Monday, August 22, 2005

Knowledge management and songwriting

Knowledge management and songwriting - what does this have in common? Believe it or not a lot.

I just returned from at week at the Song School and Folks Festival in Lyons, CO. During the week I was exposed to a huge number of amazing artists. Only a handful of which ever become popular. In seeing this large amount of talent in one place, the question comes up, why do some artists become household names and other toil on in obscurity. An analogy to knowledge management, is how do you get your information recognized in this age of information overload.

Over the last week , I looked at what sets artists apart. Here are some thoughts (note: these are not universal truths):

- Being different - One of the students that stood out to me was playing a Bouzouki (a Greek type of mandolin). His unique sound is what I remember.
- Simple is often the best - Being a guitarist, I noticed those that were playing the hard stuff. However, the tunes that stuck with me often had very simple melody lines (and in most case only three chords).
- It's not so much the instrument, it's the music - I spent a ton on my last guitar, however, Joe Craven "has made it" using a Holiday Inn trash can for a drum and a banjo made from a bedpan.
- Evoke an emotional response - In performance classes we discussed connecting the audience to the music. The challenge is to reach the variety of different individuals.
- The performance is key - What often separates performers is how they walk on stage, the short stories they tell, or if they make eye contact with you. The performance can be as important as the sound.
- The words are important - It's amazing how different people interpret lyrics and how these differing interpretations can change the reaction to the song.
- Breaking the rules - Often the most memorable songs break the rules. If all musicians followed the rules, we'd be pretty bored. Those that are innovative stand out.

This is just a short list, and are there are many other items I could add to the list. In communicating information, these same apply in making your information stand out among the crowd.


At 8:02 PM, Blogger jackvinson said...

Jeff, I think you should build on this set of thoughts. How are those things that make musicians stand out similar to that which makes "knowledge" (or is it the knowledge workers) stand out? What is it about music that draws people in? Are there similarities in knowledge?


Jack Vinson

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