And now, the end is near...
…. well, only the end of my residency at the British Library. It’s been extended a little because of restaging my final event on 25th January. I am submitting a final report to the Leverhulme Trust who funded the residency for the library and looking back over the people I’ve met this year, the conversations had and the work made. It is a very lucky thing to have interacted...
Good news. Because the final event of my Residency is so over-subscribed, there will another performance on 25th January 2013. It will be on sale in a day or two. Will post the link here but I hope you will save the date in your diary. http://www.bl.uk/whatson/events/event134628.html
New songs! →
The extracts from my last British Library show and tell are now posted on the British Library website. They are three songs from the Singing Hypnotist project and a little sketch about past life regression which is one of my areas of obsession. Scroll to the bottom of the page on this link (http://www.bl.uk/artistinresidence) and you will see : The Hypnotist’s Hymn, written and performed...
Yeah? What of it?
The title of this book is brilliant. It begs the question…. Yeah exactly - what is mesmerism? And yeah - what of it concomitants? I am afraid to say that this little book doesn’t really answer the questions it so eloquantly poses… 7410.a.21 What Is Mesmerism? And What Of It’s Concomitants Clairvoyance and Necromancy? The opening of the book is, however,...
How To Mesmerise
This morning I had a look at a book in the library. Well its a very slender few pages from1886. 7306.de.24(15) the secret of mesmerism. with full instructions how to mesmerise by a physician price one penny this is a 15 page pamphlet so it makes quite a big claim for such a small publication (“full instructions on how to mesmerise) I was very struck by these two warnings. ...
Who Do You Think You Were?
Thanks to everyone who came to my Show and Tell session at the Library today. A couple of you have been in contact to ask if I could post the information from the talk on the blog. I will try and post various bits over the next few days. In answer to a specific request I will post the script of the little sketch I wrote about the stunning new TV show, Who Do You Think You Were? I did various...
A little teaser....
OK - I couldn’t resist. Here is one of my favourite patents. A machine so that you can kick your own arse. Smashing! Who wouldn’t want that in their life? Isn’t the figure in the diagram strangely erotic…. discuss.
Who knew Patents Rock?
I have spent the day in the Patents Office at the British Library. It is completely fascinating. I’ve found some wonderful machines that were dreamt up to induce hypnosis. And many that were designed to hypnotise people into sleep. Insomnia seems to have been as much of a problem in the late 19th Century as it is now. Since I qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist it’s the thing...
Next Tues is the second of my show and tell sessions as part of my Artistic Residency at the British Library. Come! http://www.bl.uk/whatson/events/event134205.html
I have long hankered after playing the theremin and I have decided that my British library project The Singing Hypnotist, is the perfect vehicle. To this end I have been practicing away and have written two songs featuring this weird instrument. If anything can send you into a trance it would be this. I am not quite ready to post videos of my playing yet so in the meantime whet your appetite with...
Who Do I Think I Was?
After talking about this for a while I am this afternoon going for past life regression therapy. This has come about because of my researches into hypnosis at the BL. I had always thought that being regressed was part of the looney fringe of hypnosis and maybe it is but my readings amongst the collections have opened my mind to it and shortly I shall find out for myself. I am ever so slightly...
Filmed interview at the British Library →
There is an interview with me in my guise as Artist in Residence at the British Library made by Creative Cowboy Films. They are an Australian company run by two lovely creative people Andrea and Peter Hylands. I thoroughly recommend exploring their work.
… to everyone who came to the show and tell at the British Library today. I will be posting some of the images and the songs up here shortly. And hopefully some clips so those of you who didn’t come can also get to see.
Harry Von Tilzer
For any of you who were interested in the mention of the song Svengali in Disguise which was written by Harry Von Tilzer, a titbit of gossip from Michael Kilkarriff is that Mr Von Tilzer was Judy Garland’s Uncle. Showbiz!!!
More Music Hall Songs about Hypnosis
I spent a lot of time in the Rare Books and Music room. It’s weird looking at sheet music in a quiet reading room, especially the scores for popular songs. The desire to hum the tune is intense and not a good idea. Also there are so many Music Hall songs with the most appallingly racist titles and covers to match and it never seems a good moment to ponder over something with the word Coon...
The first Show & Tell of my residency →
Hope you can come along to the first session where I will be sharing some of the items that have caught my attention. There will a little music, some chat and some nice things to look at. It’s all very informal - sign up and see you next week…..
Annie de Montford and other lady mesmerists
Lady Hypnotists I have spent the day tracking down two lady hypnotists from the 19th Century. I was intrigued by this poster for Annie De Montford who was variously described as ‘the psychological star’ and an “electro-biologist”. She was more often called a Mesmerist but the period she was active in (1870s/1880s) was a time when the terms were used interchangeably. ...
I just guessed at £75 for past life regression. it’s actually £147 for a session in Harley Street. I thought things were cheaper in the past.
Back in the Library
I’ve been on tour in Australia and Japan for a few weeks so have been the British Library’s Artist in (Non)Residence. But today I am back. Nice to access the collection, the staff canteen flapjacks and the lovely reassuring sense that lots of people around you are learning a lot of stuff. I have been thinking about the hypnosis project a lot however, whilst I’ve been gone....
Libraries and Me
I was thinking whilst I was in the British Library yesterday that there is a very pleasing full circle to being Artist in Residence, because my very first paying job was in my local library. I had loved the library since the day when I was six and we were in the Post Office in Two Dales and I was asking for a book. My mother said “I think it’s time we went to the library”....
Henry Blythe on YouTube again →
A great Pathe newsreel featuring the fantastic Henry Blythe. Sports hypnosis was unknown in these days. He was a pioneer. And his book is hilarious too.
Henry Blythe on YouTube →
A very unfair sniggering reference to my friend Henry Blythe, featuring his recording helping you to stop smoking. He was WAY ahead of his time….. Bit rude to call him ‘the worst hypnotist ever?” Still there is hope in that question mark.
You can find out more about residency here.... →
Here is my full website for reference →
I am now official at the British Library following my induction (“We have to guard against awful things like the Milan bombing, you know, the one in Spain”) this morning. So I now have an email address. Please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org It’s early days on here but please spread the word amongst friends and colleagues that you think might be interested....