Ruminations on the Voynich Manuscript

As the “world’s most mysterious book,” the Voynich Manuscript is like an inkblot test: whatever people make of it tends to reveal more about them than it does about the manuscript itself.  Its study shares resonances with pareidolia, akin to seeing recognizable shapes in clouds or wood grains, and with the Law of the Instrument,…

Berthold Laufer’s Chinese Stereo Recordings of 1901

In 1901, Berthold Laufer recorded Chinese music and drama using two phonographs at the same time, one for vocals and one for instruments.  Today we can combine the resulting pairs of recordings in stereo, and I’ll be sharing a few examples below, together with an explanation of how I prepared them.  Laufer’s pairs of simultaneously…