Ben Harris' first set of lecture notes from his first ever lecture in 1985—
These notes have been re-written and re-photographed. The material is bright, crisp and hard-hitting. Mostly cards, including a wonderful multi-phase OIL AND WATER routine that's a joy to perform. PYRAMID CARDS is an easy and visual stunt revelation that was originally created by Jay Sankey. Here are a couple of cool variations. COMING TOGETHER AGAIN is a real killer item based on a Sadowitz piece from Almanac (see demo video below).
The real highlight is the closer Ben used on both nights in Singapore. This is his IMPROMPTU DARYL. It's a no-gaffed-deck handling of ULTIMATE AMBITION. You know the effect: the deck is wrapped in rope yet still the ambitious card rises to the top. Here Harris teaches you how to simulate the effect on the spur of the moment. Use any deck!
- Pyramid Cards
- Coming Together Again (see demo video below)
- Oil and Water, Delux (basic handling)
- Pick Up Palm
- Angel Aces
- Snappy Cannibal
- The Three Card Game
- Impromptu Daryl (no-gaffed-deck version of Ultimate Ambition)
1st edition 1985; 1st digital edition 2009; 34 pages.
word count: 4260 which is equivalent to 17 standard pages of text
Reviewed by Jamie Daws
★★★★★ Date Added: Friday 09 October, 2009
Ben Harris:: Singapore Lecture Notes:: 34 Pages
Welcome to Ben Harris’s home learning lecture notes. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that lecture notes are relatively boring. They are usually a collection of effect that is usually just throwing away ideas. You perhaps find one or two interesting ideas but the rest is discarded. It’s hard to find a set of lecture notes that makes that little buzzy light in your head shine brightly. But, thank goodness, Singapore Lecture notes is a collection of truly insightful and workable effects.
Obviously, not every trick in this book is for everyone. But what I love about Singapore Lecture notes is that there is something to play with (something you do for your own amusement), Something workable( an effect I would use in my performances) and lastly something to develop (an effect in it’s starting phases that you can expand upon).
Firstly, after, again the user agreements and the many introductory pages, we are launched into the first effect. Now this is the one that’s just too much fun to keep playing with. It’s not terribly workable and not necessarily something you will use often, but it is just so cool to do and watch. It is a card revelation in which a very clever set up with an elastic band see’s four piles forming a pyramid and revealing a selected card. Again, not fantastically usable, I don’t think it’s supposed to be taken to seriously, but god, it really is fun to keep doing over and over again.
Swiftly floating onto a routine effect. Now, this is one that I have used and, occasionally, will use in the right situation. It’s an absolutely brilliant effect. It’s very simple to perform, but very clever in method. Unfortunately, it does require a set up of cards before the effect which isn’t overly easy to remember, but it really is worth it for the effect. There is so much going on and it is an absolute knock out to spectators.
Now, Oil and Water Deluxe! I have written a complete review just on this effect and I cannot rate it enough. This is one of the tricks in the book that I will use forever and ever. It is by far the best and cleanest method for the oil and water plot. VERY clever and absolutely clean to the bone. Disinfectant couldn’t even make this cleaner. It’s a trick that uses no gimmicks, minimal sleight of hand and still makes you look like an absolute sleight of hand guru. There will never be a cleaner method to this plot and non better then Ben’s take on this gorgeous plot. This is worth the price of the whole book.
For you coin fanatics, there is a cool coin palm. However, not being a brilliant coin worker, it wasn’t for me. However, I’m confident many of you will enjoy this addition to your coin sleights.
Angel Aces is an effect (production) that I’ve come across before. Not knowing the original author, Ben Harris pops up again. This is a brilliant four ace production. Can be done from a mixed deck with some sleight tinkering along the way. Lots of flares and flashes to make the flashiest of card appearances. What I love about this is nothing is repetitive. Everything comes as an absolute surprise and looks truly magical. With the time and effort, you can get this looking really pretty and graceful. He even gives us a scan copy of the original literature in which he published this.
Next we are graced with a take on yet another classic plot of magic. The cannibal card plot. This is a really cute, quick and simple version of the plot using the four aces. This is another of the card effects in the book it’s really useful knowing. No set up required and just a seriously cute and compelling piece of magic.
The three Card Game is a brilliant brilliant effect. So brilliant I’ve used the work brilliant four times! It uses a move by Paul Harris which is reasonably well known but briefly covered in the effect for those who don’t. The three card plot is another plot in magic that’s been covered a lot over the years. But although Ben’s version not being anything groundbreaking, is a really novel and slick handling.
The last effect in the book is probably one of the main ones for me. I absolutely loved it. A practical impromptu ending to a often gimmicked finally to the ambitious card plot. The deck is wrapped in rope. The selection is fairly placed in the centre. Without undoing the rope, the top card is pulled from under the rope and is the signed selection. This is absolutely wicked. Well, as long as you have a length of rope lying around. Of course, that can be alternated somewhat. There are many fairly expensive gimmicks for achieving the same effect and although you must destroy one card in your deck, it takes less than 10 seconds to create the gimmick and minutes to learn giving your time to perfect the handling and presentation. This is another that I will defiantly use often.
“Ben’s lecture notes are defiantly a collection of workable and usable effects. It’ bursting with fun ideas and bursting with brilliant takes of some of magic’s most well known magic plots. Defiantly one of the best set of lectures note’s I have.”
Rating:: ***** 5/5 stars
Reviewed by Jamie Daws