rock ‘n’ roll years through to the paradigm shift of punk. The emerging stories glow with transcendence, ripple with mystery, honk with absurdity and are all too often shadowed by tragedy.


John Keel on David Letterman!

10 Sep


A rare, characteristically wry TV appearance from fortean author John Keel, via the wonderfully comprehensive John site, run by Doug Skinner and friends. Note the UFO-friendly audience!

Dead When I Got Here

28 Jul

The trailer for a forthcoming film from Mark Aitken, with electronic music by myself.

Dead When I Got Here is a feature documentary about life in a mental asylum run by its own patients in Juárez, Mexico. The story leads to one man realising his most improbable dream.Visit our website for more info on the film and how you can get involved with supporting these amazing people.


Christos Fanaras: Impernanence

24 Jul


Extract from Impermanence, the mesmerising new album by RW pal Christos Fanaras
(and look out for a cameo appearance form another friend of the workshop).

The full album is available via Rough Trade.

The video was produced & directed by Adam B Daniels

Sean Daniels: Director of Photography

James A. Holland: Machine Maker/Co Art Direction:

Azusa Nakagawa: Animation/End Titles

Raagnagrok at Supernormal

22 Jul

Your favourite cosmo-exotic synth ‘n’ sitar duo will be among the many and varied delights at this year’s Supernormal festival. Tickets are an absurdly reasonable £65, and there are musical fireworks, so come join us.