John C. Lilly (1915-2001) was a respected American physician, neuroscientist, psychonaut, philosopher, writer, and inventor. He was a prominent member of the counterculture community, which included figures such as Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, and Werner Erhard, who were frequent guests at his home.
Lilly gained fame in the 1950s for developing the Isolation Tank, a device that allowed users to experience complete sensory deprivation. He combined this work with his efforts to communicate with dolphins and established research centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and San Francisco to study their vocalizations. In the 1960s, he began experimenting with psychedelics such as LSD, often while floating in isolation. His work has inspired the film “Altered States” (1980), directed by Ken Russell.
One of Lilly‘s communication experiments involved the repetition of recorded words on a tape loop. This tape presents music inspired by one of those repetitions: cogitate.