I thought a thread on bizarre and/or magic(k)al music might be a good idea. Once in a long-ago discussion with Lord Freddie I suggested Graham Bond's Holy Magick as worthy of a listen, and it appears it's been posted on Youtube:
I always consider the aural effects of a performance as much as the visual and have used samples from many sources over the years, as well as original content. Some examples are:
Hymns Hurdy-gurdy music Carnival tunes Just about anything by Diamanda Galas
I love the idea of using sound in performances. Especially to induce the desired atmosphere for our spectators. I think playing music before a performance can tell the spectators quite a lot about who you are, what your style is, and what they might be getting themselves into. In this respect, music is almost like a calling card.
As it turns out, I have recently discovered a rendition of a song that I believe will send a wonderfully accurate foreshadowing of my persona. To alleviate any preconceived notions, I would only request that you make no inferences based on the title of the song. Simply listen to the music.
This is one I have been using for a long time. I used to play it on cassette tape. Imagine a dark room lite by a single candle, incense burning, and this music playing. . . anything could happen next. . . .
There are some great suggestions here! I usually go for small samples or just ambient sounds for bizarre experiences and when I do stage shows I go for music that I can choreograph my routines to. I've done original content (I play a few instruments) or royalty free music, but I've found independent artists to often have fantastic music and be very generous about use in show. I've never tried to contact a major artist about performance rights, but I'd love to be able to perform a complete stage routine I have in mind for this song:
In this type of performance, as much as I love music, I believe it damages the believability. Why? Because in real life, when we experience something like what we try to portray in our performances, there is no music playing. Of course, there are exceptions. An old music box playing, an old vitrola, a wax cylinder recording, these are all examples of something that introduced in the right context can be quite effective, not only to add to the mood of the piece, but to the storyline as well. The music box can be a memento from a dead girl, an object she was particularly fond of. Playing its music can be a way to summon her presence, while calling for her to make herself noticed. Then, whatever phenomena occurs, it is quite justified, in my mind, given the fact we introduced the story, the prop, created the connection and the mood. Same kind of premise for the other music objects. This is only an exemple of what can be done. In my opinion, to play contemporary music (Danny Elfman, Midnight Syndicate or whatever) as we tell the story (in the style of a lecture, for instance), to add to the presentation is one thing, but to play that music while the effects occur, is in my opinion something off the point. Of course, that is merely my opinion, my point of view. If you see it differently, and you can make it work for you, that´s great! After all, what a boring world would it be if everyone did things the same, don´t you think? All the best!
I have found that music can be used to set the mood before a seance or show. As the sitters gather it gets them them into an emotional frame of mind. Yes, once the seance starts music can be completely out of place in most cases, it is then time for darkness and silence . . .
Now, if you are doing a big on Las Vegas stage magic show, then music and dancing girls is surely the way to go.
I put some recordings of gregorian chants at extremely low volume before the performance. Just enough to have the participants barely hear it if they strain to listen. Of course, when I start, the recording stops. I've found that it throws people a little off center, as they can't figure out what it is.