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Inner circle
Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
4979 Posts

Profile of Kjellstrom
I mostly use classical masterpieces in my magic show that includes many mentalist effects.
I have done my own CD with the great sound/music software; Soundforge 6.
I have also put some voiceovers on my magic music CD with Soundforge. Its very easy to make a nice mix of music and sound effects plus high power voiceover with a superb pro-sound with correct software. Of course, you need a CD-burner in your computer to make this work. In one effect where the spectator choice any card, directly the audience can hear a "strange" prediction in the speakers saying the correct card.
Thats a great way to use a CD with 52 voiceovers...
Andy Leviss
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Inner circle
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
I've posted this in detail elsewhere (I think even in the FX section here at the Cafe), so I'll make it brief. If the music is an integral part of a dramatic performance, as it is with most of our shows, ASCAP/BMI licenses do not cover that usage. That usage is licensed by the company that published the piece of music. It has to do with the different types of rights, known as major and minor rights, and which are maintained by the publisher vs. which are overseen by ASCAP/BMI.

Music used for pre-show/post-show background music (similar to what you'd hear in a restaurant) IS covered by ASCAP/BMI, just the music during the show isn't.

Hope this keeps you out of trouble,
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email][/email]!
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Regular user
178 Posts

Profile of Paradox
As a pianist of considerable experience (including 8 years with Nordstrom) and composer, I agree with most of what's being said here about music.
A couple of things I would definitely emphasize (1) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use vocals. By that I mean singing of any kind (chanting, oohs & aaahs, etc.) (2) Make sure that the music has a beginning, a middle and an end to fit the beginning, middle & end of your routine (otherwise it just starts & stops & leaves an uncomfortable subconscious feeling with the audience (3) stay away from socalled "New Age" music (see item 2) (4) Don't use music that you like; use WHAT WORKS.
And (5), I'll be glad to write specialized music for you personally, like I do for my own shows. PM me.
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149 Posts

Profile of Brash
Interesting subject, I don't think there is any question that music can enhance many performances when used properly. I would suggest a study of film scores is a good place to start if you want to get a sense of how music can complement mood. Better yet, find a DVD with an isolated score.

Regarding vocals, as a general rule I agree with Paradox that music with vocals are to be avoided, they distract from your performance. I can see a few exceptions (i.e. opening theme music), but during performance purely intrumental is best.

On a related note, I have been performing as a vocalist for many years and I am currently considering the possibility of creating a show which combines my singing with mentalism. Other than the old "think of a song" routine, I am still trying to come up with ideas for routines, any suggestions?

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178 Posts

Profile of Paradox
Brian, your idea of combining singing with mentalism has a good precedent. No less than Al Koran did a routine for a while in which he sang along with his performance. However, as I recall it, it was a straight magic routine. I believe he was singing "THE BREEZE AND I" while doing Zombie(?!) How that worked out, I have no idea, but he did abandon it & go into mentalism, as we all know.
I'm sure you thought of this, but I'll mention it just in case. How about you giving them a selection of songs, they think of on, & you read their mind?
How are you planning to accompany yourself? Guitar? Keyboard? (Use an accordion, go to jail Smile). Or, how about prerecording a song on tape & then letting the audience "choose" a tune from a list?
The big problem here (and the main reason I don't do routines like this) is the choice of songs. Despite what the music business would have you believe, not everyone knows the top 40, which change every few weeks. Most of this stuff is highly forgettable & not suitable for routines of this type.
On the other hand you can use standards & show tunes, but if your audience is teenagers or even young adults, will your audience recognize them?
Geoff Weber
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Inner circle
Washington DC
1360 Posts

Profile of Geoff Weber
Paradox, using vocals is fine if it suits the performance, it's ridiculous to make blanket statements about what you should always or never do..David Copperfield used "Shot Through the Heart" by Bon Jovi, for his shot Ace of Hearts trick, and it was great. (Of course he had the secured the legal rights to do so.)
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109 Posts

Profile of Dario_Bauer
What about using the music as an 'Anchor'. Perhaps when something happens for an unexplained reason play a quite sharp memorable piece for a bit, then when the meaning becomes apparent play it again, I'm sure it would help the audience piece together the effect.

What about doing a dual reality type thingy using specially positioned speakers. A recording of the performer in a loud voice perhaps with backing for noise going out to the audience. Then the performer on the stage giving instructions to the spectator, in time with the sound track. The spectator and the voluteer could be given completely different instructions, add in some creative lighting and it would be undetectable (unless there is a lip reader in the audience with binoculars of course lol)

P.S. This is my first post, I have spent the last few weeks reading over the forums, there really is a wealth of knowledge and talented indivduals here, I really like it!
"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography"
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