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Monday, May 3, 2010

The Integratron's Psychedelic Musical Experience in the SoCal Desert

Posted By on Mon, May 3, 2010 at 7:28 AM

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He died before his dream could fully be completed, but his dome is being used. It's open to the public for a very intense performance called a "sound bath." These are 30-minute sessions where you lay down in the loft of the Integratron's "sound chamber" while a sound therapist plays nine quartz crystal singing bowls that are sonically aligned with the body's energy centers. Because of the acoustics of the room, the music of the bowls really penetrates your body, sounding like it's coming from inside your head. Put that together with all the alien paraphernalia all over the place, and the fact that you're in the middle of a desert, and it's probably the most psychedelic experience I've had with music, sans drugs. 

If it sounds a little New Agey, it is--but it's also really damn cool. The Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold gives the Integratron his blessing, as does Billy Corgan, and I do now as well. 

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Here in San Francisco, we have Audium, another "sound-sculptured space" that does interesting things to your mind. Our local marvel of architecture and sound art has nothing to do with UFOs, however, and everything to do with unlocking memories and ideas through listening to an audio collage in the dark. 

So now I'm curious--what other music spaces are out there built with some sort of brain jolt in mind? How many of these aesthetically, artistically, and sonically unique spaces are out there? Those aliens from Venus can't hold all the secrets. 

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Ian S. Port

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