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funsway
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Leonard Bernstein noted, "Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."

Is this also not one definition of magic? Can magicians learn about connecting with an audience from music performance?

What similarities are there in how emotion is conveyed or imagination triggered?

I would be interested in ways that magicians have used music's magical qualities to improve their performance of magic,
but not in the use of music itself as background.

One 'find' that prompted this question is Leonard's use of eyes and facial expressions to conduct a symphony. No hands or voice.

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/bern......yebrows/

are we not all conductors of a magic happenings in a show?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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As you may know, from the very earliest times seven has been regarded as a mystical number. Greece had her seven sages. There were the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In Holy Writ we have the seven seals, the seven stars, the seven lamps, the seven loaves, the seven mortal sins and the seven virtues. There are seven notes in music and so it must be magic, right? Are we not all using music to make rope get up and dance?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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What I know is that different cultures use different musical notations: "Scales may be described according to the number of different pitch classes they contain: Chromatic, or dodecatonic (12 notes per octave) Octatonic (8 notes per octave): used in jazz and modern classical music. Heptatonic (7 notes per octave)"

Yup, seven is popular in the Western world. Not so sure how that translates to mystical in all of the examples, or how that shifts to performance magic, but if it works for you, great!

(for me, 'mystical' does not equate to 'magic' as the first implies a religious or spiritual bias. I am not being mystical when I perform a magic trick)

I will agree that using this as a story line to justify using the number seven in a magic effect might work. Truth or fiction, it sounds good.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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See The Seventh Son card effect.

Many card guys practice to music. “Routining a trick takes thought but it need not be drudgery. Paul Rosini will work for hours to achieve a natural presentation against a symphonic background of the Meditation from Thais, the music establishing for him the tempo and rhythm of the trick.” ECT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiOA5S1eZvk

Some stage magicians arrange their effects kind of musically so it comes to a crescendo, which is far better explained in some old magic book I once read.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
longhaired1
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Here is a sampkle of how I map out the music for a new act I am working on. This is for one song, Sinister Minister by Bela Fleck and The Flecktones.

Here is the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jndnEosYpqo

I like it because of the kinetic feel that it has and the fact that it changes tempo and has distinct passages, bridges and solos.

The next thing I will do is lay it out on a linear graph to get a better visual representation of the length of the sections of song.

Lastly I will decide which series of effects goes into the routine and where.

Click here to view attached image.
George Ledo
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When I was in grammar school, some genius in the school admistration decided that I would be taught to play the cello.

Big mistake.

I thought I was doing okay, reading the music (learning to, anyway) and playing the notes, until one day the music teacher told me I was putting him to sleep.

I don't remember what the piece was, but I'm willing to bet that someone like Yo Yo Ma could play the same piece and get a standing ovation.

Moral of the story: you can make the piece sound like you're reading the phone book or you can make it sound like you feel and mean every note. I've seen a heckuva lot of tricks that darn near put me to sleep.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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lynnef
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I strongly believe there's a connection between music and magic. Many of the Café members are both magicians AND musicians. Even if they don't combine their effects in a show, there is something about the element of "improvisation" that goes into both arts. And I put this word in quotes to distinguish it from off the cuff performance. For both magicians and musicians, practice is very important. (As Michael Ammar once commented, your fingers have memory)! And yes, Funsway, there is something 'unnamable' going on in the brain whether I watch Dai Vernon's slow motion vanish or listen to John Coltrane's Giant Steps. Speaking of combining music and magic, there's another thread in the Café about Sandy Chang's billiard ball routine worth checking out where the two arts combine so beautifully. Lynn
tommy
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Walter Scott the phantom was a musician who described his grips as keys and thought of the deck as an instrument to be mastered.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On Dec 31, 2018, funsway wrote:
Can magicians learn about connecting with an audience from music performance?

What similarities are there in how emotion is conveyed or imagination triggered?



Yes, I think magicians can learn about connecting with an audience from music performance. Perhaps, though, study of performance, generally, would be a recommended starting point for many. There are many misconceptions, by many who haven't studied, as to what performance really is.

I think what's most important in communicating with an audience is authenticity- a directness, presence. Many can do this naturally with music. If they're playing something they understand and relate to and have a perspective on and are able to play openly and honestly. Audiences connect with performers when they see they are coming from a genuine place. Hence, write what you know, be yourself, be natural...

Emotion is conveyed and imagination triggered by appeal to the senses, obviously. I think there are similarities in the creation of an atmosphere or mood with emphasis on audio and visual cues. But the performer must be present and that is really the starting point, and that is where study of performance itself can help many get rooted and aware, so they'll be able to communicate from there. This can be a challenging topic of discussion, because many performers are starting without such training.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
landmark
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Quote:
Lastly I will decide which series of effects goes into the routine and where.


That's really interesting. I would have thought the magic comes first, then the music is scored to that. Can you talk more about your approach?
landmark
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Quote:
But the performer must be present and that is really the starting point,


There was a wonderful book about acting written years ago by an actor named Joe Chaikin called The Presence of the Actor. I don't know if it's still available. But he made the same argument there as you do--that the unique quality of the performer is her or his presence in communication with other human beings in real time. That is something that can never be supplanted by any technology.
funsway
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That is some of what I am looking for, landmark. To what extent can music inspire magic or influence design of a routine.
Natural music in nature can inspire me to write a poem of consider seeming impossibilities all around me. So, I modify a magic presentation to reflect that passion.

With your diverse background, is there no time hearing a musical composition had made you think of magic too?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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magicalaurie
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I think, Jack, that you need unity and so it depends on the parts you choose and how to get them working harmoniously Smile , if you will.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
danaruns
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There are twelve notes in western music. What makes it music is choosing which ones NOT to play, as well as when there should be no notes at all, but space between the notes. Same with magic. What you don't do or say, and the space between what happens, can be even more important than what you say or do.

Another: Many flashy musicians go about imposing their talent on top of the music. We've all seen them, and they are celebrated. The "great" guitarists, for instance. But the truly great musicians eschew that. They don't impose themselves on the music, they come from within the music. The same is true with magicians. Don't impose your talent on top of the magic. Come from within the magic.

Most folks will think they understand this, but few actually will.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
magicalaurie
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To quote Mr. Presley, "Bridge". Smile
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
magicalaurie
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Also key, around 1:35, "I just... I loved music."

"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
lynnef
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I really loved Dana's post about the "flashy musicians". My favorite guitarist is Wes Montgomery, who is not the fastest, flashiest, etc. He just made beautiful music. I was in a class once analyzing one of Wes' solos; and the students were saying how clever he was to use a fifth instead of a flatted fifth in this bar, his use of diminished arpeggios, etc etc... then the teacher remarked, "but no one commented on how beautiful it was!" Lesson learned, and hopefully applied to magic. Lynn
George Ledo
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Right on the nose. Thank you.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
funsway
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Since this has shifted to guitars ...
In Tune

There are a lot of things happening in this world that make no sense. Some are “nonsense” as a result of folly grounded in a person following some hidden agenda with little concern over how others are affected. Some are “senseless” as a result of poor choices, or a good choice from a poor list of options offered by others. A few are influenced by muddled perceptions or self-induced restricted vision. Then there is magic.

Yes, I know that you do not believe in magic, but you need some label for things that happen beyond ready explanation. Call it whatever you like. Just explain what happened yesterday.

I don’t play any musical instrument but was wandering around a guitar store. No magic in that as I was trying to pick up a package for my wife. The clerk couldn’t find any record of the order or could explain why I was called about a package not there. Inexplicable, but hardly magic! It was suggested that I wait for the 3PM UPS delivery just in case something showed up.

The unkempt guy with a too-big coat didn’t belong in the store either other than some unwritten law of “any port in a storm.” The rain-torrent outside made this store a better choice than a park bench. Leastwise I did not imagine he was there to buy a guitar. The clerks seemed not to care since he wasn’t touching anything and all of the displayed instruments were locked.

This older gentleman and a young girl entered in a contest of swinging door, gusting wind, contorted umbrella, tangled scarf and giggles. They should not be braving the weather with such merriment! One doesn’t have to be a Mentalist to make some good guesses: it is her birthday, grandpa had promised to buy her a guitar, she was going to make the choice, price was not the primary consideration and there was a memory in the making. A hundred guitars from which to choose. A clerk stood at the ready with cabinet keys in hand. Big Coat and I might have been invisible. Such fun!

“No, no,” she cried as the clerk offered a ghastly purple device of a shape unknown to nature. “An acoustic six-string. Doesn’t have to be a Martin – just sound like one.” I guessed she must be able to play but had difficultly seeing those little arms wrapped around a dreadnaught. At least that narrowed the options to a dozen or so.

Gramps offered, “I figure you will know the right one when you hear it or hold it. They all sound out of tune to me.” Which they were. The girl was unconcerned until the search had dwindled to four. The owner had arrived and took over the tuning for the final test. A couple of notes followed by an examination and a slight pout. The process was the same for each. The sense of frustration was palpable. She picked up and hugged each of the four. The giggles were gone.

Big Coat caught my attention by moving his hands behind a display counter – a series of caresses as if molding a ball of clay. The girl stared at the owner. “I know you have another guitar here. I can feel it.” Now it was his turn to giggle. He reached under a counter and drew out a mid-sized instrument of tawny gold and blew off some dust.

“This was my brother’s. Hasn’t been played since he went to Iraq ‘bout the time you were born. Hope the strings are OK.” He wiped it down, tuned the strings and strummed a bit. “Sweet,” was all he said as he handed it to her.

Now I could try and explain what happened with phrases like, “the guitar nestled against her like a lost puppy,” or “the sound was too big for a smallish guitar,” but we process music differently than words. The owner, Lauren, must have agreed since he continued, “Wally had it specially made with a slender neck and fast action for his small hands. Almost kept him out of the Marines since he couldn’t handle a rifle very well. Wish it had.” The girl listened intently but never stopped playing simple tunes and cords. Lauren stammered a bit, “Never planned on selling it. Only thing of Wally’s I have left.”

She rose without a sound and placed the guitar carefully on the counter. A younger girl might have blinked back a tear but she was older now than before. Everyone just stood there. Out of the corner of my eye I caught Big Coat rubbing his hands together – sort of like washing them. Lauren picked up that guitar and sighed. “Wally was full of life and so is his guitar, I guess. It must never be sold, but I’ll let you keep it and play it. When you can’t anymore you have to give it to someone else who can.” She took his hand and it was he who cried.

………………………………………………………….

Now you can write you own ending to this story and pretend you know the why of it. For me the magic came in two parts. First, I learned that the mysterious package was due the next day and that the caller had misread the invoice. I was not supposed to be there except to tell this story. The second bit of magic was watching Big Coat while the girl was playing. His hands behind the counter also played in exact sympathy. Did he echo her planned notes through some sort of bonded telepathy? Or did her fingers echo his commands?

Who is playing the guitar right now? I can still hear it, you know.

And always will.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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weirdwizardx
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Quote:
On Dec 31, 2018, funsway wrote:
Leonard Bernstein noted, "Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."

Is this also not one definition of magic? Can magicians learn about connecting with an audience from music performance?

What similarities are there in how emotion is conveyed or imagination triggered?

I would be interested in ways that magicians have used music's magical qualities to improve their performance of magic,
but not in the use of music itself as background.

couldn't agree more!

One 'find' that prompted this question is Leonard's use of eyes and facial expressions to conduct a symphony. No hands or voice.

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/bern......yebrows/

are we not all conductors of a magic happenings in a show?
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