In a domed building in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert, visitors can experience an entirely new type of surround sound.
The Integratron, with its 50ft diameter and 38ft-high dome, was built by aeronautical
engineer George Van Tassel in the 1950s to be a sound chamber tuned precisely to
the frequencies needed to rejuvenate human cells.
Employing ideas from scientists like Nikola
Tesla (best known for his contributions toward modernising the use of alternating
current), Van Tassel’s structure creates an ionized
environment that is believed to raise the cells’ metabolic and reproductive
rate and “reset” the positive and negative charges within individual cells, ultimately
providing the body with more energy and vitality.
To fully experience the effects of the all-wood
building, located about 45 miles north of Palm Springs, California, the Integratron
offers “Sound Baths” within its acoustically-powerful
domed interior. During the 60-minute sessions, a musician plays a series of
nine quartz crystal singing bowls (played by running a special mallet around
the exterior of each bowl), each attuned to the human body’s various chakras or
energy centres to promote relaxation and rejuvenation. Many visitors fall
asleep due to the soothing sounds, others report feeling a connection to the
divine and one reviewer described feeling “fireworks in my brain”.
The music plays for 25 minutes, and for the remaining
35 minutes visitors relax on cushioned mats. Private sessions are available
from $30 to $80 per person depending on group size, and a “no reservations”
session is also held most Saturdays and Sundays at noon for $15. The sound
chamber holds 45 people, and the public sessions are open on a first-come,
first-served basis. Those who want to skip the sound baths can take a
self-guided tour following the public sessions for $5.