POSTSCRIPTS FOR THE SOUL
On listening to WHISPER – a psychedelic timescript by Brian Barritt and David Ball
Roamer of worlds, from the Coventry cold to the winds that crest
The Sahara, Brian Barritt traced markings across intangible air to find signs
That led to ultimate truth, from the lysergic path to God’s sugar,
He tasted, then tested the spiritual rise and incline.
Brian Barritt, Self Portrait with Orgasm
Soldier, Sailor, Poet, Painter of minds, Wizard, Trail blazer, he charted
Time travel and magicked his way through closed rooms. Whisper,
His own ‘Book of the Law’ was secretly scribed while in prison,
Taped to the underside of his penis, his helix and kundalini combined
To ensure its safe passage from the so called wanked hand to writing,
The seminal stuff intertwining to deliver a primal journal for arcane
Reformation that society still cannot master: in seeking the treasure
In pleasure, the culmination always come far too soon.
For Whisper the book, like Genet’s Lady of the flowers
Is charged with the essence that turns rebellious thought into light.
Aligned with his consort, David Ball, this important work scored the cosmos,
As well as late sixties England, with its grass smeared purple glasses
Searching all the ancient way for insight.
Timothy Leary and Brian Barritt
Barritt was a friend of Timothy Leary of course but first secured Trocchi
In a Kentish Town basement they played acid roulette with cubed feasts.
Licking the thread that sews God or what passes for God to Nirvana,
They soon mapped the hippy trail from drug squalor to the divine light
Of the East. Busted for hash at Heathrow, the whisper began, doused
By darkness. Barritt had heard the truth and was passing it
Along with David Ball towards us. A meditative time-script, the book
Points towards hidden knowledge, peeling perception like onions
As the bitter sting of prison bites back on the tough.
Barritt is forced to take his trips from the wall as he imagines circumstance
Come to greet him. As Old Crow informs him, ‘Nothing concentrates the mind
like masturbation’ And so, as he transgresses, he disassociates from the flesh.
The Book of Job he now writes reveals how the pen is a penis,
Transcribing all his desires and injustices too, second guessed.
The ‘cracked leprous walls’ store his dreams.
Their flaking plaster is paper onto which he’s transcribing
The wretched insecurities of the state.
I am writing this now near to where he was sentenced,
As he paid the price for perfection the malignant minds exchanged hate
Of any of those who seek to extend the full remit that this book/passport
To the impassioned land offers; words as communion with the nation
Beyond all known space.
As the passages pass, Barritt relives the long sentence.
The twisted judge’s contortions as he imagines his daughter’s nipples,
Dope smeared. It is a pre Gerald Scarfe Wall affair, all roaring attack,
Rearing visions that stain the cell and sensation and grant a tripper’s pass
The full fear. The book of job is the trial that Barritt endures post completion.
Having sourced the soul, the bound body calls on itself to resist
What the truly confined will enforce, allegiances to dead signals
While all the while the true broadcast is storing orgasm derived
From the funding of truth through dream’s kiss.
Experienced Brahmin rituals return in the Iron Maiden section.
Having mastered the cell he is bound by Barritt revives his travelling
On stale air. As his condemnations of prison run on the peaceful release
Of a palace in the ancient east now mirages, ever faithful and fruitful,
As if it were primed by both patience and loyalty as represented
By the preferred English form of a dog:
The sun opens its sleepy eye
with the flame of the oxyacetylene torch,
the muezzins calls from beneath the foreskin of the minaret
and a thousand sleep grizzled heads touch the frontal lobe
of their prayer mats and offer their thanks to god
Here then, are the fever dreams birthed in a drab space in Acton,
The sunken landscapes emerging from a sea of sleep, into view.
This book is Heathcote Williams rich, as full of the Nazarene toad as his poems,
As the strange forms group and gather making each mix of third person entry
And the inner magician, mind glue, This binds the subconscious need
To the conscious eye with split vision. Palaces scarred and sacred forged
From a stain, while Barritt remembers the path from Afghanistan through
The mountains, between and heading to West Pakistan: Durand Lane.
And yet the torture goes on: Prison is seen as the Abortion Gorger.
With lives curtailed and cut, walls abort them as inmates ‘stomach claw’
To get out. 41000 back then, so called parasites on the system,
Feeding the walls as hearts blister and making the calls for blood
Rise and shout. But this particular bacteria breeds, excreting spectacular vision,
Language bombs cause combustion right at the bowels of the place.
‘The tooth edged squeal of metal prised loose’ draws attention, as the prisoners
Form a congress from their need to both survive and escape.
Barritt has earthed the true way from attention to stars, bars and detail.
He has prized the gemmed structure buried in bone beneath face.
The Whisper is the wind that is writ through dreams to remind you.
It is the chill of his childhood and that of the desert plain late at night.
It is the secret force he contains, the film for which his script’s written,
His private Chappaqqua, his starred terrain, primed by light.
It is there in the searching and song for which silence composes,
A doctor’s eyes now glaze over as a grandmother is hacked to reveal
Not the beginnings of death but the formative sounds of survival,
Concerned with and carried by the lowest of tones voice conceals.
Tear down your preconceptions. Conceive. Leary’s dictum advances.
But the tuning in takes you lower and in dropping out you don’t leave.
The prison becomes wings, or unique form of transport as Barritt’s thoughts
encompass Drug Traffic, his lysergic cell merges well with both the molecules
In his blood and his chemical/alchemic reaction;
He sees his thoughts at arm’s length, the images held away by a
blast of concentration, slash the walls and ceiling drenching the mean little cell
in colour. Thoughts stream across the back of his eyes, three lane traffic, past
future and fantasy, swerving to avoid the terrible NOW
The very id is in traction as prose becomes poetry:
God flicking the vehicles along their asphalt rosary..
Cheering passengers masturbate with torn off arms..
Cellulose orgasms snap at passersby with big iron cunts..
Headless torsos feed grinning meters with sixpences..
Each phrase evolves you. Each one becomes primal
And part of time’s currency.
One by one the revelations abound, as if the isolation enforced
Had become sanctified somehow, the darkening walls amplifying
The discoveries dug from the drug. ‘The shortest distance between two points
is amphetamine.’ Barritt tells us and word by word the deep whisper
Shows that the sixties and the frequencies found remained plugged.
They did not dilute or disrupt, despite the degeneration of others.
The disillusion that followed was a diversion of sorts that most took.
It was only Barritt and Ball, Michael Hollingshead and the Learys,
Terence Mckenna, and the sacred few in this book
who knew what to prize
And how to truly spread the word by soul singing,
Which is the definition of whisper, once projected in,
Through attention paid to the moon and its hold on us, Barritt sources
The fundamentals of magic. By surviving Hail Mary condemnation
He makes it all the way through to Lune–Time
Under which the truly privileged pass to re-examine the essence
That guides us all through the blindness that leaves us all circumspect.
Barritt receives a visitation from Cron, Queen of Lune-Time, from her saucer.
On a gilded throne she receives him and he is dutifully bound to her spell.
A life of devotion ensues in which her word of light is line, thread, and ribbon,
Leading him from confinement into the endless and sparked astral swell.
‘I will show you the death of the moon, feelings forgotten
by the earth, instincts from another world, secrets you are
not ready to know..’
She implores and you are won by reading,
let alone living;
Death as it happens is preface it seems for new forms.
- Williams knew this too, as of course did K. Campbell;
All of the seekers and searchers are tripping with Huxley
Reading and roaming and breaking out and through prison doors.
We are all wanderers as Timothy and Rosemary Leary’s Postscript
Whether bound by duty,
Or the convention and form of man’s laws.
What we must do now is ascend
By listening first to the Whisper,
Which sings to you as you’re reading;
Time’s psychedelic recolouring dark, curing flaws.
The Whisper is all. Its frequency now surpasses
All earthly language and all deposed Mother tongue.
By attending to it the seven languages are translated:
Start combining until the soul’s ascent is begun.
That is when Man becomes God and not derived from his image.
Which is the arrogance of a system for which only corruption results.
God’s true face is the force that powers our own into questions
That only this old music answers, this long forgotten sound,
This truth cult. Which thanks to the barbarism today is forced to exist
In the same space as those who abuse it and those who do not understand
That the path to freedom is pure if we only knew where to find it;
In books like this; passports, totems to a place in which we’d confront
Not only the inadequacies of the day but the day’s wasted choices.
It all dates back to Barritt and to his colleague, Ball.
Roll this voice.
A few remaining copies of Whisper are available. Contact Editor for more information.
On the continued life and work of Brian Barritt
The Whisper of course amplified as Barritt continued exploring,
Released, he soon charted the underground’s frequency.
In searching for the truth within sound beneath both word and image,
He vibed for forty years mind sparked travel along the psychedelic path
High and free. Many of these missions resound, such as the infinity stone
That he and Flinton Chalk fashioned. Exhibited in the October Gallery,
Sound itself can be seen. Flinton and Susanna Lafond here attend,
Activating one of Barritt’s last forces, collaborating with contemporary
Artist and mystic, master Jonathan Greet, death still dreams.
Cancer burned Barritt away but he continues to survive
That sad fire. The vibrancies that he gathered are in the books
He wrote and art made. For yet another vital project resounds,
Linking life and death through the static: The 111Hz project
Which is active time travel as experienced in a cave.
Certain frequencies complete space, removing all other noise
As we listen, and these reverberations and echoes ensure that rituals
Of the primal past can be saved. The following information displays
How the ancient trance state has been captured. First in a Cairn in Ireland,
But soon to be spread through the world. Archeo-acoustics play time,
Like a hand on strings or throat moving. Barritt and his fellow artist, musician,
Researcher and Curator, Flinton Chalk found the answer; by sailing
Magick themed seas of endeavour, they charted waves of sound
To discover that as it reaches and washes the shape of time itself
To complete what is hoped to be the first of many more entries
The great John Higgs’ Obituary for Brian Barritt
Acts as postscript for a postscript,
With Flinton Chalks explanation of 111Hz
Gracing this page we read further,
As the frequencies gather
Around Brian Barritt’s new world.
David Erdos April 22nd 2019
BRIAN BARRITT – An Obituary by John Higgs
As featured in The Independent, 2011.
The writer Brian Barritt was a lusty, Pan-like figure who sat at the heart of the counter-culture for over 50 years. A friend and collaborator to such notables as Timothy Leary, William Burroughs, Alex Trocchi and Youth of Killing Joke, he was particularly active in the Beatnik, psychedelic, Krautrock and rave scenes.
Brian Sydney Barritt was born in Coventry in 1934, and his early childhood shaped by the Blitz. Part of the roof of his home was lost during a bombing raid, while his school was destroyed, interrupting his early education.
His education ended when he left Broadheath School in Foleshill, Coventry at 15. He worked briefly at the local Jaguar factory, where he upholstered seats on the Jaguar XK120s, before he joined the Merchant Navy. His late teenage years, spent in ports and brothels from Japan to the Cape of Good Hope, included a little gun-running and the start of his life-long love of opium; these years, he later claimed, were his real education.
Barritt then joined the British Army and served in The Royal Warwickshire Regiment as an infantryman, seeing service in Cyprus and Northern Ireland. He spent time in the notorious Colchester detention centre after being court-martialled for falling asleep during a gun battle in Cyprus. Nevertheless, he left the army with an honourable discharge and received the General Service Medal.
In 1958 he moved to London, finding a home among the burgeoning Soho Beatnik scene. He became an artist and specialised in large, expressionist paintings. Much of his work from this period is lost but one existing piece, 1962’s Self Portrait With Orgasm, is believed to be the oldest surviving example of British acid art.
Barritt was introduced to LSD during this period by the Scottish Beat writer Alex Trocchi, author of Cain’s Book and Young Adam. As the drug was then unknown in the UK and they had no knowledge of dosage or potency, he and his partner Paula injected the whole shipment in one go. It was an experience that he never really recovered from, but one which turned him into a lifelong psychedelic evangelist. He became one of the fabled “Cosmic Couriers”, a group who distributed LSD around the world – not for profit but because they believed it was their spiritual duty. Barritt smuggled great quantities of LSD behind the Iron Curtain on the grounds that “I thought it would do a lot of good, you know?”
In 1965 he hitched overland to India and Afghanistan. Returning to the UK a year later, he was arrested when the cannabis sewn into his waistcoat was discovered. The judge took one look at his dishevelled appearance and remarked, “A glass of brandy and a good cigar would never do that to a man.” He was jailed for four years.
His first book was written in jail and smuggled out in fragments taped to the underside of his penis which were then passed on to visitors while the guards were looking the other way. These were assembled by his publisher Dave Ball into Whisper, a book that received high praise from William Burroughs and others. After his release, Barritt travelled to Algeria to meet Timothy Leary, the High Priest of the psychedelic Sixties and, in the words of President Nixon, “the most dangerous man in America”.
Leary had escaped from an American jail with the aid of the terrorist organisation the Weathermen and was being sheltered in Algiers by the Black Panthers. The pair became close during Leary’s years on the run, co-writing Confessions of a Hope Fiend and working on a theory of consciousness that became Leary’s “Eight Circuit Model”. Leary considered Barritt to be a “genius.”
In 1972, under the protection of an exiled French arms dealer in Switzerland, the pair were introduced to Krautrock and collaborated on Ash Ra Tempel’s Seven Up album. He went on to work with a number of Krautrock bands, particularly in the more blissful sub-genre of Kosmiche Musik. A recent history of Krautrock described his involvement as “unfortunate” because the “innocent bloom of Krautrock’s youth had been corrupted by the arrival of Leary and his depraved orgiastic LSD merchants.”
He moved to London’s Ladbroke Grove in the 1980s where he met Youth, from Killing Joke and The Orb, who introduced him to the rave scene. His autobiography The Road of Excess, was published in 1998 and was followed by The Road to Tir Na N’Og, a manual for “psychedelic archaeologists”.
In 2003 his only daughter, Bella, was killed in a car accident. She was 19.
Barritt remained active until the end. In his final year he worked with the artist Flinton Chalk on a granite sound sculpture and published a near-unpublishable science fiction sex comedy called The Nabob of Bombasta. He is survived by his stepson, David Downey.
Brian Sydney Barritt, writer: born Coventry 29 November 1934; one daughter, deceased, with Liz Elliot, and one stepson; died London 30 January 2011.
NOTES BB & 111Hz
By Flinton Chalk
I first met Brian in 1991. We’d both just returned from Ireland, where I’d been researching the prehistoric monuments with Julian Cope for his forthcoming book The Modern Antiquarian and Brian had been staying with friends in Dublin.
We had both independently visited the chambered cairns at Loughcrew, about 40 miles northwest of Dublin, spread across the tops of the highest peaks in County Meath called ‘Slieve na Callaiagh’ or ‘The Mountains Of The Sorceress’ and we had both fallen under her spell, struck by sheer antiquity of the constructs, dating back to the 4th millennium BCE and the proliferation of abstract art, zig zag lines, sun wheels, mandalas and spirals carved on the stones. The highest concentration of Neolithic art in Europe.
Of the remains of 32 cairns, lettered A to Y by their first surveyor Eugene Conwell in 1863, only 3 are still intact. Cairn T, the best preserved, has a solar alignment, where the sunrise shines deep into its chamber on the March and September Equinoxes and reads across carvings on the back stone.
We returned to investigate this cairn in particular many times and were incredibly lucky to film the sun enter the chamber one Autumn Equinox. This was the first time that this ancient solar alignment, only discovered in 1984, had been captured on moving film.
Our fascination was deepened even more by the results of acoustic testing on the chambers by Cambridge and Princeton Universities. Our colleague, the alternative archaeology researcher Paul Devereux was part of the team and published their findings in his book Stone Age Soundtracks. The team tested 20 prehistoric monuments in the UK and reported that the average resonant frequency of the inner chambers was 111Hz, a bass frequency, lower male baritone in the human vocal range.
They found that what ever the size or shape of the interior chambers, the results fell between a very narrow acoustic band width, between 90Hz and 120Hz, spanning just 9 notes in the modern western chromatic musical scale, with the main proliferation between 110Hz and 112Hz, around the note ‘A’.
What this means is that if a range of frequencies are emitted in the chamber, the dimensions of the architecture creates a standing wave of sound around 111Hz, cancelling out all the other frequencies. At that point, the 111Hz frequency doesn’t fade away immediately, it is amplified by the chamber as the sound waves bounce off the stone walls, ceiling and floor.
Now Brian’s house number was 111 and one thing I learned quickly from him was to follow the synchronicities. Adventure and incident followed Brian like love sick puppies, coincidences so absurd, that no rational philosophy could survive in his company.
Brian went straight to Alastair Crowley’s book ‘777’ muttering “111 – it’s a big magic number you know” under his breath. He flicked straight to the back of the massive tome and looked up the Kabbalistic alpha-numerical Hebrew text values for 111 and found the letters ‘AUM’. “It’s the prototype OM Flint, we’ve got to take it seriously”. From that day on the numbers 111 besieged us, popping up at every opportunity.
The intriguing results of the sonic tests, now officially termed ‘archaeoacoustics’ a new science, triggered medical trails as to the effects of frequencies around 111Hz, most notably at UCLA in California, funded by the music producer David Geffen. These tests have consistently found that there are marked changes in the human brain whilst listening to frequencies close to 111Hz.
In general most sound is processed by the left hemisphere, the practical centre of the brain, but frequencies near to 111Hz are processed by the right hemisphere, the creative or artistic centre. If conditions are correct, within a few minutes of exposure to 111Hz the day to day dominance of activity in the left brain can be reversed, with the right side taking over.
When this happens there can be the side effect of the induction of Theta trance, the state of mind that a hypnotherapist wants to induce in you and that mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga can promote. Most artistic and creative activities can also activate the right brain, but so far, no other solo passive activity, such as simply listening to 111Hz, has been clinically indicated to involuntarily activate the right brain and potentially instigate trance.
As an artist, musician and fellow consciousness explorer, I am well versed in the act of creation to stay centered. This is realm of Outsider Art and it thrust Brian and myself into the worlds of mental health and neuroscience, as there are positive mental health applications to the discovery of 111Hz in the prehistoric monuments.
In modern society, the left-brain is overused and home to emotional disorders and anxiety. In autism, for instance there is a distinct imbalance of brain activity with the left pre-fontal cortex taking precedence over the right. For optimum mental health, neuronal activity in both hemispheres should be balanced.
The left side of the brain with its linear thought patterns doesn’t know where it is in the universe without the right side being equally as active. This imbalance can be addressed simply by imbibing 111Hz. To date, there are no known drug interventions that can safely achieve this.
Brian and I then began our crusade to alert the medical establishment to the potential of 111Hz as a positive intervention for mental heath issues. This has entailed many meetings with many professors and many institutions. It was up to us to create interactive experiences to demonstrate its effects. Based on my film footage of the Equinoctial sunrise entering Cairn T, we recorded a 111Hz chant within the ancient chamber and produced an art installation which toured the UK and I continue to exhibit to this day.
With the assistance of our long term friend, mentor and Loyal Arthurian War Band warrior priestess Suzanna Lafond, the installation was the headline act at the first ever International Archaeoacoustics Convention in Malta. During the event, we acoustically investigated the cavernous ancient monument called the Hypergeum dating from the same period as the Irish cairns. In a area called the Oracle Chamber, its ceiling adorned with painted red spirals, the frequency of 111Hz was discovered resonating loud and proud.
Meanwhile, we had to make made our own headway to deliver 111Hz as a sound therapy, I got some training in music and art therapy and we received enough interest from health professionals to begin pilot trials. Refining the 111Hz frequency to provide the most potent intervention is an ongoing process, along with designing a methodology to administer the sound in therapy.
Strangely enough, we have found that the most potent version of 111Hz for therapy and trance induction is the wordless chant we recorded in the chamber of Cairn T back in Old Ireland. Of all sounds, it appears the brain responds most strongly to the human voice and perhaps, our ancient Irish ancestors, including Brian, joining in.
I’m continuing to work with Brian’s legacy and I’m leading a team that provides songwriting with 111Hz music therapy to young adults with acute mental health issues, on secure NHS hospital wards. This project was recently reported by New Scientist magazine in an article on the latest advances in music therapy.
One thing that Brian wanted to do, once 111Hz was established as a bone-fide therapy, was to promote its recreational trance aspect. So now, in his honour, I’m instigating a project titled after Brian’s method of pronouncing archaeoacoustics, using the letters RKO.
RKO Acoustics will write, perform and play out dance music featuring 111Hz at its most trance potent, where possible, featuring recordings made at ancient sites. We’ll also release the most effective ambient sound therapy pieces to the general public for the first time.
This article is dedicated and with thanks to David Ball, Flinton Ball, Susanna Lafond, Youth and to the work and memory of Brian Barritt, 1934-2011
Whisper on, Brian….