Voices from the Paradise Network
By John Hudak with flash programming by erational.org

My mother-in-law passed away recently, reminding me of a technique that a parapsychologist named Dr. Konstantin Raudive  (1906-1974) used to record what he purported to be voices of deceased spirits.  With the amount of information moving around on the internet these days, and the passing of my mother-in-law, who I thought would want to get in touch (if possible), I thought I’d give Raudive’s technique a try within the digital realm. 

Raudive’s technique was based on a method a film producer named Friedrich Jürgenson (1903-1987) had used to record voices and had written about in a book called Voices from Space.  Jürgenson’s technique, after having accidentally recorded voices in 1959, was to connect a microphone and radio receiver to a tape recorder, fixing the radio to frequencies between 1445-1500 kHz, so he could have real-time conversations with his “friends.”    For a time, Raudive worked with Jürgenson to try to record these voices, but their first efforts bore little fruit, although they believed they could hear very weak, muddled "voices." 

Raudive spent the last ten years of his life exploring what was first called “Raudive Voices,” later called “Electronic Voice Phenomena (or EVP),” a term coined by the publishing company Colin Smythe Ltd., in the early 1970s.

Raudive developed several different approaches to recording EVP:
1. Microphone voices: one simply leaves the tape recorder running, with no one talking; Raudive has claimed that one can even disconnect the microphone.
2. Radio voices: one records the white noise from a radio that is not tuned to any station.
3. Diode voices: one records from (essentially) a crystal set not tuned to a station.

EVP characteristics
Raudive delineated a number of characteristics voices he felt he had captured, (as laid out in his book on the subject, Breakthrough, first published in 1968):
1. The voice entities speak very rapidly, in a mixture of languages, sometimes as many as five or six in one sentence.
2. They speak in a definite rhythm, which seems forced on them.
3. The rhythmic mode imposes a shortened, telegram-style phrase or sentence.
4. Grammatical rules are frequently abandoned and neologisms abound.

In my first recording experiment, I recorded a net broadcast from a friend in France, who provided me with a silent digital signal.  This produced a completely silent recording.

After some research, it seemed that the voices required some background noise in order to take shape.  The net broadcast transmitted a signal of white noise, that I digitally recorded.  While recording the broadcast from France, I asked questions of whomever might be listening and recorded them separately into another recorder with an open-air microphone.  I took the white noise broadcast recordings,  slowed them down (as the voices are said to be in the higher registers), and filtered out the lower frequencies.

The results are presented in a flash webpage, with my questions playing as audiofiles (on the left side of the page) and  with a background of the white noise audiofiles (playing from the right side of the page).  The questions can be muted by clicking on the “N” button on the left bottom.
Voices from the Paradise Network
Dr. Konstantin Raudive  
Friedrich Jürgenson
Voices from the Paradise Network is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., for Networked_Music_Review.  It was made possible with funding from the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
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