MATERIALIZATION
electroacoustic chamber ensemble
séance
channelling arctic sea leah
seance.mp3
produced by
music
performed by
john sonntag
jason bonthron
materialization

In 1848, two teenage girls, Kate and Maggie Fox began to communicate with the dead by means of mysterious knocking sounds. Two years later, they were giving hundreds of séances in New York City.

Joined by their older sister Leah, the dark-eyed women performed for the most prominent Americans of the antebellum period: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, James Fenimore Cooper, Elijah Kent Kane, and Horace Greeley.

The Fox Sisters claimed to possess qualities that made them "mediums" for communication with spirits. The phenomenon of mediumship quickly spread as others found they had similar abilities. The 19th century movement known as Spiritualism would later capture the imagination of European scientists, writers, and thinkers: Sir William Crookes, Oliver Lodge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Harry Houdini.

In 1888, Kate and Maggie would confess to fraudulently producing the spirit noises.
They died in poverty and alcoholism.

for
Kate Maggie Leah

CODA
Penniless and alcoholic, some believe the sisters were manipulated to disavow Spiritualism. In public, Maggie demonstrated how fraudulent knocking noises could be made by cracking the joints of her feet. Yet, Cromwell Varley, a noted electrical engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Society, said that Kate Fox produced for him "a chorus of raps such as fifty hammers, all striking rapidly, could hardly produce." Sir William Crookes said the violence of the blows was such that they were heard several rooms over.

The Fox Sisters baffled alert intelligent persons trying their best to catch them. How they obtained knocks heard several rooms over; raps from the walls and ceiling; arpeggios and cadenzas such as musicians might play; is difficult to explain.

seance.mp3

a thunder pumpkin recording lambertville

MATERIALIZATION
electroacoustic chamber ensemble
no longer available
teleplastics
produced by
music
performed by
henry sidgwick
albert von schrenck-notzing
materialization

The illumination consisted of three ten candle-power electric lamps, under red glass.

After 10 o'clock the development of the teleplastic substance commenced. We saw in the opening of the curtain, while the medium's hands were visible and immobile, a broad luminous band, about 12 inches wide, in front of her chest, and then under her left arm, and also a white mass of material at the skirt of her dress, between her feet.

We saw on her chest and in her lap some white ribbons and patches. The substance already gave an impression of solidity, and resembled a forearm, or a tibia, with hand and fingers, in skeleton form.

coming in 2024
three ring cosmology
music
with
jason bonthron
materialization

I got giants, jugglers, dioramas
Ventriloquists, fireworks, Shakespearean drama
I got departments stores festooned with paper
Styrofoam boxes for the ozone layer

Cryptozoological curiosities
I got archaeological antiquities
Domenico Ghirlandaio from the Uffizzi
Taking their money, it's so easy

Jenny Lind has the voice of angel
She's singing tonight at Wyman's hall
Tickets, 5 dollars a person
One night only
Come One and Come All
Come One and Come All

MATERIALIZATION
electroacoustic chamber ensemble

Major funding for materialization is made possible by The Friedrich von Junzt Foundation, Dean and Megan Halsey, and Dr. Herbert West. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the Essex County Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with Miskatonic University.