Magic Lantern Music Show

Duration: 10-11, February 2024

A biunial magic lantern built from mahogany and brass in the nineteenth century by Newton & Co.

Article from Castlemaine Mail Feb 2024
Some of the most intense experiences to be had at the turn of the last century were produced by the magic lantern apparatus as people sat together, shoulder to shoulder, in the dark.  Head to the Coolroom at the Northern Arts Hotel this February as Crank Williams, Patsy Decline and Martyn Jolly work their magic, reconjuring the same sensations and emotions felt by Australian audiences over a hundred years ago. 

Colours will swirl and twist in the dark, stories of heartache, despair and desire will be vividly rendered on the screen.  They will be performing a series of authentic, original chro- matropes — optical devices where a handle and a cog spin concentrically patterned discs of glass in opposite directions to generate psychedelic pulses of pure colour sensation. 

They will also be performing a series of ‘dissolving views’, where hand-coloured squares of glass made from ‘life models’ photographed against painted backdrops, are dissolved one into another to illustrate a story or a song.

Crank Williams will be performing vocals; reel-to-reel tape recorder from the 1960’s with its original magnetic heads, a heavily used RCA 1/4 inch tape recorder from the late 1960’s; 1951 National Chicagoan six string lap steel guitar; Hagstrom six string hollow body electric guitar; and a1965 fender tube reverb tank.  Patsy Decline will be performing vocals; and playing a Moog theremin (a modern-day model of a classic instrument de- signed by Leon Theremin in the 1920’s).

Martyn Jolly uses slides from the 1800s and early 1900s including; the Lights of London Town, and hand-tinted life models magic lantern slides, to recreate the magic experienced by audiences more than 100 years ago.

7.30pm, Saturday, February 10 and 2.30pm Sunday, Febru- ary 11 at the Coolroom- Northern Arts Hotel 359 Barker Street Castlemaine. 

Tickets: $20/$15 or $55/$45 for a share package (two tickets plus bottle wine). 

Seating is limited so bookings are essential –