Radionics is a fringe science that, through Delawarr Laboratories, led to the first long-durational electronic sound experiments of the 20th century. Delawarr was particularly concerned with the way electronic tones interact acoustically in the air - at the first International Congress of Radionics in London, May 1950, George de la Warr demonstrated interference patterns produced by multiple loudspeakers, each respectively playing single tones that radionically related to the body (for instance, the larynx mucous membrane: 133Hz, 264Hz and 455Hz). The lively interaction of these frequencies in the air (as opposed to being mixed together into a single loudspeaker) was said to contribute to the 'acoustic therapy' process.
|The classic Delawarr finger-stick rubber detector pad
|Delawarr's acoustic frequency diffusion set-up c.1947
Delawarr Laboratories never regarded their radionic research as music, but one of the first people to discern the correspondences between radionics and sound art was the electronic composer Daphne Oram. Oram had an interest in Delawarr's sonic experiments, but her research in this direction remains unpublished. However, there is a radionics undercurrent in her 1972 book An Individual Note of Music..., where she muses that objects and concepts possess wavepatterns that, through perception, intermodulate with our own individualised mental wavepatterns (hence the 'individual note' of the title).
Anybody remotely interested in electronic music and its origins will find interest in these experiments, and the Radionics Radio irradiations at the Science Gallery are quite noteworthy in that such experiments have never been trialled before on this magnitude. The audience will be privy to combinations of 'thought frequencies' harvested from the Radionics Radio web application (the latest version v2, enhanced by Jonny Stutters, offers more accuracy and wider compatibility). The irradiations will also be broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM at a later date. Delawarr applied for a radio broadcasting license in the late 1960s to similarly broadcast audio radionic tones, but were refused permission by the GPO who stated "we are unable to agree to the use of radio in the way you propose." Only now is this vision becoming reality with the help of Sound and Music.
www.radionicsradio.co.uk to convert your thoughts into frequencies.
Additional thanks to Jonny Stutters, Dr. Ed Baxter, Peter Lanceley for assistance with the diffusion experiments, and John Dignan for the generous donation of audio equipment.