MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

the beauty of collaborative art (a new song on video)

i am part of a songwriter’s group that meets monthly and this past Monday night, we attempted our first ever collaborative song-writing session. These things are not easy to do, especially when more than 2 heads are involved (we had 6).

this was a lesson in how creative art can be a shared experience.  we normally think of performance art as a medium that involves other people and creative ventures typically thrive in solo atmospheres (at least for me).  however, when we put ourselves into a group of other creatives we trust (which is something we’ve been building by meeting together for the past few months), some great things can happen.

we wrote a song in about an hour and a half.

some key learnings for me on how this happened:

  1. everyone contributed something – whether it was a beat, a key word, a melody, or riff, everyone had the right and permission to speak into the song
  2. not everyone was trying to be the next Justin Timberlake in this short session – meaning, we naturally yielded to each other and some of us were more quiet in the process than others, which was necessary.  we knew and embraced our roles for this moment.  too many dominant voices and this project would have blown up like the Titanic– oh wait, the Titanic sank…
  3. we kept building on spontaneous ideas. we weren’t waiting for something fantastic to come along and slap us in the face.  if someone had a guitar riff, we had them play it out and loop it until a melody and eventually lyrics were formed.
  4. we had fun. we weren’t trying to meet a deadline, we weren’t trying to write a hit.  this was merely a project for the moment.
  5. we prayed. seriously, we asked for inspiration and specifically asked for a song and the prayer was answered.

so without further ado, here’s the video.  we filmed it right after we wrote the tune.  none of us in this video are “experts” and we’re all actually playing instruments we normally wouldn’t play.  it was our attempt at being third culture.   this was our tribute to Africa and the song ended up being about contentment and beauty!  please don’t take offense to our sounds at the end of the song… we’re really hoping that actual African words can be uttered in that spot!

Behold, “All is Well” by Ben Chang, Alvin King, Jeff Fulkerson, Theo Tam, Jen Liu and DK (yours truly)

the lyrics:

Beauty and light surrounds me now

The clouds rolled through

I throw my head to the breeze

And my face welcomes the cold, crisp air

All is well within my soul, soul

All is well within my soul, soul

This is life I have now, never felt it before

Awaken my senses to depths of a love

In this moment the worries can pass with the storm

I’m immersed in the rays of hope

And this mist of life


8 responses

  1. Gela P

    YES! That WAS beautiful… and lion kingesque. Great learning points.

    June 24, 2009 at 12:47 am

  2. jeffrolog

    heck yes!

    June 24, 2009 at 8:07 am

  3. sheepdog

    love this song; i could sing it the second time through!

    June 24, 2009 at 8:58 am

  4. tracy mo

    awesome!!! 🙂

    June 24, 2009 at 10:12 am

  5. Jen

    Woohoo! It was a lot of fun!

    June 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm

  6. Pingback: Justin Timberlake - Radio-People : News, pictures, videos, biography

  7. Pingback: Artisan Warriors » Blog Archive » All Is Well – Songwriter’s Group

  8. Sam


    June 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm

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