The Square Root of Minus One

Over the last couple of years I’ve been going through my cassette tape collection and replacing them with new and second-hand CDs from and the Amazon Marketplace.

During this process, I’ve discovered a cassette that may well be one of the few copies left in existence.  It’s called ‘The Square Root of Minus One’ and it was produced by the Paraphonic Studio of the Paraphysical Laboratory, Downton, Wiltshire, England.  Recorded on an Ampex 60 Chromium Dioxide tape, the main piece of ‘music’ is based around an audio illusion of continually rising tones.  The tracks on the tape are:

  1. ‘The Square Root of Minus One’ (heliphonic)
  2. ‘Zeitlos’ (isotropic)
  3. ‘Zeta Alert’ (primary)

The Paraphysical Laboratory in Downton was founded by Benson Herbert who was interested in altered states of consciousness.  The tape is intended to, in turn, create dissociative and meditative states and then re-alert the listener.

I’ve donated the original tape to the Society for Psychical Research for inclusion in their media archive, as they expressed an interest in having a copy.