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

fox sisters tombstone
MATERIALIZATION
electroacoustic chamber ensemble

work in progress

music
with
jason bonthron
materialization

Empire


empire.mp3

Wide Open Sky


wideopensky.mp3

three ring cosmology

Come One And All


ComeOneAndAll.mp3

High Wire Act


highwire.mp3

Reflection


reflection.mp3
MATERIALIZATION
electroacoustic chamber ensemble