The John Michell Memorial Lecture at Megalithomania 2016. Steve Marshall introduces his connection with the late, great John Michell, and delves into his studies in archaeoacoustics. Using a slideshow, video and surround sound, he shows how sound played an important role in the lives of prehistoric people. We hear musical stalactites that were played in a Spanish cave 27,000 years ago, and explore some of Avebury’s strange sound properties. Steve shows how the mystical bull roarer, probably the world’s oldest musical instrument, may have been used to resonate stone tombs such as long barrows, in mind-altering rites of initiation. Sound frequencies too low to hear may still be felt and can affect brainwave activity, producing ‘altered states’. The audience will be able to experience this for themselves, when Steve generates infrasound in the Town Hall!
A professional musician and film composer for most of his life, Steve Marshall worked for a time in the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. He now researches and writes on archaeology. Steve’s work appears regularly in Fortean Times and other journals; his book ‘Exploring Avebury: The Essential Guide’ was published by The History Press in the spring of 2016. http://www.exploringavebury.com
Filmed at Megalithomania in Glastonbury in May 2016:
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