Aubert, Georges – 03 Third Epoch – 18 December 7, 1913, the Conference in Nancy
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Finally, very recently, on December 7, 1913, I was invited to Nancy by the Society of Psychic Studies of that city at the same time as Mr. Gabriel Delanne.
The latter gave a remarkable lecture on automatic mediumnity, followed by the musical audition that I had been asked to give.
I do not wish to make any comment on this séance; but, for the purposes of the case, I submit for your consideration an article from the Etoile de l'Est dated December 8 reflecting the impression produced. As well as the appreciation of Mrs Richert-Collin, professor emeritus at the Conservatoire de Nancy, which was requested by the Society of Psychic Studies.
Article from the Eastern Star.
THE CONFERENCES IN NANCY.
Mr. Delanne and the medium Aubert. - An echo from the other world.
Yesterday, Sunday, at 4 a.m., in front of a packed room, Mr. Delanne's conference was held, followed by a performance by the medium Aubert.
In addition to the members of the Society for Psychological Studies, which organized this interesting séance, a large audience, attracted by the well-known name of the speaker, as well as by the desire to finally see and hear a medium, had come to enlarge the usual audience. This increase brought the number of attendants to more than five hundred.
The meeting was chaired by Colonel Collet, who praised Mr. Delanne very highly. This was not the first time that the distinguished propagator of experimental spiritism had been heard in Nancy, where his eloquence, based on a deep conviction, left pleasant recollections. As a result, he was listened to with undeniable attention.
In his lecture, Mr. Delanne insisted above all on the scientific side of spiritualism, which is no other than the rational study of phenomena whose reality is not to be denied.
Undoubtedly, it has had its mystifiers and exploiters, like all the discoveries that can offer a field of action to charlatanism. But what can a charlatan's deceit against duly controlled facts, the reality of which is attested by men whose science and good reputation are beyond all doubt, and who, like William Crookes, come to say highly: "I do not say that this is possible, I say that it is.»
Mr. Delanne mentioned some names and read out documents. After a quick classification of known spiritualist phenomena, he examined the various hypotheses with which we tried to explain them by purely physical causes, and confronted them successively. By the way, he corrected some mistakes, accredited by the opponents of spiritualism.
It has been said, for example, that the materializations found at Villa Carmen, where he met Mr. Charles Richet, were a trick devised by a coachman, in revenge for having been fired. However, the medium whose presence produced these materializations has by no means disappeared, as has been claimed. He is in Paris; he has given the support of his remarkable faculties to new experiments. Subject to careful control, excluding any possibility of fraud, the same phenomena have occurred again. There are minutes of these experiments, signed by reliable personalities; they have been compiled in a volume, which will be published shortly.
Mr. Delanne deals with the psychology of mediums and indicates their role in the generation of phenomena. Endowed with special psychic qualities, they serve as intermediaries for personalities from the afterlife to enter into relations with the material world. The speaker thus speaks about Mr. Aubert and tells how his mediumnity manifested itself.
Mr. Aubert's family often avoided spiritualism, so he had had the opportunity to attend many table experiments where spiritualist communications obtained by striking were recorded more than once. One evening, one of these communicators invited Mr. Aubert to play the piano. He is a very weak musician and there was nothing to suggest that he could interest an audience; however, he obeyed. But as soon as his hands had touched the keyboard, he gave evidence of extraordinary virtuosity. The piece he unconsciously improvised was beautiful, performed as a consummate artist, with an ease of composition that only a long study combined with exceptional dispositions could have given him. However, Mr. Aubert had never studied harmony, never improvised; he could not have played any work of this strength from memory, and he himself did not know where the knowledge of the piece he had been the purely automatic performer came from.
Moreover, the author of this piece became known in the spiritualist communications obtained during the group's séances. The name given to it was that of one of our greatest masters.
Since then, the same fact has often and very recently been repeated in Liege, where the medium-musician has been heard in the presence of several professors from the Conservatory of that city, whose certificates confirm the inexplicable faculties that distinguish Mr. Aubert's improvisations.
The audience is highly intrigued by Mr. Delanne's presentation, with a clarity and precision that is characteristic of his eloquence.
During a short suspension of the meeting, the members of the Committee moved closer to the piano, and Mr. Aubert took his place in front of the keyboard. He is still a young man, slender, with a friendly and regular appearance, serious look, without a pose.
After a moment of silence, a violent plated chord is heard, and the medium's fingers run over the keys, rise, strike, bounce with wonderful suppleness and dexterity, while the bust is completely motionless and the face takes on a strange impassibility. It looks like a wax mask. They are separated, confused, detached and linked in turn into a powerful symphony, where one sometimes has the illusion of distinguishing orchestral sounds.
The pianist is remarkably virtuosic, but the fingering is often irregular, whimsical, although he does not detect any hesitation. The forearm is stiff, as if petrified. Its movements, which have the precision of those of an automaton, contrast singularly with the vertiginous flexibility of the fingers.
The finished piece, while the applause breaks out, Aubert's physiognomy relaxes and the mask of impassibility disappears. But drops of sweat bead on the temples and the expression betrays a slight fatigue.
The composer's name is asked; the answer is given by the spiritualist process: the letters of the alphabet spoken aloud, and a blow struck when the one to be used to constitute the word appears. The combination of the letters obtained successively gives this name: Mendelssohn!
The audition is resumed and the piano - we were going to say the orchestra - attacks a fugue whose majestic theme, of a striking originality, floating on waves of harmony, to emerge more and more clearly with each change of tone. Then the symphony rushes, gets entangled, seems to pursue the melodic phrase and embrace it. It's a tremendous effect. The faces of the listeners reflect multiple impressions, among which dominate astonishment and admiration.
The name given at the end is Bach.
A third piece, perhaps even more remarkable, is indicated as a work inspired by Beethoven, and a fourth by Chopin.
All four of them undoubtedly recall the way of these masters; but only the way, because no matter how much we analyze, we find no reminiscence of their known works.
The séance, which began at four o'clock, did not end until six and a half hours later. We do not think we are mistaken in saying that to everyone it seemed too short.
Thanks are due to the Society for Psychic Studies and in particular to Mr. Thomas, its devoted Secretary General, for having revealed to the Nancy public this impressive music, which, wherever it comes from, is of incomparable beauty.
It would be unfair not to add that the excellent grand piano, which lent its sound and impeccable mechanism to the artist medium and his inspirers, is a Gaveau, and that it was provided by the Dupont-Metzner house in Nancy. — D.
APPRECIATION OF MRS. L. RICHERT-COLLIN.
"I confess that it is with great scepticism that I let myself be led by a friend to come and listen to Mr. Aubert, a musician medium, presented by Mr. Gabriel Delanne, the spiritual manifestations, whatever they may be, leaving me, in general, cold and incredulous.
"I must admit that I was absolutely amazed by what I heard; indeed, Mr. Aubert, although not a musician, and, by the fact, having never worked on the piano (which we can see, moreover, in many inexperienced musicians, such as the one, among others, to start a scale with the fifth finger), Mr. Aubert, was not able to find out the truth. Aubert, I said, has a virtuosity that many professionals would envy him and, at times, one has the impression of hearing a true symphony, when, for example, he is under the influence of Beethoven.
Bach inspired him to create a fugue in which the theme, the responses, the subject by opposite movement, etc., could be perfectly distinguished; and one thing that struck me among all was the completely academic way in which the modulations are presented. In a word, we came out of that hearing absolutely impressed and really forced to think about the Afterlife, which was so mysterious and disturbing.
"Professor at the Conservatoire de Nancy.»