The morning started off with the very talented and very funny Kendall Payne. A gifted musician and songwriter, she not only made us laugh, but made us think. I’ve never heard of her before, but I will be looking to add some of her music to my iPod. She’s that good.
Next up was Dr. Richard Allen Farmer. Dr. Farmer is a real renaissance man. I knew he was cool when we walked up on stage with his MacBook Pro and used that for notes. A musician, speaker, pastor, pilot and a whole bunch more. He led us on a tour inside the mind of the artist. I always really enjoy these types of talks because it reminds me that I’m not crazy. Here are some of the notes I took. These are pretty raw, and will likely merit more unpacking as I get home and process. This is one session I would recommend buying if you weren’t here. I may buy it… and I was here.
- Artists are different. Let’s take a tour inside the artist’s head. We think differently, we act differently, we have different assumptions.
- Consider daVinci. He wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer. He had insatiable curiosity. He asked questions.
- We want to know how things work, why things are the way they are. We’re curious about history, about current events, about all sorts of things. This is what makes us annoying to other people. We keep pushing the edges, we push the limits, we push buttons, we push anything. We keep asking why or why not?
- The artist welcomes friction. We enjoy putting disparate pieces together and forcing things together that don’t normally go together.
- When it comes to worship styles, the problem is not with anyone style, but with the reluctance for people to rub up against a multiplicity of styles.
- Contrary to popular opinion, the people whom we serve are not stupid. They are able to go with you. They like to be led.
- We should want always to be able to speak, and be able to articulate what we have turned out in our art. But it takes work. It’s hard work. People don’t always see the hard work.
- Woe to the artist that is voluntarily inarticulate. Christ was called the Word of God. Apparently there is something important about words.
- Something else we might see in an artist’s head is a cloud, a vapor, a mystery. Artists are laboring to be articulate and speechless at the same time. Sometimes, we want to be made speechless. We want to be overwhelmed by the mystery of our faith. To be lost in wonder, love and praise.
There was a lot more there, but that gives you a flavor. I’m pretty much a cheapskate most of the time, but I will be picking this talk up to listen to again.
During the break I talked to the ProPresenter guys for a bit and learned a little more of the plans for the next round of updates. I’ll write more about that later. Some good stuff coming. I thought the next session started at 11:30, but I guess it’s actually 11:00 since the band is on stage rocking the house. So I’d better go!