Age of Ideas
I’m going to list several things below that actually have something huge in common. Once you see where I’m going with this I’m sure you’ll be able to add many, many more to the list. But most important, if history is any indicator, you’ll also get as excited as me. Ok, here’s the list:
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Steely Dan
- Daft Punk
- Alan Parsons Project
- Rodgers & Hammerstein
- Soul II Soul
- George Lucas
- Quincy Jones
At first glance, I’m sure it appears to be a truly bizarre list. Some are iconic names, yet other names have been lost to history. But, believe me, they have something in common. In each example, instead of a clear star, such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Sting, or the Rolling Stones…. the true “star” is instead masked. The star, in each of these examples, is the producer/director. Yet, while their name may sell the project, they’re completely behind the scenes. Allowing the idea, instead of the performer, to shine.
The last time this happened in history… the last time there was a return of the “producer as star” we had a huge explosion of creativity and economic growth. Every indication is we are on the verge of this occurring again in a big way: An Age of Ideas.
The author Richard Florida, in his book The Rise of the Creative Class, predicts the arrival of this new age. Since, much of America’s labor jobs have been outsourced, it is imperative that knew ideas are shared. Hopefully they will give rise to new products and services. But, as with everything in life, we sometimes need to go backward before we can go forward. I believe there are signs of this occurring and it is time now to share your ideas.
We see this in a return to previous sounds and techniques. We see this in the renewed interest in the LP, EP and vinyl records. As the old concepts are re-explored they begin to fuse with newer ones forming revolutionary ideas.. never experienced before. Beethoven’s Eroica (Symphony #3) is credited as bringing on the the entirely new sound of the Romantic Age. Quincy Jones joined the influences of disco and R&B to create Thriller. Today, as we look back to the genius of Chic, Steely Dan & Alan Parsons (sound engineer for Dark Side of the Moon) something unique is born: Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. But, are these signs from the past just a fade or are they pointing a new way forward?
My point: We are all siting on ideas. They are in our mind or scratched on a piece of paper. Maybe they’ve even found there way into a Word document, but your audience is now excited and ready to assimilate fresh ideas.
We are entering another Age of Ideas. We have exhausted vampires and zombies and we are yearning for something entirely new. Again, I believe history teaches us that the next Star Wars, Psycho, Aja, Sound of Music is likely being created as you read this. In a year or two, that idea will be redefining a genre or even creating an entirely new one (such as, successfully binding classical music to hip-hop like Soul II Soul)… Maybe you have a revolutionary idea… Maybe you’ll have the courage to let the world know.