Tucked deep in the southeastern reaches of the sun-baked California desert, the Integratron is a mid-century modernist structure with supernatural origins. Once a draw for UFO enthusiasts who gathered at nearby Giant Rock for an annual convention, these days it attracts the Coachella crowd.
Arctic Monkeys recorded its 2008 track “Secret Door” here, while Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Anthony Bourdain both made sonic pilgrimages to bathe in this citadel of sound. Pecknold told Rolling Stone magazine “it was the closest thing to a psychedelic experience” he had ever had, while Bourdain was equally enthused during an episode of No Reservations.
The circular building is run by three sisters who have created a far-out experience: meditative sound baths performed with quartz-crystal singing bowls, keyed to chakras for inner peace. The building’s parabolic shape and all-wood interiors make it acoustically perfect: When two people stand exactly across the 17-metre-wide chamber from one another, their whispers clearly reverberate across the space; but if they’re just a few centimetres off, they won’t hear a thing.