The Other Side

Bishop James Pike

I'm very happy to announce 'The Other Side: An Audiophonic Séance'. Working with Evie Salmon under the Alchemical Landscape banner, we've had the pleasure of collaborating with Jo Brook of Bad Timing to bring together "a night of dead formats, traces, sites and spectres from the underground". 

The event features a series of acts and performances connected via a shared interest in the mediumistic power of recording technology: 

Evie Salmon & James Riley performing 'Dust'
bad timing djs: mix tapes from the underground

We'll be holding the event at the Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge on Thursday 12th May, 7.30pm. 

Tickets are free but places are limited. Please reserve via eventbrite:


We're also inviting you to consider a £5 donation towards performers' travel costs. 

For more information, see the Bad Timing website and scroll down for details of each act. 


Howlround is an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of magnetic tape as a creative medium for electronic music. Their live performances and compositions are created entirely by manipulating tape loops of natural acoustic sounds on vintage reel-to-reel machines, with additional reverb or electronic effects strictly forbidden. Their fourth LP Tales From the Black Tangle was released at the end of 2015 and was a dark and compelling concoction of industrial sirens, foghorns, seawash, ship to shore distress signals and even the creaking of a Broadcasting House microphone cradle in need of some oil.

'Uncanny, mesmerising, difficult and sublime' The Quietus


Documents is a nascent development of the long running creative occult project English Heretic. Documents has been set up to explore a remit of ethnographic recordings from the imaginal world. Combining the aesthetic of Bataille's surrealist journal Documents with the hermetic psychology of James Hillman, the project represents a deepening of the themes laid out by English Heretic. Documents first broadcast was released on the Eighth Climate imprint in December 2015.

Documents will perform two pieces. "Music For The Execution Of Geoffrey Firmin" An imaginary séance for the tragic protagonist of Malcolm Lowry's Under The Volcano abstracting dialogue from the film adaptation of Lowry's book to achieve rapport the spectre of Firmin. "Last Broadcast at Boleskine" manipulates field recordings taken at the cemetery overlooked by Aleister Crowley's notorious Loch Ness home. These recordings, carried out on the 1st December 2015, anniversary of Crowley's death, shortly before Boleskine House burned down, constitute music to precipitate the violent demise of an abode on the borderland. Together these pieces explore landscape, film and documentary dialogue as a form of theatrical EVP.

Evie Salmon and James Riley work across multiple faculties at the University of Cambridge. They co-direct The Alchemcial Landscape, an ongoing research and public engagement project looking at occulture and geography.

'Dust' is a speculative investigation into the afterlife of two lost recordings by Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Spoken word, archival murmurings and dead formats.


bad timing djs mix tapes: experiments from the underground


A note on the image above: Bishop James Pike (1913-1969) was an American Episcopal Minister, one of the first to make regular television appearances. Following the death of his son in 1966, Pike began to experience paranormal phenomena. In 1967 he appeared with the medium Arthur Ford as part of a television seance to contact his son. These experiences formed the basis of his book The Other Side (1969). Philip K. Dick based the character of Timothy Archer on Pike when he wrote his novel The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982). 

Pike and his book will not be directly referenced on May 12th, but for obvious reasons his symbolic life has informed some of the thinking behind the event.