Forgot your password? Reset It

Meaningful Conjuring (Ed Solomon)

$55.00 - $85.00
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Category: GENERAL MAGIC
  • Product Type: BOOK
  • FREE PDF Preview: HERE

Ed Solomon, who was also known as DeNomolos, was a master storyteller who used magic to emphasize the point or moral of his stories. He wanted his magic to appeal to the intellect and touch the soul of his audiences, or as he put it: “People may not remember my name or the magic that I performed, but they will remember how it made them feel.”

Between 2004 and 2015 Ed wrote 125 columns in The Linking Ring magazine that featured short stories that used simple magic to highlight their messages. All those columns are included in this book along with some bonus tricks, essays, and more.

He had an international following of famous magicians, mentalists, and performers which he often consulted with about how to add meaning to their magic and presentations. This fed into his lifelong desire to help magicians understand how to use storytelling to their advantage. We hope this book helps him achieve that goal.

If you ever wanted to elevate your magic from just being a series of puzzles into meaningful moments of magic, this book may inspire you to think along those lines. Remember that all good magic revolves around solid stories and premises and this book is full of both.

First Hardcover Edition. Written by Ed Solomon. Complied and edited by Rolando H. Santos. Published by Meir Yedid Magic in 2023. 348-pages, 6” x 9”, hardcover, with many photographs. Limited to 250 copies. Also available as a softcover.

This compilation of Solomon’s work hit me like a ton of bats. His techniques and stories are novel, adaptable, and exciting. I am pleased I got on board before the party was over. Don’t be left out, read this illuminating book, and add something brand new to your thinking. You will not regret it!
…Marc Salem

Media Type Shipped Product

You might also like...

People who purchased this also purchased...

Customer Reviews

  • These are charming examples of simple tricks with evocative presentations.

    5 Stars

    This review by Nathan Coe Marsh appeared in the April 2024 issue of Genii Magazine.

    This is a lovely window into the world of an interesting creator and performer of whom I had been unaware. Ed Solomon, as the hooded character DeNomolos, performed evocative stories that were punctuated with simple moments of magic.

    This 344-page hardcover gathers together125 pieces of mostly Bizzarre Magick—to use the name of the movement that took off under the influence of Tony Andruzzi—that Solomon published in The Linking Ring between 2004 and his death in 2015 along with 12 bonus Solomon pieces and a thematically fitting 13th by acolyte Rolando H. Santos.

    Bizarre Magick, especially the variety in which a long narrative ends with a brief moment of magic (which is the case with much of the material here), is not to my taste. Setting aside that difference in taste, the quality of the execution is high. It is not for me, but those who are tuned to this frequency— I suspect—will love this material.

    The first thing that is striking about these pieces is that quite a bit of them depart from the typical Victorian and gothic horror props and themes of much of Bizzare Magick. We find ourselves on college campuses and in nursing homes more often than at graveyards, and the contrast between heavy themes and ordinary surroundings has a great deal of theatrical potential. One of my favorite pieces, “Smile,” is an unsettling sight gag with modern office supplies and a script full of then-topical references to contemporary culture. Similarly, “Pacemaker, Pacemaker, Set Me A Pace” is an offbeat and entertaining moment themed around modern medical technology.

    Subtlety and restraint are not always points of emphasis here, as the opening piece pairs a rose production with a viral copypasta story from the early 2000s about an octogenarian college student. It is a lovely story with a worthwhile message, no doubt the source of its mass appeal, and I can see the rose production enhancing the emotional impact of the story. It also lays it all on quite thick, and an audience could easily feel like they are listening to an amateur monologue at a high school theater competition.

    On the whole, this is an interesting source of presentational inspiration. One of the biggest challenges faced by a performing magician is how to make our work relatable to an audience. “What do I say?” Many magicians begin the process with the effect they want to perform and then try to engineer a presentation around that. Here is a model of a performer working in the opposite direction: first falling in love with something they want to say and then figuring out an effect that would enhance it. The magic is secondary here both in emphasis and in the chronology of the creative process.

    There are several advantages of this way of working (at least as relates to the magic being chronologically second; more on the emphasis below). It is easier for the resulting material to reflect the personality and thinking of the performer, and therefore easier for the audience to forge a feeling of connection with the artist. Moreover, material made this way avoids an audience’s disappointment when they see things they’ve seen before in the acts of others.

    Here are over 100 performance pieces created in this way, along with some editorial comments from the creator on how he developed these. I could see someone reading these and being encouraged by Solomon’s example to find ideas and stories that interest them around which to make magic.

    Throughout Meaningful Conjuring, magic is used as a special effect to enhance the theatrical experience of a story. I’ve previously written in this column, in a review of Jim Steinmeyer’s Brushstrokes Over Reality, that magic has an unusual status among the arts because it can provoke two fundamentally different kinds of aesthetic experience; that is to say that it can be art in two different ways. Magic can be used to heighten the emotional impact of a story or character. In this way the aesthetic experience is that of theater: being lost in a story, relating to imaginary characters, feeling catharsis. This is the goal of the magic in Meaningful Conjuring (and certainly the goal in Henning Nelms’s Magic and Showmanship, among other places). There is, on the other hand, the aesthetic experience of astonishment: the clash between an audience’s rational knowledge that we are experiencing a trick and our deep emotional conviction in the reality of the experience. This is the goal of magic as pursued in Tamariz’s The Magic Way and The Magic Rainbow, and in the essays in Harris’s The Art of Astonishment, etc.

    Among the reasons that magic can be so powerful as live entertainment is that it has the ability to give a guest both aesthetic experiences in the same evening. They can lose themselves in a story or character and they can lose themselves in wonder. That we are able to fire both of those barrels gives magic a unique potential, and it makes it disappointing when someone limits themselves to one.

    I see creators and performers who aggressively pursue one kind of magic’s aesthetic power while completely ignoring the other. This happens both with folks who solely pursue astonishment— mastering technique and construction but ignoring communication and drama—and, as is the case with Meaningful Conjuring, those who give all of their love to theater at the cost of wonder. The often pedestrian magic (as magic) in Meaningful Conjuring seems to be implicitly excused by the amount of work that has gone into the theatrical experience. This is short-sighted and unfortunate.

    Magic can be theatrically immersive and deceptively constructed and executed with sophisticated technique Eugene Burger could make you lean forward in your chair. as you got pulled into his words, before his magic knocked you on the floor.

    Setting that aside, Solomon’s writing is strong and there is rich fodder here for your own adaptation and exploration (a line in one of these pieces was the starting point of a new line in my show).

    These are charming examples of simple tricks with evocative presentations. Recommended.

    Was this review helpful to you?YesNo
  • Ed Solomon visited me today.

    5 Stars

    Ed Solomon visited me today. He brought along his friend DeNomolos. He told me a wonderful story. And he told me another. And another.

    Well, not Ed in person. Just his spirit. I received the new compilation by Rolando Santos - Meaningful Conjuring. It's a collection of 125 columns from the Linking Ring.

    I don't have to plow through 12 years of back issues. There's all here in one handy volume.

    Ed had several talents. He would take an old routine, and not only construct a story about the effect, he would think of ingenious ways to modify those tired old props and transform them into mysterious and strange objects that transports people into an alternate reality. Every submission has a photo, which is often the props for the effect, and you can visualize the impact these can have. Not all are old effects. Some of the techniques are new and clever. Others are old and forgotten, and cause me to slap my forehead with the palm of my hand. And they all are practical to perform.

    And the stories - oh the stories. Ed is a master of constructing stories for the effects. He doesn't just give background information, he builds up an emotional involvement as well. You feel for the individuals, and often, you will have to wipe the tears from your eyes.

    Not all are like that. Some routines are pure comedy. Some end with groaner puns. When the phrase "breathes life into old classics" is used, no one comes close to Ed and what he can do.Not only do they have a new life, they stand up and walk, or in some cases run away.

    God, I miss Ed so much. But I can have him visit me again, just by opening the book in a different location. I might cry. I might laugh. No matter which one I pick, I can visualize Ed in front of an audience, with his gravelly voice once again.

    His humor and more importantly, his heart lives on.

    Brother Bruce Barnett

    Was this review helpful to you?YesNo
$55.00 - $85.00