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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Presenting the Stars of Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Caleb Strange
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Hi everybody. The following is a presentation for the first torn and restored sequence of ‘Leipzig’s “Tear-up with a twist”’. Without giving anything away, there’s some unusual work involved as the routine veers into...


Palindrome

‘“I suppose,” he said, “I’d been working too hard at the lab to notice she and I were beginning to drift. Too busy with my darn time theory to realise that we were being torn apart. Till one day it was all over and I was a crumpled man. And all I had left was my machine.”’
(You have torn a piece of cigarette paper into two as you said this, crumpled the pieces together, and then placed the resultant small ball onto the table before you.)
‘“Your machine?” I asked.
‘“Yeah, my machine,” he said. “My shiny machine that could manipulate, even REVERSE, the flow of time. So that all I had to do to get her back was to push this button and time would run backwards, to where it all began...”’

(You press an imaginary button on the table, and time runs backwards. Quickly you say:)

‘“...nageb lla ti erehw ot, sdrawkcab nur dluow emit dna nottub siht shup ot saw ckab reh teg ot od ot dah I lla taht oS. emit fo wolf eht, ESREVER neve, etalupinam dluoc taht enihcam ynihs yM”. dias eh “, enihcam ym, haeY”’
.deksa I “?enihcam ruoY”’
“.enihcam ym saw tfel dah I lla dnA. nam delpmurc a saw I dna revo lla saw ti yad eno lliT. trapa nrot gnieb erew ew taht esilaer ot yroeht emit nrad ym htiw ysub ooT. tfird ot gninnigeb erew I dna ehs eciton ot bal eht ta drah oot gnikrow neeb d’I”, dias eh “,esoppus I”’

(And, of course, you have picked up the paper ball, unfolded it, and the cigarette paper is just as it once was.)

* * *

Inspired by several sources, not least the story ‘Nightmare in time’ by Fredric Brown, which I found in Judith Merril’s compilation ‘The Best of Sci-Fi 2’. In Brown’s story, when time flows backwards, the words are still spoken forwards; only their sequence is reversed (e.g. “...began all it where to”). However, so long as the story is kept short, so that its reverse does not drag on, I believe the backwards speech adds a dash of virtuosity to the routine.

Obviously you’ll need to record, reverse, transcribe and then learn your own script. And in a perfect world, your actions would be mirrored, too, though Leipzig’s routine doesn’t quite allow this. Perhaps a piece by piece restoration of a torn photograph would be more consistent? Obviously, the idea has other applications.

One more suggestion, performed on film, the VT of the routine could itself be played backwards to further make the palindromic point. (Please note, though, that if you should want to use this idea for broadcast, I would be grateful if you could contact me first for permission.)

,sdrageR

.egnartS belaC
-- QCiC --
kaytracy
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Caleb
Wow, you are such a thinker! I like the palindromic speaking that goes with this one!
The story is the thing here! And very neatly trimmed - to the point.
You now have me thinking about torn and restored photos, and the need to dust off my old enlarger to make some black and white photos....
llew enod
K
Kay and Tory
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ptbeast
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Once again Caleb, I am amazed by your thinking. It would, or course, take a great deal of rehearsal to pull this off well. I wonder, should the palindromic section be said more quickly and in a higher voice, as if someone had pushed rewind? Very interesting concept. I think that few could pull it of, but it
could become a signature piece for someone who could.

Thanks again for sharing.

Dave
Caleb Strange
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Kay and Dave,

I’m delighted you liked it Smile . As you suggested, Kay, trimming the story to make it concise enough to be repeated backwards is the main thing. Because of that, things I wanted to explore more fully, like what it would be like to make such a return to the magical first days of a relationship – a wish that seems to haunt people in life – I had to put to one side.

Yet, taking the idea further, backwards time could provide one with one explanation for one’s magic. In several systems of magic, of course, words ARE spoken backwards as part of the ritual. (Gaiman’s Zatanna works her art in this way.) And as with reflected words revealed in mirrors – think of REDRUM becoming MURDER in ‘The Shining’ – there is a lurching, goosebump creepiness to these unexpected revelations.

Dave, time could speed back more quickly, on rewind as you suggest. People are familiar now with the look and sound of such rewinds, which is partly why I went for backwards speech here. Though I suppose there might be a danger of the routine becoming too light-hearted if the virtuosity were overdone.

Finally, a bit late for Hallowe’en, but here’s an idea for a seance:

From Beyond the Dark Mirror

The lights are dimmed, and a volunteer is put into a trance. After tense minutes, this guest medium begins to chant and spew strange words. This eerie message, fortunately, is being recorded as part of the evening’s experiment, though the weird words make little sense at the time. Yet afterwards, when one of your guests thinks of playing the recording backwards, suddenly, the message becomes horrifyingly clear: a ‘Twin Peaks’ style voice intones words guttural and stark, from beyond the dark mirror. And things start to happen...

Warm regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
ptbeast
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Hey Caleb, that last idea is very much up my alley! I absolutely love the idea of playing the séance message backward and having it come out clear speech. The only real problem is what to use as a recording device. Anything digital and manipulation would be suspected. Cassette tapes can't, to my knowledge, be played backwards (if I am wrong about this, please let me know. I would be very interested in how!). That means that you would almost have to have a reel to reel type recorder for this to work.

You have really got my mind racing, as I am working on a séance right now, and this would really fit in well with what I have in mind. And who says the really dark stuff is just for Halloween?.....

Dave
Bill Ligon
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Caleb, I admire your inventiveness!
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
silverfire9
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Quote:
On 2005-11-03 19:30, ptbeast wrote:
Hey Caleb, that last idea is very much up my alley! I absolutely love the idea of playing the séance message backward and having it come out clear speech. The only real problem is what to use as a recording device. Anything digital and manipulation would be suspected. Cassette tapes can't, to my knowledge, be played backwards (if I am wrong about this, please let me know. I would be very interested in how!). That means that you would almost have to have a reel to reel type recorder for this to work.

You have really got my mind racing, as I am working on a séance right now, and this would really fit in well with what I have in mind. And who says the really dark stuff is just for Halloween?.....

Dave



Actually, all you'd need is a computer and appropriate software. Even the basic Sound Recorder program Windows comes with can reverse a wave file. And if you take a double-ended audio cord, you can hook up the headphone jack of the tape/digital player to the microphone jack of your sound card. Easy way of transferring it to the computer. If your player has a microphone jack on it, the same method could be used to get the reversed message on to it.

Or you could just play the reversed message through the computer speakers and re-record it.

Another option is to practice talking backward enough to be able to pull it off without the aid of a recorder. I know some people that could probably do just that. Smile
Caleb Strange
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Dave,

If I was putting this on now, I'd avoid expenditure and use my old trusty Fostex 4 track recorder, as it would look experimentish, but also would allow me to play recordings backwards easily: basically, 4 track recorders record across the whole width of the cassette, i.e. on the L and R channels of sides one and two of the cassette, so if you record something on track 1, then flip the cassette, what you've just recorded plays backwards on track 4 etc.. It's a lot of fun, and there's lots of scope, even with a 4 track, for interesting sound manipulation (play with the vari-speed, for instance, for Munchkin voices, or devilish growls).

Reel to reel would work, too, and would suit the 'experiment' theme even better.

Digital is easy, and using the sound recorder in Windows is an option, as suggested. Maybe, to reduce the suspicion of secret manipulation, you could graphically compare the two files, as they would look mirrored.

Actually, thinking aloud, with a projector and a laptop, it'd look cool to do a bit of on site analysis during a ghosthunt event: feel like a bona fide experiment if data were analysed, orbs pulled from cameras and enhanced, and sound files visually flipped. Might feel even more real using the computer in this way.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
ptbeast
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Thanks again Caleb. I have been working on a Ghost Hunt/Séance combination with a pseudo-scientific feel for a while now, and have to this point avoided computers because of the suspicion factor. Maybe I should rethink this. Ghost Hunters on television go as high tech as possible, including the use of laptops. Since this will create expectations in the participants, perhaps I should consider doing the same. Recording this digitally rather than on tape makes EVPs a bit harder (but not impossible) and makes this idea much more usable.

Thanks for helping me kick my mind into gear. I will have to give this much more thought.

Dave
myoungbauer
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Hello all

I know this is an old thread, but it's always been one of my favorites. As I begin to explore bizrarre and storytelling magic, I constantly return to this for inspiration. Anyone interested in reviving it?
Lately I've been trying to transform one of the oldest tricks in my repetoire into something more powerful than a trick. Any ideas? Perhaps we substitute playing cards for something else? Anyone one want to jump in, or perhaps one of the other routines?

Matt
magus
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Caleb- I'm afraid I'm taking this out of the stars of magic group and into another.
But.
If you make the paper bigger (6x6, 8x10?) it could be a blueprint or sketch for the time machine (and a wireing diagram?) Now you have motivation for crumpling it, tearing it, and in the end, restoring it.
And a line or bit- "But wait, if I can get this to work, I could drop into a certain instant of time, leave the control switch HERE (touching a spot on the table) for a moment and take it away again after my past self presses it (something along the lines of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure") it would give a reason for touching the table to activate the time machine...

Cutting the aces... John, Paul, George, and Ringo visit the Maharishi one at a time and learn...
If you change them to another four of a kind at the end- you could use a change of personality or style as a metaphor
crappy deium-



what a lousy day to be seized



thaumometer-



a device for measuring a magical field
myoungbauer
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Hello

Ooops. I forgot to specify, I was talking about "Homing Card". One of the problems I'm having is the trick is so dependent on a specific outcome, and one that seems to be rather arbitrary. I guess I haven't answered the question "Why" I'm sending that card to my pocket. Merely substituting Tarot or other cards also seems contrived. Sigh I'll stay at the drawing board for now. This is one of my favorite tricks, and I'd like to do something special with it.

Matt
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