Category Archives: Music of Erich Zann

Stephen Hawking’s Ideas in a Lovecraftian Cosmos

Yuri Milner And Stephen Hawking Announce Breakthrough Starshot, A New Space Exploration Initiative

On the 14th of March 2018 we lost one of the greatest scientists of the late 20th / early 21st century – Stephen Hawking.  He was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist and popularizer of science to general audiences, and in spite of being diagnosed and suffering from a slow-progressing form of the motor neuron disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), he led a full and productive life, working on exploring the mysteries of our universe and even beyond.  In this article we discuss how some of Hawking’s work was referenced and discussed in past articles here at Lovecraftian Science. A subsequent article will review some of Hawking’s work and how it can be used to better understand the Lovecraftian Cosmos.

In Lovecraft’s “The Music of Erich Zann” we hypothesized that Zann had somehow made a connection to a parallel Universe with his music. In the book The Grand Design, written by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, the quantum origins of the multiverse, including our Universe, is essentially composed of a Wave Function. This concept is based on Hawking’s idea of applying quantum mechanics to the entire universe or at least at the origins of the universe.  Other physicists such as Richard Feynman identified that a particle in motion does not have a specific or unique endpoint (Hawking and Mlodinow, 2012).  Thus, the endpoint is not “etched in stone.” Rather, there are varying probabilities of what that endpoint will be and while some endpoints will have substantially higher probabilities over others, all possible endpoints need to be considered. Consider applying this concept to the entire universe and beyond.

zann Illustration of “The Music of Erich Zann” by Andrew Brosnatch for Weird Tales.

At the sub-atomic level, this haze of quantum probabilities is reality.  In contrast, at larger universal scales the quantum reality does not have to be taken into account.  However, at the origin of the universe, when it was as small as a billion-trillion-trillionth of a centimeter, quantum forces dominated. Stephen Hawking’s Wave Function hypothesis of the Universe examines the birth of the universe from a quantum perspective so that there are an infinite number of all possible universes; we happen live in a universe that had a high probability of being stable enough to support life.  More than likely most of these universes do not have the specific “mix” of physical properties to support and sustain life; at least life as we define it.

The proposed set or network of theories that support the multiverse concept is called M-theory. Each theory explains certain physical phenomenon within a given range of scale.  When these scales overlap, different theories agree.  However, when the scales do not overlap, different theories describe certain phenomenon (e.g. Newtonian mechanics describing the influence of gravity on a planetary scale vs. quantum mechanics describing sub-atomic interactions).   Thus, given this proposed network of theories, M-theory allows for the existence of different universes with different laws of nature (e.g. the charge of the electron, the actual strength of gravity).

M-Theory_2880x1920-2880x1920 M-Theory is a set of theory that are inter-linked; the strength of these links are based on the scale being observed.

Linking Hawking’s Wave Function hypothesis with M-theory, if the generation of the multiverse was associated with a quantum reality, then these universes are not separated in the sense of space-time but in a “quantum wave function.” In other words, parallel universes are co-spatial; that is, they are separated by quantum properties rather than space-time properties (The Layman’s Guide to Quantum Reality by J.D. Lovil, 2017).  Thus, other universes are not billions of light years away or in the distant past or future. Instead, they exist and are woven into our very existence. The link or connection between or among universes may not be through wormholes or time travel but through weak gravitational interactions among the universes. In turn, gravitational dark matter and/or dark energy may be the key to other universes and the Old Ones.

wavefunction                                                              Illustration of S. Hawking’s Wave Function hypothesis of universe generation.

The music of Erich Zann may have been generating micro-scale gravity waves of a very specific disturbance within space-time to link our universe with another. Or, as Lovecraft’s story suggests, Zann’s music prevented beings from another universe from entering ours. Somehow, sometime in Zann’s life he could have been exposed to a situation where it was revealed to him that others from another universe are attempting to entering ours through gravitational waves. The music he plays may disrupt the wave generation just enough to prevent access. That is an extremely heavy burden on one person; preventing an inter-universal invasion from extra-dimensional beings.

La musica di Erich Zann- AlexScibilia                     The Music of Erich Zann by Alex Scibilia.

Next time we will discuss in a little more detail how others such as the Old Ones may have access to our universe and why they are so different from us. Thank you – Fred.

Erich Zann and the Thing Beyond the Threshold

The Music of Erich Zann by Cyril Van der Haegen (

We have been discussing how Erich Zann’s music may have prevented the annihilation of our universe.  While we will never know the true reason for Zann’s compulsion to play in front of the high window, for the explanation he documented on paper was blown away, it has been hypothesized that the high window at the Rue d’ Auseil was a threshold or gateway to another universe, possibly filled with antimatter.   This last article reviews and discusses the end of this tale within an emphasis on the “thing” or entity on the other side.

While Erich Zann is writing the explanation for playing his insane music at night, both he and the protagonist begin to hear “…not a horrible sound, but rather an exquisitely low and infinitely distant musical note, suggesting a player in one of the neighboring houses…”.  While the protagonist thought nothing of this, Zann has a look of terror on his face and immediately grabs his viol and begins to play his strange, wild music.


The Music of Erich Zann by Aric S. (

Using music as a direct form of communication or converting it into another form of energy that can be understood is similar to the circumstances experienced in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 Movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  In that film humans and visitors from another world communicate directly through the tones and frequencies associated with music.  Was a similar mode of communication occurring in The Music of Erich Zann?  Possibly but given the frantic playing of Zann, I think there is some sort of translation going on, possible through a membrane; converting sound energy into another form of energy that can be directly perceived and understood on the other side, as opposed to direct communication with music.  I previously mentioned that the high window may possess an inter-dimensional membrane that converts the music into another form of energy that the “others” on the other side can understand.

Alien contact from Steven Spielberg’s Movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (

As Zann continues to play, he begins to imagine (or hallucinate?) strange images such as shadowy satyrs and bacchanals dancing in clouds, smoke and lightning.  Was this the initiation of possible contact between two different universes?  The shutters and high window begin to rattle in a howling night wind, which seem to respond to Zann’s playing.  The shutters become unfastened and the glass is shattered.  A strange wind blows into the room capturing the Zann manuscript and throwing it out into the night.  Unfortunately the protagonist fails to save any of the papers before they are lost.

As Zann continue to play is frantic and insane music, the protagonist approaches the high window and expects to see city lights.  However, what he sees is “…the blackness of space illimitable; unimagined space alive with motion and music, and having no semblance of anything on earth.”  Was it possible that he was looking into another universe, possibly composed of antimatter?

As the protagonist staggers back, he feels some chilled “thing” brush against his body.  Was this “thing” from the other side?  If it was composed of antimatter, then probably not since it’s direct physical contact with the protagonist would have meant the annihilation of it and an equal amount of matter, which would have included the protagonist.


The Music of Erich Zann by Jeff Powers

The protagonist continues to stumble back and reaches Zann.  He tells Zann they must leave the building now and while Zann continues to play he feels cold to the touch.  The protagonist then notices that Zann is stiffened, not breathing and has glassy bulging eyes.  In spite of continuing to play, Zann appears to be dead.  The protagonist then flees and runs down the stairs; in spite of experiencing the severe night winds in Zann’s room, once out of the building the air was still, no clouds are in the sky and the moon is out.  The high winds in room but calm evening weather outside again supports the hypothesis that some inter-universal contact was occurring in Zann’s room.

Again, the exact reason for Zann’s playing to the gabled window may never be known since the explanation was blown into the inter-stellar  winds.  However, the chilled thing grazing against the protagonist, followed by the corpse-like appearance of Zann and then eventually the complete erasure of the Rue d’ Auseil from our space-time, indicates that Zann may have either made contact with the other universe or some type of replacement between Zann and the other was occurring.  Additionally, an “antimatter Erich Zann” may have been trying to communicate with the “matter Erich Zann” and something went wrong.  An alternative hypothesis is the antimatter Zann was trying to somehow switch bodies with the matter Zann in a non-corporal capacity.  Such a transfer would be extremely difficult to accomplish and the direct contact of only a few atoms of matter with that of animatter, may have been enough to result in an intense reaction.

The contact between the matter and antimatter would explain why the Rue d’ Auseil is not longer present in out space-time.  Additionally, the membrane between the two dimensions may also explain why both universes were not annihilated by having antimatter spill into our reality.  The fact that the protagonist is the only one who remembers the Rue d’ Auseil indicates that he was within the field generated during the contact but his matter did not have physical contact with antimatter.

To conclude, it appears that Erich Zann may have prevented the complete annihilation of our universe by sacrificing himself to prevent more antimatter from entering through the threshold and the chilled thing may actually have been Zann moving his consciousness through the threshold.  So the answer to the question – what was the “thing” beyond the threshold – may be Erich Zann himself.

Next time we will talk about HPL’s thoughts and uses of evolution in his stories.  Thank you – Fred.


H.P. Lovecraft’s The Music of Erich Zann by Chad O’Dell Roberts





The Music of the Spheres and Erich Zann

The Music of the Spheres by Talonabraxas (

The “Music of the Spheres” was a term that was originally used to describe the harmonic and mathematical movement of the “planets,” which in the time of Pliny the Elder, Gaius Plinius Secundus, included Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus and Moon (Natural History: A Selection by Pliny the Elder; Translated with an introduction and notes by John F. Healey, Penguin Books, 2004).

While this concept had very religious and metaphysical connotations, it was Pythagoras who connected the planetary orbits and their associated numerical ratios with musical notes (sounds frequencies) in proportion to the length of string and its associated sound.  Pythagoras identified that the “planets” all produced their own unique hum (orbital resonance) based on the orbital revolution and called this concept the Harmony of the Spheres.  Pythagoras was a mathematician and astronomer; he proposed that the Earth was spherical like the other planets and established the basis of musical intervals (Pliny the Elder, 2004).  It is not surprising that Pythagoras would connect the celestial movement of the planets with musical theory.  Pythagoras goes on to say that the quality of life on Earth is directly impacted by these planetary sounds even though the human ears can not sense or pick up these sounds.

As identified by S.T. Joshi (I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft, 2013), HPL read Pliny and was certainly familiar with Pythagoras.  Indeed HPL actually mentions The Music of the Spheres in “The Horror in the Museum” one of the revision tales – this one for Hazel Heald.  In the tale the protagonist is in a vaulted chamber of the museum in the middle of the night and “wishes that his senses were not so preternaturally keen.”

The protagonist catches faint sounds of whispering, murmuring or rustling, “which could not quite be identified within the nocturnal hum of the squalid streets outside, and he thought of vague, irrelevant things like the music of the spheres and the unknown, inaccessible life of alien dimensions pressing on our own.”  I believe HPL is referencing Pythagoras’s Harmony of the Spheres since he read Pliny and must have been familiar with the proposed connection between the celestial hums (orbital resonance) of the planets and our inability to perceive them.  Thus, in “The Horror in the Museum” HPL makes the connection that these barely audible sounds may represent an inaccessible alien dimension.


So what does all of this have to do with Erich Zann?  I propose an awful lot.   I hypothesize that the specific tones and frequencies of that weird, strange tune Zann plays in front of the large garret window prevents the “things” on the other side of threshold from entering our universe.  At a minimum, the music warns them not to enter.

Sound is a vibration in some type of medium, such as air or water, which travels as a mechanical wave of pressure and displacement through the medium. This vibration is typically received by some type of membrane and then interpreted. In the case of humans, these sound waves reach our eardrums, which resonate at varying frequencies and in turn are converted into electrical signals, which travel to the brain and are then interpreted as sounds (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension, by Michio Kaku, 1994). Similarly, our vocal chords are also stretched membranes that vibrate at varying frequencies or resonances and create sounds (Kaku, 1994). Thus, membranes both generate and receive / interpret sound waves.

The Music of Erich Zann by Khalfrodod-d7uas5p (

I described in a previous article, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Part 4 – The Cosmic Radio, that a energy can be converted into another form of energy. The example provided in that article was the natural radio emissions generated from the planets and their moons / rings, which are collected and then translated into sound waves by our space probes (Voyager I and II and Cassini).  In this case natural radio waves generated in the vacuum of space are converted into a format that can then be perceived through one of the five human senses; in this case sound.

With the information provided above the question is posed, was the music of Erich Zann’s producing sound waves that were hitting some inter-dimensional membrane, then being translated on the other side as a warning to “keep out?” Or, were the sounds waves of Zann’s music being converted into a particular form of energy that repulsed the entities or forces on the other side of the garret window?

The next article will be the last on The Music of Erich Zann.  Next time we will discuss and describe the entities beyond the threshold of the garret window.

Rue d’ Auseil by Mercvtio-d6a9unf (



The Music of Erich Zann – Attempting to prevent the annilation of the universe

The Rue d’ Auseil in The Music of Erich Zann (by Johnny Craig)

Before we delve into how Erich Zann was keeping those unknown forces under control with his music, I wanted to talk a little more about what these forces may represent.

Unfortunately, we may never know why Erich Zann felt compelled to play his viol in front of the high gable window.  Although he documented his reason in writing, these papers were blown into the interstellar winds.  However, based on a critical piece of information we can develop potential hypotheses for consideration.  Specifically, the fact that the protagonist in the story “cannot find the house, the street, or even the locality” he occupied for months as a university graduate student of metaphysics is extremely telling.  While the protagonist himself does note that his physical and mental health was substantially affected by the incident with Erich Zann at the residence on the street known as the Rue d’ Auseil, the fact that he can not find the building he previously lived in is perplexing and peculiar.

Previously we presented Stephen Hawking’s Wave Function of the Universe concept, which looks at the birth of the Universe from a quantum perspective.  In this idea there are an infinite number of all possible universes but we happen to live in the universe that had the highest probability of being stable to support life.

Demonstration of Hawking’s wave function of the Universe (from

While all of this is highly speculative, scientists say that sometime in the future we may have both the knowledge and technology necessary to test hypotheses that could provide evidence for parallel universes.  However, one idea that I have seen physicists such as Michio Kaku and Frank Close mention in discussions of parallel universes is that our universe is the only one that developed to allow life to emerge and evolve.  Well, how to they know this?  If we don’t have the technology yet to test / confirm the existence of parallel universes, how do we know if these other universe harbor life?  In addition, this life could be so radically different from us that we may not even recognize it as life.

Getting back to The Music of Erich Zann, the forces or entities that Zann held back with his music may have been some form of extra-universal life, trying to filter into our universe.  Even more concerning than a parallel universe, could this intruding force or entity be made of antimatter?  Was Zann trying to avoid the annihilation of the cosmos by preventing antimatter from spilling into our universe?

Based on current scientific thought, before the Big Bang matter and antimatter co-existed, would quickly come into contact with each other and be annihilated, resulting in a burst of energy in the form of gamma radiation (Antimatter by Frank Close, published in 2010).  If there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter when the Big Bang occurred, everything would have been annihilated – our universe would have blipped out of existence before it was even born some 14 billion years ago.  Since this did not happen after the subsequent cooling of the universe after the Big Bang, there must have been slightly more matter than antimatter.  Many particle physicists today are trying to figure out why this is the case.

When an electron (matter) and a positron (antimatter) make contact they immediately annihilate each other in a burst of intense gamma radiation (upper portion of figure –

We know that matter is all around us.  In fact, with a few minor expectations (such as gamma rays coming from the center of the Milky Way or intense solar flares) existing evidence indicates that practically everything within several hundred million light years of us is made of matter (Close, 2010).  However, the Earth is a rare and unquie place relative to the rest of the universe.  For example, hydrogen is a rare element on Earth but is the most abundant element in the universe.  In contrast, the heavier elements, which are quite abundant on Earth are very rare in the universe.  Could antimatter be the same?  Could there be a distant corner of our universe where antimatter actually exists?  This is highly unlikely, since unless it was contained in some very specific manner, it would make physical contact with matter and result is its annilation.  However, antimatter does exist (although very fleetingly) and it may be possible that a parellel universe is made of antimatter – an antimatter universe.

This is where Erich Zann’s music comes into play.  We know he was trying to prevent something from entering our universe through the high gable window by playing his strange music.  Was this “something” a force or entity composed of antimatter?  Zann is described as being a small, lean, bent person, having a satyr-like face and nearly bald head – was he suffering from radiation poisoning?  Maybe Zann and his music was a barrier for antimatter and maybe his efforts were successful but at the cost of his own life.

Erich Zann – preventing the annihilation of the universe (from

The antimatter “thing” may have briefly entered our universe through the gable window and Zann used his own “matter” and music to annihilate it.  The result may have been a quantum fluctuation, which produced an adjustment to our universe.  This adjustment essentially removed the house, the street, the locality and Erich Zann from our reality.  If the protagonist remained in the room with Zann he to would have been annihilated.  Although he ran out of the room, he was still fairly close to the gable window when the annihilation occurred and thus was within the quantum field; the outcome of this is he still remembers the Rue d’ Auseil.  Thus, the protagonist is the only person who knows that Erich Zann prevented the annihilation of our universe.

Next time we will discuss how Zann’s music may have functioned in preventing antimatter from spilling into our universe.  Thank you – Fred

The Music of Erich Zann (by Angela Demure)

The Music of Erich Zann – the Antithesis of From Beyond

The Music of Erich Zann (by Dean Stuart)

In Tour de Lovecraft:  The Tales (Atomic Overmind Press, 2011) Kenneth Hite calls “The Music of Erich Zann” one of Lovecraft’s finest pieces.  It is pure Lovecraftian, not a Poe story, not a Dunsany story, not a Machen story.  The Music of Erich Zann was written in 1921 but “From Beyond” was written 1920 and I would suggest that From Beyond is a pure Lovecraftian story as well.  As I have stated in a previous article, Mr. Hite said that From Beyond was excessively and heavily influenced by Poe but he also states that the story is a key to understanding HPL’s philosophy associated with the Cthulhu mythos (Hite, 2011).

Both tales are short and packed with a considerable amount of information.  However, what is particularly interesting is that in some aspects The Music of Erich Zann is the antithesis of From Beyond.  While From Beyond is about using a machine to generate some type of electro-magnetic field to stimulate the pineal gland and open a two-way door to an overlapping reality, The Music of Erich Zann appears to be about a man using music to keep some type of inter-dimensional door closed.

Discussions on the science behind the tale “From Beyond” have already been presented in previous articles.  However, an updated and more direct interpretation of this story within the context of relativity and quantum mechanics as well as the need to integrate a series of additional dimensions beyond the additional four of space-time is required for this article.  As Michio Kaku has described , the objective of developing a Grand Unified Theory, one that includes electromagnetism, the Strong Force (inside the nucleus of the atom), the Weak Force (the section of the atom outside of the atom), AND gravity requires the consideration of hyperspace and the existence of 10 dimensions (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Wraps and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku, 1994).  I want to make two points in reference to From Beyond and The Music of Erich Zann, relative to Kaku’s book.  The first point concerns modes of operation, the second concerns prevailing theories that may explain the science behind each story (that obviously requires further testing).

In From Beyond the device creates a field that stimulates our pineal gland so that we can see things all around us that we normally can’t see.  Consequently, the generated field also allows those other entities to see us as well.  It appears that the device  is impacting us and the entities and not space-time itself.  Sound waves operate by creating vibrations or resonances in the air.  These vibrations hit a membrane (or in our case our ear drum) and in turn are converted into electrical signals that are sent to our brain and interpreted as sounds and information (Kaku, 1994).  The device in From Beyond appears to create some unique vibrations that must stimulate membranes of some sort in our pineal gland, which in turn allows us to perceive things that are not normally observed.  Unfortunately, the device has the same impact on the entities that live all around use and they can also see us.

The device (known as the Resonator in the movie) in the tale From Beyond.

In the case of Erich Zann we have something every different happening.  There is a weakened barrier (possibly a membrane?) in space-time that Zann is keeping closed with his music.  Unlike From Beyond where Tillinghast gives some partial explanation of how his machine operates, Zann writes the explanation down on some paper only to have them be blown away into the interstellar / inter-dimensional winds.  However, based on what we know something was trying to get into our reality and Zann appears to be preventing this from occurring with his music.  This leads us to the second point associated with this article; the theory behind these stories.

The Music of Erich Zann (from

The strange, semi-corporal entities we encounter in From Beyond appear to be part of our reality or space-time.  They are there and always have been there, its just that we cannot normally see them.  This is similar to the concepts of hyperspace, which also goes by the name Kaluza-Klein theory or superstring theory, which requires six more spatial dimensions beyond our usual four in space-time (Kaku, 1994).  Thus, in From Beyond it appears that the device opens these higher (or lower depending on your point of view) dimensions allowing all entities to see what is in the other dimensions.

In sharp contrast to From Beyond, in The Music of Erich Zann, I believe we are dealing with a parallel Universe putting into ours.  As shown in the figure below, Stephen Hawking’s Wave Function of the Universe is looking at the birth of the Universe from a quantum perspective so that there are an infinite number of all possible universes but that we live in the universe that had the highest probability of being stable to support life.  However, has shown below, as our universe formed, there is still a small but non-vanishing probability that some of these neighboring, parallel universes are in existence (Kaku, 1994).  Was Erich Zann preventing one of these parallel universes from spilling into ours?

Demonstration of Hawking’s wave function of the Universe (from

Next time we will discuss in more detail how the Music of Erich Zann was keeping a parallel universe at bay.  Thank you – Fred.