Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

An Evening of Psychoacoustic and Optical Illusions

The book Rorschach Audio: Art & Illusion for Sound, by author and installation artist Joe Banks, takes as its central metaphor the comparison between the perception of ambiguous speech-sounds, and the “projective” interpretation of the famous ink-blot tests devised by the Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in 1921.

With a nod to the model of perception proposed by Freud, Banks explores relationships between mechanisms of aural and visual perception, demonstrating a series of highly entertaining and sometimes bizarre psychoacoustic and optical illusions.

With a further nod to ideas proposed in Freud’s The Future of An Illusion, the lecture focusses on a critique of Spiritualistic and allegedly supernatural Electronic Voice Phenomena (ghost-voice) recordings, a theme wildly popular in contemporary sound installation art. Banks traces the illusions involved as far back as the artist generally recognised as the most important figure in the history of Western art, and reveals the role that relatively little-known wartime intelligence work with sound had on what is arguably the most important work of visual arts theory ever published.

Joe Banks produces the installation art and electronic music project Disinformation. Disinformation exhibits and performs internationally, has been the subject of over a dozen UK solo exhibitions - including a recent solo installation at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, and has exhibited in group shows at Kiasma (Helsinki), CCCB (Barcelona), Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge) and The Hayward Gallery (London).

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July 21, 2015  

While the contents of the unconscious might be obscure and perplexing, when Freud spoke about 'the unconscious' he meant something very precise. This talk will look at Freud's 'discovery' of the unconscious, and at his conceptualisation of it. It will also deal with the peculiar logic of symptom formation. From there, it will go on to look at Lacan's notion of the language-like unconscious, showing how this was developed in accordance with Freud's ideas.

Anouchka Grose is a psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, where she regularly lectures. She is the author of No More Silly Love Songs: a realist’s guide to romance (Portobello, 2010) and Are you Considering Therapy (Karnac, 2011), and is the editor of 'Hysteria Today', a collection of essays to be published by Karnac later this year. She also writes for The Guardian and teaches at Camberwell School of Art.

Part of an exciting season of talks, events and conferences accompanying the exhibition ‘Festival of the Unconscious’24 June- 4 October 2015.

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July 14, 2015  
Stephen Gee: Michael Tippett: From Persecution to Paradise

Beate Perrey: Mixing memory and Desire: The Voice of Freud, Schubert and Schumann

Stephen Gee: Michael Tippett: From Persecution to Paradise
Michael Tippett’s musical output spans the decades from the early 1930s to the 1990s. It is by turns exuberantly lyrical and vibrantly modernist. He was that rare person in England, an intellectual whose life and work was engaged with the times he lived in. In the 1930s his development as a composer went alongside a passionate commitment to the politics of the Left. His personal life and psychic freedom were also at stake. Like Auden and Britten, Tippett was gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal and its social expression unthinkable. He turned to a Jungian analyst, John Layard, and his sessions with him together with his own dream analysis helped him to find enough emotional and psychic freedom to release his creative imagination.

Beate Perrey: Mixing memory and Desire: The Voice of Freud, Schubert and Schumann
Freud didn't discover the unconscious; rather, his whole way of thinking and style of writing are imbued with the ideals and affective investments of his visionary predecessors, the Early Romantic generation of writers and poets such as Novalis, the Schlegel brothers, Brentano and Eichendorff. Nor was Freud much of a musician, or even known as a music lover. And yet, Freud’s ideas, concepts and metaphors can bring a whole new intensity both to our perception and understanding of that special sound world which is the German Lied. I shall, in a few chosen songs by Schubert and Schumann, explore their idiosyncratic beauty and multilayered meanings.
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July 14, 2015  
Lesley Chamberlain: Thomas Mann, Music and Civilisation’s Discontents

For Thomas Mann, German Romantic music, especially the music of Wagner, opened up the discontents of civilization, offering a regressive escape from excessive cultural pressures. Using Freudian insights to blend Nietzsche’s response to Wagner with worries about his own unadmitted homosexuality, and his role as a writer/artist in a strictly regulated middle class environment, Mann fictionalized the most catastrophic moments in German history as moments when civilization succumbed to the devil in the guise of music.
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July 14, 2015  
Richard Rusbridger: The Internal World of Don Giovanni

Andrea Sabbadini: Psychoanalysis and Choral Singing

Richard Rusbridger: The Internal World of Don Giovanni
The author tries to account for the disturbing impact of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. Some writers idealize Don Giovanni's power and vitality. The author’s view is that Mozart's music depicts him as a much emptier character, using phallic narcissism as a way of surviving a psychic catastrophe by projecting his pain into others. The music shows how Giovanni lives in projective identification with many other objects and part objects, masculine and feminine; and how he seduces them into complicity with his defensive system. This situation is contrasted musically with the world of the other characters, particularly the women, who are depicted as more ordinary, more complex and, in fact, more sensual.


Andrea Sabbadini: Psychoanalysis and Choral Singing
After a brief introduction on the relationship between psychoanalysis and music, and on the importance of sounds in early development, I will describe some aspects of my long experience as an amateur choral singer of classical music. Over the years singing, with its direct involvement of the body alongside the mind, has represented for me an invaluable contrast to my daily analytic work with patients, as well as a complement to it. I believe that my involvement with choral singing and psychoanalysis has much enriched my appreciation of both.
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July 14, 2015  
Mark Berry: Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Schoenberg’s Operas

Arnold Schoenberg came to artistic maturity in that celebrated 'crucible of modernity' sometimes simply known as 'Freud's Vienna'. It was there and then that he resolved, not without regret, to break with tonality, to feel, as the Stefan Georg text to his 1908 Second String Quartet – the work within which he made that break – has it, the 'air of another planet'. In this lecture, I shall look in particular at two of his operas. Erwartung, his first, was written in 1909, to a text by Marie Pappenheim, a dermatologist with interest in psychoanalysis, and a relative of Josef Breuer’s ‘Anna O’. Its exploration, verbal and musical, of extreme psychological states has much to tell us concerning Schoenberg’s own concerns. Moses und Aron, Schoenberg’s final, unfinished opera was written considerably later, in the final years of Weimar Germany, prior to Schoenberg’s flight from the Third Reich. It will be considered in the light of Freud’s own Moses and Monotheism, and with particular respect to Schoenberg’s fears of idolatry. A relatively recent production, from the Vienna State Opera,  which treats the Orgy around the Golden Calf with images from modern advertising points to important questions concerning our desires and their fulfilment.
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July 9, 2015  
David Adam in conversation with Oliver James


Have you ever had the sudden fear that you didn’t lock the back door? Or the disturbing thought of jumping in front of an oncoming train?

You are not alone. Most of us experience strange thoughts and compulsions that occur to us ‘out of the blue’. They can sometimes be distressing and embarassing, but they are also very common. For many people, they spiral into the living nightmare of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

OCD is estimated to afflict roughly 750,000 people in the UK alone. But what exactly is it? Where do its characteristic thoughts and compulsions come from? And can a psychoanalytic approach shed light on this debilitating condition?

Join David Adam and Oliver James for an intimate exploration of the experience of OCD and its possible explanations.

David Adam is an award-winning journalist, formerly of the Guardian, and currently an editor at the science journal Nature. He is the author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop, an intimate look at the power of intrusive thoughts, how our brain can turn against us and what it means to live with Obsessive-compulsive Disorder.

Oliver James is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. Since 1988, he has worked as a writer, journalist, broadcaster and television documentary producer and presenter. His books include the best-selling AffluenzaThey F*** You Upand Love Bombing.

Part of a season of performances, talks, workshops and events accompanying the 'Festival of the Unconscious' exhibition, 24 June - 4 October 2015.

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