PARC CD1 - The Ghost Orchid: an Introduction to EVP

Released: 1999

CD, 79 tracks, 63:36
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The Parapsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative [PARC], in association with, Ash International [R.I.P.] is proud to present the first ever fully comprehensive investigation into the paranormal phenomenon of EVP, otherwise known as Electronic Voice Phenomena. Without a doubt EVP falls into the category of the paranormal alongside other unexplained mysteries such as ufology, life after death, & poltergeist activity. But here for first time actual EVP recordings have been digitally remastered and presented with a comprehensive look at their possible origin. The listener is guided through a collection of strange and mysterious voices that have appeared without explanation onto the tapes of EVP researchers. Included with the cd is a 24 page booklet containing commissioned articles which cover the conflicting views surrounding the EVP. Actual voice samples are reproduced here for the first time on compact disc - Polyglot Voices &emdash; PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING INTERRUPTIONS &emdash; SINGING VOICES - - Instant Response Voices and the extraordinary ALIEN VOICES. The CD also includes a commentary by the artist Leif Elggren, archive material described below and recordings of the work of Raymond Cass, England's leading EVP researcher, and original member of the Fortean Group. This CD release seeks to present the evidence and the arguments - not to judge; are the voices extraterrestrial, paranormal evidence of our telepathic powers or an elaborate hoax perpetrated by sinister and powerful groups to mislead us from their true aims...?

CD Track Listing

Introduction and Commentary by Leif Elggren 1 Introduction 2 Raymond Cass Polyglot Voices 3-10 PSB Interrupt 11-21 Singing Voices 22-29 Instant Response Voices 30-42 Alien Voices 43-73 NEW RESEARCH 74 Commentary 75 New Techniques and Interpretations: A Preliminary Report on a Scientific Investigation of EVP by Johannes Hagel (CERN, Geneva) & Margot Tschapke (Cologne); with additional comment by JŸrgen Heinzerling ARCHIVE 76-78 Breakthrough - the original 7" vinyl from Raudive's 1971 book of the same name is reproduced here on CD for the first time 79 Conclusion.

Compiled, edited & produced by Justin Chatburn & MSCHarding. Mastered by Denis Blackham @ Country Masters Booklet Contents Photos, images and articles, including 'An Introduction to EVP' by MSCHarding [reproduced opposite]; 'Aliens on the Waveband' by Raymond Cass, England's leading EVP researcher; 'Rorschach Audio' by Joe Banks (Disinformation); 'EVP - Ghosts or Virtual Personalities?' by Jürgen Heinzerling, a German EVP researcher, and 'New Techniques & Interpretations' by Margot Tschapke and Johannes Hägel, who works at CERN in Geneva. The booklet also contains a guide to further research, reading and listening.

Reviews:

The Wire (UK):

Compiled, edited and produced by Justin Chatburn and Ash International's Mike Harding, this massive tape archive, property of an organisation called the Parapsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative, is designed to bring the curious up to speed on the weird and vexing issue of ghost voices, disembodied speech and alien verbal communication. Using a high frequency radio receiver, some simple recording equipment and enough patient determination, it is possible to get in touch with a plethora of mysterious entities who, in time, will not only speak directly to you but also offer oblique, sometimes threatening comments about your current circumstances. Whether benign or just plain evil, these beings have exercised the minds and patience of several researchers over the years, most notably Constantine (sic) Raudive, whose 7" vinyl recording of spirit messages from the likes of Spanishphilosopher Ortega Y Gasset and Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky was originally released in 1971 and is now available for the first time here in digital form. Most of this amazing collection, however, is derived from the painstaking efforts of Raymond Cass, who has managed, over the years, to coax from the ether such dense spectral patter as "Put it on ice and I'll mend your feet" and "Elvis" and "Not enough there to copy". The polyglot wordplay as the mysterious voices switch from English to German, Latvian and Russian during a single utterance has a raw phonetic appeal, however puzzling their origins might be. Are they speaking from beyond the grave, the far reaches of the galaxy or some cosmic dimension as yet undiscovered on this fleshly plain? Who can say? But it sure is fun to listen to. [Ken Hollings]

Aquarius (USA):

THE GHOST ORCHID "An Introduction to EVP" (Ash International R.I.P.) 14.98 Essentially, The Conet Project From Beyond The Grave!! Huh? Peter Becker, who used to work for Asphodel (R.I.P.), has presented an interesting theory that The Conet Project (the awesome 4 cd documentation of shortwave radio "numbers stations") was nothing more than an elaborate hoax. While we think that he's mistaken and that plenty of evidence points to the validity of The Conet Project, here is a far more questionable recording, because you've got to believe in ghosts rather than a more corporeal conspiracy... The Ghost Orchid documents instances of something called "Electronic Voice Phenomenon", the paranormal appearance of strange voices (which at times sing and speak in multiple languages) on magnetic tape when there shouldn't be any voices there at all... Respected parapsychologists have postulated that these voices are those of dead people (i.e. ghosts) or possibly of extraterrestrial origin! Unlike The Conet Project, which cross referenced the audio tracks with written information, The Ghost Orchid presents these recordings with the audio commentary of one of several researchers (Nadia Fowler, Raymond Cass, and Lief Elggren - the Swedish performance/audio artist and a part time collaborator with the Hafler Trio), explaining the findings. These recordings are the findings of a number of parapsychologists including Dr. Konstantine Raudive, Friedrich Jürgenson, and Raymond Cass. While there is something wholly terrifying about these recordings, there is an absurd question about these ghostly voices that we have to ask...Why are the majority of these recordings in Latvian? Our resident Latvian, Byram, is unable to answer this question...but perhaps we will hear from him in the afterlife...at any rate, The Ghost Orchid manages to be both spooky and silly, and is definitely a fascinating listen from a pure sound perspective regardless of how disturbing and/or amusing you might find the alleged sound source itself...you might laugh at the voice of "Winston Churchill", for instance, spouting nonsense from the netherworld, but it's still a gripping, dark sound document. A word of caution, Jim's copy of this cd disappeared from its case on the Aquarius counter-top at 6:35PM on 5/8/99 and reappeared in puddle of ectoplasmic goo at 3:20 PM on 5/9/99. Haunting. The Fortean Times (UK): A comprehensive collection of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) recordings, as detailed by Jürgen Heinzerling in FT 104. It features over 70 recordings, including the rare disc given away with Dr. Konstantin Raudive's seminal 1971 book, Breakthrough. With detailed liner notes explaining the theory and practice of EVP recording, this is a fantastic piece of work, guaranteed to give even the most sceptical listeners the shivers. and EVP - stray radio transmissions, unconscious telepathic signals from the experimenters' own minds, CB messages from the dead or, as J Banks names it in the accompanying booklet, Rorschach Audio? This is the first ever CD of EVP recordings, and, together with a booklet outlining its research history, some theories of explanation, personal experiences and recent developments in the field, it's an impressive package. Most of the material was recorded by Raymond Cass, who combined his interests in psychic research and audio technology to produce some extremely clear examples, including polyglot and singing voices, and what he considers to be communications from an alien intelligence. Also included is the complete recording of the rare 7" given away with Konsantin Raudive's 1971 book, Breakthrough. This well-produced, almost too comprehensive collection won't necessarily make your mind up for you, but you're unlikely to find a better documentation of one of the more peculiar fields of fortean research. 3/4 A must for EVP buffs, great for sampling too. [Mark Pilkington]

Bizarre (UK):

Ash International continues its important mission to give the world unique audio recordings with this fascinating co-operation with PARC - the Parapsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative. EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena and refers to voices of unknown origin which are heard through electrical media such as TVs and telephones. The CD provides detailed introductions which describe the work of leading researchers in the early days of EVP, Swede Friedrich Jurgenson, who made the first recordings and presents research conducted by Raymond Cass, who is perhaps the most experienced and prolific recordist alive. In the reliable hands of Ash International, the subject is presented with all possible interpretations of the phenomena represented and many different types of voice archived. [Mark Blacklock]

and EVP is a strange one. That researchers and recordists have captured on tape strange voices emanating from electronic media is indisputable. The point is, where do they come from? The brainchild of two members of PARC, Justin Chatburn and Sam Ayres, and produced in association with Ash International [R.I.P.], The Ghost Orchid represents the first digitally remastered collection of EVP recordings and a 24 page booklet containing articles discussing various possible sources for the voices. The voices, the voices!

VITAL (Netherlands):

The recordings on this CD concern a subject I first heard about more than several years ago, but which I paid little attention to. Examples of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) recordings have been included in recordings by (apparently) The Corpsefucker, (possibly) The Hafler Trio and (maybe) Z iggy Karkowski, amongst others. This release is the first digital audio document of the strange phenomenon which interestingly enough was predicted by Thomas Edison, who once suggested that the spirit world would respond to the discovery of radio by using it as a means to communicate with the living. Electronic Voice Phenomena are weird and mysterious, apparently paranormal events of unknown origin which can often be heard on various types of electronic apparati and which are frequently assumed to be simple forms of radio interference. Intensive research and investigation which began in the fifties (when assumptions that they were enemy propaganda were nullified by the Allied victory) has revealed that this is quite possibly an actual, recurring system of interdimensional communication. Comprehensive cataloging was started in the Sixties by a Dr. Konstantin Raudive, who also made some of these recordings available on a 7" record together with a book titled 'Breakthrough' in 1971. (These tracks are included on this CD, by the way.) Indeed, Dr. Raudive was so absorbed by the phenomena that he started to communicate with investigators after his own death. Some suggest that the voices have a satanic or demonic origin (like my current fave rave Britney Spears, I suppose!), others postulate that they are extraterrestrial attempts at communication, or that they may in fact be projections from within the researcher hermself. Additional information may be gleaned from the website produced by the Spiricom organisation which can be checked out @ http://www.metascience.com. The voices take on diverse forms; they may appear to be speaking in tongues (polyglot), singing or making public service announcements, they interrupt standard (human) radio broadcasts, can call on by name, and speak directly to, researchers (and most likely people to busy to notice they are being addressed by the voice of weirdness). They may make themselves heard over telephones, probably during television broadcasts and as anomalous interference on tape recordings. Some of them seem to enjoy engaging in dialogue, answering questions or willingly supply secret, or very specific personal information, no doubt as an indication of their greater sight. Of course, as with all paranormal 'sciences' there are those investigators (or 'investigators'), who are so keen on finding evidence to support the validity of their chosen field that they will impose meaning on what might otherwise be a mere cloud, albeit oddly shaped. Some of the interpretations of the recordings here do seem to probe a little too deeply into the bowels of FAR to my liking, but the fact that they are included makes this a more balanced document. Joe Banks, AKA Disinformation, who contributed one of the several excellent expositions included in the CD booklet, notes this human inclination to 'project' meaning onto otherwise innocent phenomena, in an attempt to either simplify them even further, or to make them appear (more) mysterious than they may already (appear to) be. The human imagination will try to impose meaning on configurations of sounds, in this case, and of course each individual will usually use his/her own language as the basis for interpretation. If no sense can be made of what we perceive, then some form of auxiliary hypothesis will be (invented and/or) introduced to support the eventual conclusion. The wilder the territory that unfolds before us, the stranger the language that we use to attempt to describe it becomes. Even conventional, stuffy science has been reduced to poetic terminology to articulate the infinitesimal and abstract worlds within worlds that it seems to unearth. Undoubtedly, the hero of this release is Raymond Cass, who has devoted a great deal of his time to researching this phenomena. He first became interested in EVP when a male voice suddenly called his name over a primitive radio which was switched off at the time. An investigation of his genealogy revealed that he had psychic ancestors, one of whom was persecuted for her paranormal abilities in 1773, and another who could levitate a table with three men sitting on top it. Raymond Cass seems to favour the ET scenario, suggesting that fragmented communications might be being directed at selected individuals over a long period of time, possibly from extraterrestrial monitoring and relay stations positioned somewhere in our solar system. The fragmented nature of these messages keep the recipients finely tuned and simultaneously ensure that they conduct their own research in order to corroborate their observations and conclusions. He also suggests, however, that 'the voices may be a mutant development of the subconscious mind, or a transient byproduct of the electromagnetic pollution which now rings our planet'. Cass was one of the first to record examples of the disputed polyglot voices, which construct phrases and sentences from several different languages, examples and interpretations of which occur on this CD. One of the problems pointed out by Joe Banks with regard to this particular aspect of the phenomenon of EVP is that 'we are asked to accept that the entities have the intellect to acquire a grasp of many languages, while having lost the ability to speak grammatically or confine themselves to proper words'. Additionally, he observes that it is conventional when compiling EVP demonstration tapes to reinforce the process of projection by first having the narrator announce the meanings before playing the examples. The human mind HAS to fill in the blanks, or else it would, to put it plainly, go completely bonkers and the mysterious voices which we might hear through our radios or telephones will start to resound inside our own craniums, and there are quite simply not enough lamp posts around for us all to have one to talk to. It remains to be said that the phenomenon has been considered serious enough to have not only been assessed by various paranormal groups, but also to have come under scrutiny by Defense Ministeries on both sides of the Atlantic and no doubt by their counterparts in the (former) East bloc too. I welcome the release of this CD, it is amazingly informative, containing 79 tracks in all (with ringmaster Leif Elggren unravelling the thread as we proceed) plus, as I mentioned earlier some highly intelligent essays on the subject. It is most certainly a valuable addition to this field of research, and, dare I say it without appearing to be flippant, a source of some of the most beautiful textural samples I have heard for a long time. I cannot make up my own mind about the phenomenon of EVP itself, but I know that this audio document will be a thing to treasure and listen to from time to time, just to tantalize and encourage my human desire for the all-too sweet, and eternally uncharted terra incognita which may possibly be waiting just beyond the gate. (Mark Poysden)

Motion (UK):

EVP is Electronic Voice Phenomena, a curious, somewhat disturbing audio occurrence observed as early as the '30s by military radiomen and later investigated and catalogued by Swedish film-maker/spiritualist Friedrich Jürgensen (in the '50s) and by Latvian parapsychologist Dr. Konstantin Raudive. The Ghost Orchid completes (in digital form) the documentary efforts of Raymond Cass, an English paranormal hobbyist who devoted himself to a study of the EVP mysteries detailed in Raudive's definitive 1971 volume, Breakthrough. EVP describes unidentifiable but coherent speech-like sounds of unknown origin that "break through" during radio transmissions. The numerous classic examples presented on this necessarily narration-heavy disc (courtesy of Cass' home-recordings and The Ghost Orchid compiler Leif Elggren) tend to be garbled, unintelligible bursts of interference and singsong or pan-lingual nonsense. But there are enough chillingly clear pronouncements ("We Originate On A Planet"), cryptic fragments ("So Strange I Remember You"), and ominously prophetic warnings ("Carefully With Nerve Gas") to silence the skeptics. Elggren has previously dabbled with paranormal sound, most notably in his intriguing "Speaking To A Dead Queen" and Experimenting With Dreams/Zzz· investigations. Like those projects, The Ghost Orchid maintains a scientific distance, drawing no conclusions but simply offering samples of EVP for the listeners' consideration÷each repeated thrice, as per the traditional presentation. Are these the voices of the dead, as some of the more eerily subjective examples might suggest? Are they proof of alien intelligence or of covert military activity akin to the infamous "numbers stations" chronicled by Irdial's CONET discs? Are they nothing more exotic than stray wireless transmissions? Or is EVP merely a freely interpretable fluke, another vagary eagerly seized upon by those desperate to believe? There is something going on here; that much is undeniable. The samples proffered by Raudive on Breakthrough's accompanying seven-inch, both sides of which are included here, are especially cogent. The crude, unearthly, but definitely human voices heard on these tracks, often responding directly to the investigators' questions in words and idiomatic expressions typical of deceased colleagues, make the strongest case for EVP's supernatural origins. The Ghost Orchid's selective sampling leaves too many questions÷most notably the Euro-centric linguistic leanings of the EVP voices÷but is, as its subtitle claims, a satisfying "introduction" to the phenomenon. Frustratingly, EVP remains unexplained, despite the advances in audio technology and scientific understanding. And, as a document, The Ghost Orchid adds little to the sum of EVP knowledge. But Ash International (surely the most active "dead" label ever, no?) does a fine job of keeping this little-discussed 20th Century mystery alive. [ggg]

The Philadelphia Weekly (USA):

Various Poltergeists and Scientists The Ghost Orchid: An Introduction to EVP ASH INTERNATIONAL RIP A ghost is essentially an unknown influence on behavior -- or rather, a recognized object whose influence isn't recognized. Television sets are ghosts, and so is your belief that the girl sitting next to you would sleep with you if she could ever really get to know you. The Ghost Orchid claims to be real live recordings of poltergeists, originating out of a 7-inch released in the early-'70s. It sounds like tape loops of shortwave radio -- DJs will be all over this one. Are these really ghosts? No! Ghosts do not exist, silly rabbit. But what unseen force made you buy this disc? Was it my words? You're haunted, all right.

Exclaim (Canada):

Here's one for your weird science collection - the first CD collecting examples of EVP (electronic voice phenomena) or recordings of voices of unknown origin that occupy radio frequencies. These poltergeist-type transmissions have been noticed since the 1930s, puzzling researchers with their "polyglot" messages that use unusual sentence structures, mixtures of languages and made up words (neologisms). It gets really weird when the voices seem to communicate directly to the researchers. When tape recorders were more readily available after WWII the voices were documented, and in 1959 a Swedish researcher, Friedrich Jurgenson, was the first to report their existence. The CD features examples recorded by a leading English EVP researcher, Raymond Cass, who also provides commentary. And the collection reproduces the seven-inch record accompanying a Russian researcher, Dr Konstantin Raudive's important book, Breakthrough, from 1971. Sceptics have decided the short fragments of low quality recordings are ham radio hoaxes or the by-product of electro-magnetic pollution. Certainly in the era of the sound byte we are wiser to the short edits used as examples - especially when you are told in advance what to listen for. Still many researchers believe these are voices from alternate dimensions or the spirit world, which had been previously investigated by Marconi and Edison, who believed radio waves could be used to contact the dead. As an audio experience, The Ghost Orchid will appeal to listeners of projects like the Hafler Trio, for its mix of spoken word, electronic tones and short wave radio-type random noises. Deepening the mystery is the 24-page booklet with articles by Ash International's Michael Harding, Joe Banks (aka Disformation) and others, as the search continues for the source of this "Holy Grail of acoustic phenomena." [Chris Twomey]

SideLine (Belgium):

This CD collection of Electronic Voice Phenomena is nothing less than compelling, cataloging an abundance of strange, obscure recordings of'voices from the other side. I am at once deeply fascinated by the sound bytes, clips of recordings that are so brief as to demand the listener's full attention, and slightly skeptical as to authenticity and then a voice caught in what sounds like radio static shifts from one language to another in the span of a sentence and the fluidity furrows my brow even more. The disc is constructed with much care, as information is a constant, and includes many scientific interpretations of the voices (as 'polygot,' 'alien,' 'instant response,' etc.); along with that, the CD also includes EVP pioneer Dr. Konstantin Raudive's surreal "Breakthrough" 7" from 1971 (which includes recordings of Raudive himself, communicating after his death). With bands such as Schloss Tegal and Crepuscule incorporating EVP recordings into their own work, the interest, now, has risen substantially, especially for one who finds the work of both of these bands quite engrossing, making a release of this nature a mandatory acquisition. If that was not enough, the thick booklet is brimming with information (overload), my interest stoked even further. Seems this is the first in a series of CDs that will explore the paranormal-acoustic world. I anxiously await the next installment. (John C Smith)

New York Press (USA): This disc is a collection of Electronic Voice Phenomena, known to followers as EVP. EVP are voices which interrupt electronic transmissions--radio, telephone, television, etc. in order to give the listener a message. Catching these fleeting occurrences takes not only constant monitoring of media, but also takes a good pair of dog ears to recognize them (they're usually about 2 seconds long). A British guy named Raymond Cass is the "expert" of this genre and this disc is made up of his private tapes, many of which appeared previously only on cassette. He's got a proper British accent and gives long introductions which weave conspiracy theories together with occult phenomenon. These alien voices are smothered in radio static and are each repeated three times, due to their brevity. As WFMU's Brian Turner has so eloquently put it, the result is Ghostbusters meets the Conet Project. I smell a hoax; it's a very good hoax, but it still smells like a hoax. The disc sounds like someone's really good radio art. And it makes sense--the conceptual artist Leif Elggren who created make-believe countries complete with their own virtual anthems, flags and consulates all over the world, gives the spoken introduction on the disc and provides commentary throughout. Elggren presented his fake countries in galleries around the world and released a CD of the anthems. It was a great project; well thought out and meticulously followed through. If indeed this is one of Elggren's art pieces, he's outdone himself this time. If you can suspend your disbelief, file this one under crackpots and visionaries. Cass and his wife Edith hang out all day listening to media, hoping to catch messages from these aliens. At one time they tape a voice saying "We can see Edith by radio. We can see Edith by radio. We can see Edith by radio." Another time, the voices tell Cass that he is ready to be a hero because he's the one who's going to make these mysterious voices known to humankind. There's a good dose of psychology and self-aggrandizement going on in Elggren's fiction. Cass tells us that recently, he's lost his ability to communicate with these voices and likens it to a bad case of writer's block. He expresses a sense of impotence and on this recording, relives the glory days of the 70s when he was really connecting with the spirits. In fact, much of this disc is Cass giving us a guided tour of his greatest hits. Most of the translations of these muddy voices take a vivid imagination in order to make sense of them. The voices come across as sheer short-wave static and are so open ended that a listener could turn the words into any number of phrases. Cass introduces an alien voice that he's caught on tape. He claims that "an entity unused to these atmospheric conditions tells us 'Who should ever be in this pressure? Who should ever be in this pressure? Who should ever be in this pressure?' " The voices sound like sheer gobbledygook--it takes a great deal of poetic license to get Cass's interpretation out of these garbled words. The voices come in all shapes and sizes; some are in polyglot languages, others sing to Cass and there's even a section where we hear Cass asking the voices questions and receiving muddled responses. The medium is the real message here. Mike Harding, co-founder of Touch / Ash / Or record labels put this discs he releases, EVP explores the darker side of electronics where technology backfires, resulting in thick static or fried transmissions. The simple idea of interrupted radio transmissions viewed not as disturbances, but as opaque aesthetic statements unto themselves fits Harding's agenda perfectly (a few years back Harding released "Runaway Train", an unedited tape of a conversation between the engineer of a runaway train and a dispatcher, which was as much about the staticy quality of the tape as it was about the narrative). Even if this disc isn't a hoax, it's overarching message is that its formal qualities uphold an esthetic of contemporary electronica. [Kenneth Goldsmith]

The Rocket (USA): Those voices - strange and disarming interruptions from the ether during phone conversations, blurted out during a radio or television broadcast. Sometimes, they even talk to us. We're quick to blame it on crowded airwaves and frequencies, sunspots and satellite interference. But perhaps it's something else. What if someone - or something - was trying to communicate with us, by the most obvious and effective means it had: our electronic media. EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena, is presumably recorded evidence of after-life communication with the spirit realm, and its alien counterparts outside our material world. There are no screaming ghouls from the horror house here: The Ghost Orchid compiles decades of EVP material from British, German and Swiss researchers, breaking it down into clean academic categories that despite their detached composure, make the hairs stand on your neck. Samplers dig in, and listen for the "You Are Sleeping" bite the Smiths lifted years ago. [Stewart A. Williams]

Gonzo Circus (Belgium):

Twee cd's die de menselijke stem als onderwerp hebben. Sub Rosa presenteert het eerste deel in de Sonor Lunapark archiefreeks, een concept van publicist Marc Dachy. De documentaire cd bestrijkt een gamma aan gesproken uittreksels van belangrijke avantgardeschrijvers van het begin tot het einde van deze eeuw. De cd begint in het jaar 1912 - de prehistorie van de geluidsopnames - met een gedicht voorgedragen door Guillaume Apollinaire en eindigt met een aantal fragmenten van Augusto de Campos, vertegenwoordiger van de Braziliaanse avantgarde in de jaren zeventig. Daartussenin gepropt staan stemfragmenten van Maïakovsky, Huelsenbeck, Schwitters, Joyce, Stein, Artaud, Tzara, Gysin (het hilarische 'Pistol Poem') en vele, vele anderen. Vooral de heel vroege geluidsopnames (vb. James Joyce of Apollinaire's stem die de tijd overleefde temidden het magnetische geruis en gekraak van de originele opname) maken indruk en lijken uit een andere wereld te komen. De rest heeft vrijwel alleen documentaire waarde. Aardse en onaardse stemmen ook op 'The Ghost Orchid - An Introduction To EVP', een project van PARC (ParaPsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative) in samenwerking met Mike Harding's Ash International [R.I.P.]. EVP's of Electronic Voice Phenomena zijn vreemde en mysterieuze stemmen die op een onverklaarbare manier op magnetische banden of in radiouitzendingen opduiken. De verklaringen voor deze stemmen verschillen van onderzoeker tot onderzoeker. Sommigen zien er buitenaardse wezens in die zich aan ons kenbaar willen maken. Anderen menen dat onze dode geliefden op die manier met ons proberen in contact te komen. Nog anderen denken dat EVP's telepathische verschijnselen zijn die door ons eigen onbewuste voortgebracht worden. Die verschillende meningen van de onderzoekers die zich met het fenomeen bezighouden, o.a. van pionier Raymond Cass, zijn nu overzichtelijk met fragmenten en commentaar voor het eerst samengebracht op een cd. Het beluisteren van het aangeboden materiaal op de twee cd's (Sub Rosa en Parc) is geen sinecure en alleen maar interessant voor wie iets meer verwacht van een cd dan een brok muziek. Voor wie echter geïnteresseerd is in dooie schrijvers en paranormale fenomenen is dit zeker boeiend geluidsmateriaal. [pw]

Electronic Voice Phenomena: Unidentified Voice Objects! De ParaPsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative bracht in samenwerking met Ash International [R.I.P.] de cd 'The Ghost Orchid - An Introduction to EVP' uit. EVP is de afkorting van Electronic Voice Phenomena, een serie vreemde en mysterieuze stemmen die op onverklaarbare wijze op de magnetische banden van onderzoekers terechtkomen. EVP valt onder de categorie occulte en paranormale fenomenen in de trant van ufo's, klopgeesten en leven na de dood. De cd probeert zonder zelf een oordeel te vellen bewijsmateriaal aan te dragen en argumenten voor en tegen EVP af te wegen. Komen de stemmen vanuit de ruimte? Bewijzen ze onze telepathische vermogens? Of worden ze doelbewust op ons afgestuurd door verborgen machten die de onderzoekers willen afleiden van hun ware doelstellingen? WAT? Electronic Voice Phenomena is het ontvangen van abnormale en onverklaarbare stemmen via elektronische opnameapparatuur, onder meer bandopnemers, computerprogramma's, videorecorders en televisies, alsook telefoons en antwoordapparaten. De stemmen worden niet gehoord tijdens de opnames maar alleen na het terugspoelen en het opnieuw beluisteren van de bandjes. De meeste opnames bestaan uit korte zinnen of uitspraken die nauwelijks meer dan vier of vijf woorden tellen maar er zijn ook meer en meer onderzoekers die langere boodschappen ontvingen. In principe kan iedereen boodschappen ontvangen via EVP. Er zijn geen paranormale gaven voor nodig. Door onderzoek is echter aangetoond dat je eigen ingesteldheid en gemoedsstemming wel een belangrijke rol speelt bij het ontvangen van EVP-boodschappen. EVP werd voor het eerst opgemerkt en ontdekt in de jaren vijftig toen de verspreiding van audiovisuele apparatuur een ware boom beleefde. Sindsdien zijn er heel wat testen en experimenten gebeurd door onderzoekers van over de ganse wereld. Alle onderzoeken, die grotendeels onafhankelijk van elkaar gebeurden, kwamen tot dezelfde conclusie: er werden inderdaad opnames gemaakt van mysterieuze stemmen. Maar geen enkele van de onderzoeken verkreeg een definitief uitsluitsel over de aard en de herkomst van die stemmen. Wel staat volgens de onderzoekers vast dat 'wij als menselijke wezens kunnen wel degelijk bewijzen dat de geesten van de doden kunnen communiceren met de levenden. We kunnen geesten fotograferen, we kunnen ze zien en voelen. Via EVP kunnen we ze ook horen en ermee in contact komen.' MOEDER!?.... De grens tussen wetenschap en bijgeloof is flinterdun. EVP is even oud zoniet ouder dan het fenomeen 'elektronische opname'. Uitvinder Thomas Edison maakte er op het einde van de vorige eeuw reeds gewag van dat hij contact zou kunnen leggen met de doden via zijn primitieve, elektronische apparatuur. De eerste onverklaarbare stemmen werden in de jaren '30 ontdekt door Scandinavische militairen. Zij schreven het fenomeen toe aan nazispionnen. Vreemd genoeg spraken de stemmen hen toe in een onbekende taal. Sinds het begin van de jaren '40, toen elektronische opnameapparatuur wijdverbreid raakte, deden verhalen de ronde van onverklaarbare stemmen die opdoken tijdens telefoongesprekken en televisieuitzendingen. De eerste echte EVP-opnamen werden in '51 gemaakt door de Zweedse filmmaker Friedrich Jürgenson, die onderzoek deed naar paranormale fenomenen en als bij toeval stemmen aantrof op een bandje waarmee hij buiten vogels aan het opnemen was. Jürgenson bemerkte dat de stemmen antwoorden gaven op zijn bemerkingen en voortdurend zijn naam riepen. Hij verrichtte gedurende 25 jaar onderzoek naar het fenomeen en maakte duizenden tapes. De fanatiekste onderzoeker én een overtuigd aanhanger van Electronic Voice Phenomena is de nog steeds erg actieve Raymond Cass, geboren in Hull in 1921. Cass groeide op in het Engeland van net na de Eerste Wereldoorlog, een gebeurtenis die een diepe indruk op hem naliet. Op jonge leeftijd stelde hij zich al vragen over de zin van het leven en de betekenis van die massale slachting van medemensen. Op zevenjarige leeftijd raakte Cass geïnteresseerd in paranormale fenomenen. Toen hij op een dag, verdiept in een geschiedenis van de Eerste Wereldoorlog, aangesproken werd door een vreemde stem die uit de hoornvormige luidspreker van een primitieve, uitgeschakelde radio kwam, stond zijn besluit vast. Die enigmatische ervaring in het strandhuis van zijn grootvader zou hem nadien niet meer loslaten en hij wijdde zich voor de rest van zijn leven aan de studie van paranormale verschijnselen. IK BEN... De echte doorbraak kwam er in '71, toen Dr. Konstantin Raudive's naslagwerk 'Breakthrough' verscheen en een ware schokgolf veroorzaakte. De oorspronkelijke vermoedens dat EVP effectief bestond, werden eindelijk bevestigd. Maar de wetenschappelijke wereld huldigde zich in scepsis en verdeelde zich in twee kampen: zij die de stemmen afdeden als nep en zij die fanatiek bleven geloven dat de stemmen afkomstig waren uit het hiernamaals of van buitenaardse wezens die met ons in contact wensten te komen. De mysterieuze Let Raudive was de eerste die structureel onderzoek deed naar de Electronic Voice Phenomena en die zijn opnames op een systematische manier catalogiseerde. Raudive maakte honderdduizend tapes met zijn bevindingen. De beste resultaten werden op een grammofoonplaat geperst die bij zijn boek 'Breakthrough' uitgegeven werd. Na zijn dood in '80 hielp hij nog steeds mee aan het onderzoek door boodschappen te sturen naar andere onderzoekers. Raymond Cass, die tot dan toe op een muur van onbegrip stootte en al jaren met primitieve middelen onderzoek probeerde te doen naar EVP, greep de toegenomen interesse aan om met een eigen gefundeerde research te beginnen en overklaste al gauw de andere Britse onderzoekers met opnames die zo duidelijk en luid waren dat ze leidden tot een wereldwijde interesse voor het fenomeen. Cass produceerde onder meer de zeer omstreden 'Polyglot Voices', zinnen die woorden bevatten uit verschillende talen. Raymond Cass bereikte de beste resultaten in zijn onderzoeksbureau in Hull. Het bleek een tijd lang een uitgelezen plek om EVP op te nemen, een zogenaamde 'window area' nabij een sterk elektromagnetisch veld, waar de stemmen leken te drijven op een erg levendige magnetische flux. YOU ARE SLEEPING! Aan de andere kant van de oceaan werd ongeveer gelijktijdig met Cass onderzoek verricht door de Amerikaan George W. Meek. Meek onderzocht EVP om een langdurige, interactieve communicatie tot stand te brengen in plaats van de korte zinnen die men tot dan toe opgenomen had. Samen met de paranormaal begaafde William O'Neil ontwikkelde hij de Spiricom. Via de Spiricom kregen ze contact met een zekere Dr. George Jeffries Mueller, een elektronicaspecialist en universiteitsprofessor die enkele jaren voordien gestorven was. O'Neil nam de urenlange, humoristische en verhelderende gesprekken met Dr. Mueller op. Tijdens de conversaties gaf Mueller aanwijzingen aan O'Neil om de Spiricom nog te verbeteren. Ook O'Neil kreeg aanvankelijk alleen maar tegenkanting en sceptische reacties van pers en publiek maar aangespoord door zijn resultaten werden talloze onderzoeksprojecten opgestart in de VS, Brazilië, Rusland en Europa. Geesten werden gecontacteerd via tape, telefoon, computer, radio en zelfs televisie... In '85 ontving het Duits medium Klaus Schreiber beelden van overleden familieleden, acteurs, en anderen op zijn beeldscherm. Eerst werden enkel stemmen doorgestuurd maar na enig afstemmen, ontving hij volledige beelden. Een sessie begon met een beeldscherm vol sneeuw. Dan verschenen plots kleine ovalen, die snel groeiden tot ze van het scherm verdwenen. Minuten later verschenen tot grote verbazing van Schreiber en zijn bezoekers naast de stemmen ook gezichten op het scherm. Niet lang nadat hij zelf stierf, dook Schreiber zelf op op de beeldbuis van andere Europese onderzoekers. Ook EVP pioniers Raudive en Jürgenson maakten zichzelf na hun dood kenbaar aan andere onderzoekers. In april '90 stierf Meek's vrouw Jeannette na een slepende ziekte. Voor ze heenging, had Meek haar gevraagd om de namen TimeStream (een Luxemburgs onderzoekslaboratorium) en Swejen Salter (medium en onderzoeker) in het geheugen te griften. Hij hoopte dat die twee namen haar geest zouden leiden nadat ze gestorven was. Het lukte blijkbaar. Drie maand na haar begrafenis werd Jeannette gelokaliseerd door TimeStream. George ontving een klare en duidelijke boodschap via de Luxemburgse computer. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE! Eén van de recentste en merkwaardigste onderzoeken naar EVP werd gedaan door Maggy Harsh-Fischbach. In juni '85 begon ze te experimenteren met bandopnemers. Enkele weken later ontving ze haar eerste boodschappen. Haar echtgenoot Jules suggereerde de experimenten voort te zetten op het platteland om de kansen dat stemmen overgenomen werden van telefoonlijnen, radio of tv-uitzendingen of naburige gesprekken zo klein mogelijk te houden. Eind '85 begon het echtpaar sessies te organiseren in het bijzijn van anderen. De publieke opnamesessies werden al snel een wekelijkse gebeurtenis. Maggy richtte zich speciaal op de geest van Konstantin Raudive omdat hij tijdens zijn leven beloofd had zeker zijn stem te laten horen uit het hiernamaals indien hij er de kans toe kreeg. Ze namen talloze toevallige stemmen op tot ze op een dag de diepe stem van Raudive ontdekten tussen de andere zwakkere stemmen. Naarmate de tijd vorderde, slaagde de groep erin om een contactveld uit te bouwen met Raudive. Nadat ze in het voorjaar van '86 een tv, twee radio's, een elektriciteitsgenerator en twee ultraviolette lampen toegevoegd hadden aan hun apparatuur, kwam de stem van Raudive opnieuw luid en duidelijk door en hoorden ze ook andere stemmen van overleden familieleden en vrienden. BESLUIT De controverse en de verdeeldheid over de aard van de stemmen blijft na al die jaren nog steeds voortduren. Zelfs de aanhangers delen zich op in twee kampen. Er zijn er die geloven in de 'objectiviteit' van de stemmen: zij menen dat de stemmen pogingen zijn van overledenen om met ons te communiceren of mogelijk van buitenaardse wezens die zich aan ons kenbaar wensen te maken. Anderen trekken de objectiviteit van de stemmen sterk in twijfel en geloven dat de bron van de stemmen 'subjectief' is, m.a.w. de onderzoeker projecteert de stemmen zelf op tape, mogelijks door telepathie. De stemmen zijn dus paranormaal maar komen niet van 'de andere kant'. Of is EVP gewoon een uit de hand gelopen grap en worden we allemaal in het ootje genomen? Maggy Harsh-Fishbach verwoordt haar geloof in EVP als volgt: 'De wezens die zich tot ons richten via onze apparatuur, identificeren zichzelf als wezens die in de geesteswereld opgenomen zijn. We nemen dit aan voor waar tot het tegendeel bewezen is. Tot op vandaag is nog niemand met een aanvaardbare uitleg voor de stemmen voor de dag gekomen. Alle tegenargumenten die tot nu toe geformuleerd werden, zijn een uiting van angst, frustratie, onwetendheid en jaloezie. Naarmate de contacten tussen de verschillende dimensies sterker worden, worden de argumenten die wijzen op trucage en manipulatie zwakker...' De cd 'The Ghost Orchid - An Introduction to EVP' is een samenwerking tussen het ParaPsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative (PARC) en Ash International [R.I.P.]. Ash International [R.I.P.] wordt in België verdeeld door (K-RAA-K)". [Tekst: Peter Wullen/Illustraties: PARC]

DREAM Magazine (Net): After a series of introductions we're treated to a series of recordings of "voices of unknown origin" occuring during radio broadcasts, they are mostly snippets, fuzzy and fragmented, each example repeats three times. There are further introductions and sets of these "ghost voices". I could imagine taking bits of this to build something out of, to use in a mix or something, as a listening experience; it's like watching a weird antiquated slide show. The voices are seldom very reception stuff. Another theory hopefully espoused here is the origin of the voices being extraterrestrial, I guess if you can‚t be dead, you might as well be from outer space. Am I convinced? Over the course of the 79 tracks here, there are some intriguing bits, but it all sounds quite earthly to me. A guy once showed me an expensive full color hardcover art-book full of "authentic photographs of UFOs". They were all nice looking, well composed, mysterious and quite obviously fakes. The shadows of the UFO's didn‚t match the ground details, etc. I'd love to believe in all the mysteries, I‚d like to live in a more magical/possible world of realities, but this ultimately seems more wishful than "real", like seeing the Virgin Mary in a peach pit, or my pal‚s big expensive book. [George Parsons]

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