Space Music: 'Telepath' by Boards of Canada


Static. Image via Warp Records

I recently blogged about the microwave auditory effect, which allows us to transmit sounds or even simple words directly into the human skull. It's a voice no one else can hear, except for those in the path of the beam. In conspiracy circles it's often known as V2K or voice-to-skull messaging, though we've yet to see a real-life application for the technology.

It all brings to mind the track "Telepath" off Boards of Canada's incredible 2013 album "Tomorrow's Harvest." It seems the Scottish electronic duo of Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin may have been referencing the microwave auditory effect here as a modulated voice runs through the very sort of short messages likely used in actual experiments.

Here are the words, as provided by bocpages:

0:04 "Testing. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, (nine), ten. (oops) Up and down, quite a thing." (background) six, six, nine. 0:20: (Second voice) "On repeat. Give me a count." (also sounds like "you can't") 0:23 "The stuff that they know, the one on the right and then turn it up, while I'm counting. One... three, four, fi-ive, six, seven, eight, ni- (garbled)" 0:43: (Second voice) "It's too loud." (Pitched down) "Plaid." 0:45 "Well, this is quite pleasant. Let's play it back and see what it sounds like." (Second and third voice) "Could I get the one voice?", "Nervous!", "Don't be nervous." "One, two, three, four, fi-ive, six, six, seven."

Interesting.... Now let's hear the track itself:

http://youtu.be/q8inVehcG90

The entire album is fabulous -- easily one of my all-time favorites. Buy it here.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.