Quote about improvisation (from David Byrne’s new book)

I picked up David Byrne’s new book: How Music Works while waiting around in a bookstore. I flipped it to this page with this quote which I thought was quite cool. If I remember he was quoting something else. Anyway, I wonder how this general idea can be adapted to other forms of improvisation, like designing software products or teaching. I am thinking. Do you have an idea?

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0 thoughts on “Quote about improvisation (from David Byrne’s new book)

  1. I just finished reading that book, Pito, and that was a remarkable scene. David and others were auditioning about 50 dancers for show in which they could only hire three.In essence, of those 50 dancers, one of them "won", in that their phrase was the one everyone was eventually dancing. By the way, a few sentences later he mentions that that process took about four minutes. So is that dancer to be commended for being the best dancer, or the most persuasive? Or were they the most stubborn and inflexible? "If I just insist on doing things my way, eventually everyone will have to give in."


  2. Yes: and can you think of a product design or ideation variant of that idea? I think there's something there but it's not coming to me (yet!)


  3. I think you're right, but it's not coming to me yet, either. The "normal" paradigm, of course, is that there's some top-down or group decision-making process that selects among design alternatives, rather than having the designers make that choice themselves. It certainly requires a discipline of non-attachment to one's own brilliant ideas!


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