A sad story about a hedgehog in deep trouble… He sang a narrative at us. Here’s a glimpse:
He’s been writing songs between games of Dungeons & Dragons.
Do musicians do data analysis of their audience? No. That’s for business people. He never considered the generation gap. But in 2010 he got obsessed with going to the Edinburgh Festival. You need a hook, if you’re not that famous. He needed a hook. The same year his seventh album came out. On it he set to music an AA Milne poem. He was the Pixar of his day. And suddenly Chris realised a whole show of those poems set to music would be the hooks…
But he’s not thinking about the audience yet. As he was putting it together, lots of people came to him saying that AA Milne has a bad reputation for being cold and exploiting his family. But what he didn’t hear was that Milne fought at the Battle of the Somme – and he came home. But no-one comes home from that unscathed. He had no support network. So he wrote poems. Suddenly he had a show. He could redeem this man’s reputation. And that means he has to think about how that works for kids. It was difficult. He panicked. There were two different tones to match.
It went really well. Two things blew his mind: the children preferred the dark, complex bits to the funny bits. And then the old people started turning up. And some of them were mouthing along with the words, and some of them were crying. Some of the 80 year olds came back two or three times. It resonated really long term for him.
Here’s his challenge: think about the youngest – and then the oldest – person you communicate with regularly. Then do your creative work, but don’t think about wether it’s suitable to them, but about wether it’s interesting to them. Our whole lives are a body of work.