Why Matrix?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 12/16/05 06:11 PM

I invented Matrix in 1960.

It was published as Matrix in 1972 in Genii Magazine.

Since then there are countless routines called Matrix. Why?

The trick grew from a trick in Bobos book called Sympathetic Coins.

Why not call them Sympathetic Coin routines instead? The basic plot is even older. Chink-a-Chink is essentially the same effect and is far older. Why arent they called Chink-a-Chink routines instead? Yes, it used something extra that appeared as a shell. So do many present day Matrix routines?

The basic difference from Sympathetic Coins is that Matrix uses four cards instead of two. It could be said that that Sympathetic Coins consisted of penetrations and one transposition. On the other hand the moves of many Matrix routines differ so much from the Classic Matrix routine; penetrations do not seem to be that much different from what is now done.

Even coin routines using no cards are called Matrix. Many say, as I do, that these are not appropriate to call Matrix routines. But many build routines that resemble the initial plot little but are still called Matrix.

Why is this?

It has been said that Shadow Coins is a trick far superior than Matrix. Why arent these tricks then called Shadow Coin variations?

A guy named John Kennedy marketed a trick called Matrix. Some years ago I bumped into him and asked him why he is calling his trick Matrix since I published a trick called Matrix years previous. He said, Matrix is a public name! This is a peculiar response considering his trick used three cards covering three coins. Apparently he did not understand the mathematical sense of the word matrix. Someone came out with a book called, Matrix, Gods Way. I saw the routine. Hmmmmmm.

What is going on?
Al Schneider

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/16/05 06:34 PM

Originally posted by Al Schneider:
...there are countless routines called Matrix...What is going on?
Eureka! Finally found a name for my coins across routine.
Anyone mind if I call it M8rix? :D

Al, they love your trick so much that they think of it as a proper name for a coin assembly using covers and not putting stuff under the handkerchief/mat. Just as Xerox is identified with photocopiers, your title for your coin assembly seems to have been adopted. It's a kind of compliment.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/16/05 07:00 PM

It's the Kleenex of coin magic. Al, you created a whole new thing and most don't realize what they are calling their work... but use Matrix like Xerox or Kleenex.

The real guys know... :genii:
Stay tooned.
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Postby Mike Rubinstein » 12/16/05 10:12 PM

I was just talking to David Roth about this very subject. I had written on another forum (and this is an elaboration on what I wrote) that the difference between an assembly and Matrix was that Matrix was Al's coin effect that used cards as cover to effectuate an assembly. An assembly was a general term for the collection of any group of objects to one corner. David agrees with the two card/ four card difference that Al pointed out, but also felt that prior to Al's effect, in order to make coins assemble you had to pick them up and make them either vanish or penetrate. Al's routine was the first where the coins were able to travel (by use of the pick up move)without having to pick them up or even touch them once they were tabled. This was a fundamental point in the evolution of the routine. His Chink A Chink also does this (the coins are not picked up), but without using cards as cover, hence it is not a matrix, but an assembly. I would be interested in hearing Al's take on this.
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Postby Guest » 12/16/05 10:36 PM

Why other people call it Matrix, especially when it's not: sheer ignorance, plus a desire to bask in the reflected brilliance of your excellent trick.

I was going to ask why you gave it that name yourself, because I'd forgotten, but you just now referred to its mathematical origin, and that gave me a clue, the coins are arranged in the form of a square matrix:

[.25 .25]

[.25 .25]

Which makes John Kennedy's Impossible Matrix mathematically unsound, since it only uses three coins.

Postby Bill Duncan » 12/16/05 10:51 PM

Originally posted by Michael Rubinstein:
...the difference between an assembly and Matrix was that Matrix was Al's coin effect that used cards as cover to effectuate an assembly.
Not to put too fine a point on it Dr. R. but I think the thing that differentiates Matrix from all it's clones, and it's predecessors, is not that the cards are used "as cover to effectuate an assembly", which is the case in so many Matrix-like tricks, but that the cards are used "to prevent manipulation". They are not there to help the assembly of coins but to make their movement impossible. Im sure you know this, and were speaking about method and not about the perceived effect, but Im also certain there are readers who dont see that distinction and we should make sure they do.

It amazes me when I see so many of the recent variations on David and Al's routines, that the people doing them clearly don't understand the originals. It just looks like they are sliding things around under their hands, or hiding something under the cards. This is most evident when you hear someone opine that a "shadow coins" assembly is superior to a "matrix" because you don't use cards to cover the coins.

Both effects are beautiful when done by someone who understands them. And awful when done, even competently, by someone doesn't.
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Postby John Wilson » 12/17/05 12:05 AM

Maybe I should invent a new assembly routine for bigger math nerds to perform, The Invertible Matrix, maybe The Diagonal Matrix, or The Identity Matrix. I think anything involving eigenvalues would simply be too obscure. :)
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Postby Curtis Kam » 12/17/05 01:55 AM

I like the idea John, being something of a math geek myself. I called my "reverse Matrix" routine "Inverted Matrix".

Nobody got it back in `82. Glad you finally came along.
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Postby Guest » 12/17/05 03:20 AM

I suppose that if the initial transfer is a coin moving from one corner to join the coin at the opposite corner, one could for the appropriate audience say something about a skew-symmetric matrix. But I don't think I will.


Postby Guest » 12/17/05 05:22 AM

@Al Schneider
Al, pls. se your mailbox.
I'm posting -right now- a very special thing concerning Matrix off to you...

Postby Guest » 12/17/05 05:24 AM

Just thought I would share a few points with you about Matrix.

I developed Matrix when I was 17 years old. I had been in magic less than a year. I was just learning how to finger palm a coin. I was also attempting to do coin vanishes. Years later, as I studied the routine, I saw flaws in it due to my lack of magic knowledge back then.

I named the routine years later when I was a Physics student in college.

Many of the concepts alluded to in this thread I was not aware of.

When I developed it long ago I was simply after something that looked better.

Since then I have been afraid to change the routine out of fear that it would loose its power. I am willing to live with the flaws because it sells so well.

Instead of making the routine "better", I have chosen to work on different new material.

Al Schneider

Postby Guest » 12/17/05 06:39 AM

Werner G. Seitz

Sorry, I started the download but waiting for a 20 MB .avi download is a bit much for me. Especially when the ads were coming thorugh also. The ads were doing better than the clip. I am watching a stationary load bar frozen on the screen while all kinds of ads are popping, spinning and eating my bandwidth.

I encourage people to send me material on CD via snail mail.

I have video clips on my web site. I have put a lot of effort into using RealPlayer streaming video. When this is working a 10 minute clip can start in about 10 seconds and play without interruption.

I am considering an idea to accept clips from others to put on my web site for public view.
Al Schneider

Postby Guest » 12/17/05 06:46 AM

I'll fix this Al, no problem.. se your mailbox, you can watch it instantly on-line..

To all the curious ones, no, this is not a silly capture of me doing any magic, it's something a 1000 times better ;)

In general, too all having problems in downloading from *YouSendIt*, install the free version of *Lightning download*, available at:
and also install the YSI feature mentioned at YouSendIt's site, when getting a personal download..then there will be no ads, the download will of course take its time depending on ones connection speed.

Postby Bob Farmer » 12/17/05 08:51 AM

Also in this line, is Dr. Daley's "Motile" which uses two cards and four coins (Bobo, p.383).
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