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Topic: Music in Your Act
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Dec 14, 2008 12:10AM)
In your manipulation act, would you or do you use music with lyrics? I know it would depend on what you are doing, but as a general rule of thumb would you use music with lyrics?

There is some great and powerful music available but would that take away from what you are doing on stage?
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Dec 14, 2008 07:27AM)
On 2008-12-14 01:10, Darkwing wrote:

There is some great and powerful music available but would that take away from what you are doing on stage?


That's the question YOU have to answer!

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 14, 2008 07:59AM)
For me, that totally depends on the music, and the effect(s) I plan on doing. In general, I prefer music with no lyrics, but that isn't a hard and fast rule. It just make things simpler sometimes.

If the lyrics would become a part of the performance, they must add to the performance, and not just be there, disconnected. I pay attention to soundtracks in movies to see how this is best achieved. Good soundtracks blend famously with the point of a movie they accompany, even if not being purely descriptive of it.

There are some magic/music mixtures that go together almost blatantly, like the music Dan Garrett used for his performances of his marketed effect, "Over the Rainbow". There are others, like some Copperfield/Phil Collins mixes that are not so inline, but manage to evoke a mood that works.

Don't overlook the fact, as is common in movies, that it is possible to use only part of a song. I've seen many performers, magicians and others, who think they must fill the entire song with their performance. Sometimes the music piece is too long, and a better effect could have been achieved by tightening everything into a shorter vignette.
Message: Posted by: graywolf (Dec 14, 2008 10:32AM)
Look at Franklin's act for a good example of lyrics set to magic..Coedially,Howard
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Dec 14, 2008 11:25AM)
I have seen music with lyrics used in the manipulation act and I found that it really took away from the magic as I was singing along in my head. It may have been the type of music played, but generally speaking, that is my experience and, therefore, my impression.

Music should be used to elevate and augment the act and I think instrumentals are the way to go, but that works for me and my style.

Now, having said all that, pay attention to how music is used in movies. Each genre uses music to their advantage, yet each use it differently. Find a movie that you really identify with then watch it with paying particular attention to the music. Sometimes, just listening to the soundtrack will work.
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Dec 14, 2008 12:38PM)

I think I am in agreement with you. I believe the lyrics can take away from what is being presented. Sometimes music can be so moving and powerful that mere words cannot express the emotion the composer is trying to convey.

Please, others feel free to chime in.
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Dec 14, 2008 12:52PM)
I was thinking about Raymond Crowe's hand shadow show with Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World". Here is the YouTube clip; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW-3KwXpkkM

I thinking there are no hard and fast rules. The magic that Mr. Crow's has created in inspiring.

Michael makes a good point about some songs. Some music is just begging for some magician to make into a routine.

Bear with me while I am still developing my train of thought.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Dec 14, 2008 02:47PM)
The use of music and/or/with lyrics would very much depend on the overall theme of your act, including the character your are playing. If the lyrics suit your stage character and the particular theme of your act/routine, I don't see why it should not be used.

Sometimes the music that accompany the lyrics you want to use, can really bring up the atmosphere of the theme you are working at. And with the right lightings used, the act can be awesome (provided the presentation is properly done).

There are no rules. You are the director, script writer, producer and actor of your own act. You determine the rules.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 14, 2008 06:15PM)
So far I am only using music with my illusion acts. I am presently putting together a manipulation/dove act with music.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Dec 14, 2008 06:35PM)
I agree with Michael Baker. Music with words can go very well in an act, but the words become part of the performance. They must correlate and not be disconnected. Most situations where I have used music with words have been illusions or larger props that I use while mimeing.

I do think the more meticulous manipulation routines - cards, balls or other small objects require less distraction. So, the use of lyrics will have to be very simple or very well integrated into the routine.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Dec 15, 2008 07:37AM)
David Copperfield has often used music with lyrics very effectively, as in his routine with the DeKolta chair vanish to Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England" and the Don Wayne dancing handkerchief to Frank Sinatra's "All the Way." If the lyrics help to create the mood and enhance the effect of the magic, I see nothing wrong with it--as long as all BMI or ASCAP royalty requirements are met.

But if the audience is tempted to sing-along in their minds to the lyrics, it may detract from the effectiveness of the magic--especially if the song performance is stronger than the magic performance :)

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 16, 2008 06:50PM)
I have actually done and used both. As others have said, it really does depend upon what it is you are doing. When I use lyrical music, I usually am doing so to create a certain mood or convey a certain feeling. This is what I refer to as an "emotional response."

No matter where you are in the worldor what person you come across. If you can not even speak the language there is something you and that person will always share in common. That is emotions.

Every single person feels emotions. We all feel happiness, sadnes,s anger, surprise etc. etc. Because of this, music can also help you to convey those emotions to your audience. Just like your cards are tools for your act, music can be as well. Msuic can ba a manipulative tool.

One thing I find happening too often is that people build their act and try and tack on the music afterwards. This is never a good idea. The music needs to be intergrated and apart of what you do. If done well, the music and the magic combine to create a mood and an overall experience.

With lyrical music, I try and find one where the words and the music itself convey the mood I am trying to express. It amsy also tie directly into my theme or into the character I am playing for that routine or act. This way my magic and the lyrical music go together to form a poetic style piece.

In one manip act I do I talk about my childhood and about my own personal story about being deaf and growing up that way. It is about finding magic in the simplest of places and realizing that the world (even to a deaf child) can be a wonderful Place. The manipulations I do as part of this act is done to "It's a Wonderful World". It just makes sense and ties in beautifullyto what I want to have happen on stage.

In this sense and instance, the lyrics tie in to the emotional repsonse I am seeking and after and help to tie everything I am doing together. It helps me to achieve the entertainment value I am after.

This does not mean I always have to use lyrical music.It simplemeans this is how I often will use it and the ways in which I feel are important if you are to use lyrical music in a manipulative act. Think about what the song is saying and the mood conveyed and make sure the act you are doing works well with it.It should fit like a glove.

If you are not using lyrical music, then some of the same rules apply. You still must relaize that the music is not something that should be just added to a routine or act after you have ot all worked out.The music should be worked in from the start so that the music and what you do coincide with each other.

The music also needs to fit the act. by this I simply mean the music needs to make sense to the action beiong portrayed. It also must fit your theme, style and character. If you are more modern in style and fast paced movement, then your music needs to fit this as well. If you are more classical in nature and smoother movements, then jazz style music may fit you best.

Whatever music you find working best for you, remember that it needs to also have peeks and valleys. A good peace of music is like a good play. A play has ups and downs and fast times and slow times. it has conflict and resolution. Good music will have this also. If placed into an act, it can make your act flow much better and aid in the pacing.

Toomany magicians tend to go to fast and never give the audience a time to rest or to appluad you. Good music can be used to add these moments in and give the audience that mushc needed time to react to you.