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The Magic Memories (141)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: Greetings from Spain with a few photo memories.

These are The Magic Memories 141, gone online Sunday, September 10th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.

All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020, can be found HERE.

Greetings From Spain

This Sunday and the next The Magic Memories will only be short ones as I am traveling in Spain.

The first week I’ll spend in the company of Juan Tamariz at his home near Cadiz, as I’ve done in the past thirty years plus.

These traditional visits abruptly stopped during the Pandemic Years (three lost years!), but I am now  very much looking forward to fully immerse into Juan’s friendship and magical genius.

I will freely admit that my magical life has had many and different influences, but I can truthfully say that none has been as strong and long-lasting as that of Juan Tamariz.

… leading the Magic Way (ca. 1990)

I am so thankful that my life has been influenced by real people and real events, as opposed to today’s generation where many seem to be influenced by, well, “influencers”, on YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok, & co.

The photo below taken in the summer of 2014 shows Juan and me conversing at our favorite restaurant in Cadiz, “El Faro”.

“la sobremesa”, the after-dinner conversation

The photo was taken past midnight, as is typical of Spain, were dinner starts ca. 10 pm, and we are celebrating what the Spaniards call “la sobremesa”, literally translated “the over-the-table”, meaning the conversation that takes place after you finished a meal – this can last over an hour, and may be accompanied by coffee/tea, brandy, cigars, or even playing cards and other instruments 🙂

Although I might opt for Asian cuisine (Chinese, Japanese, Thai etc.) if I was forced to choose the best in the world (hopefully I’ll never have to), I find Spanish, Italian and French style multi-course dinners more apt to celebrate friendship, magic and life.

When it came to eating, Ascanio used to tell us youngsters at the table, who would have cards in hands as we were eating, “There are more important things in life than magic!”

He was referring to what Juan later taught me, namely that as you are served a course and eating it, you should talk about what you are eating, exchange opinions about it, tell about similar dishes you might have had, thus amplifying the pleasure of eating, because by speaking about it you become aware of what you are doing, fine-tuning the senses to enhance the experience.

Living by this credo has way more implications than just enjoying a meal, it is a lesson for life, as it teaches you to concentrate on the moment, thus enjoying it more, and if you enjoy something, you are a happier person, and you can share this with others.

This is what ideally happens when we are performing what Vernon called “artistic magic”: We are celebrating in an act of communion our passion through the art of magic, its instruments, effects and presentations, in order to make our audience experience the emotion of wonder in an aesthetically pleasing, original and unique way.

Juan and I agree, that during such moments we should neither do nor discuss magic, well, as a rule, that has exceptions (like always!).

HOWEVER, as soon as the course is finished, and the table has been cleared, and the chef is preparing the next course, well, then is the moment to connect back to magic; we occasionally might then even have the cards in hands.

When the next course is served, we start all over again. And at the end we spend some time at the “sobremesa”. Watch the short video clip below, taken at “Charles” in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and see how many you recognize – quite a table, I would say 🙂

Escorial (Charoles) 30 OCT 2010

After that we get back home, it is then usually around 1 am, and we continue our hands-on session (that started around 6 pm), and continue until the first of us “cracks”, that’s of course me, at around 6 am, when I go to bed, and the Maestro continues, in a conversation with the angels and muses only geniuses have access to, way into the morning…

The second week I will be in Vitoria, the capital of Alava (think Rioja wines…), at my favorite convention, Magialdia (I have reported about earlier editions in The Magic Memories of 2021 and 2022).

Magialdia 2014: Etcheverry, RG, Suarez, Cachadiña, Tena – preparing for group lecture about the magic of Ascanio

I will give an account of it in an upcoming The Magic Memories.

Wish you all an excellent week!

Roberto Giobbi

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