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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series elevates the voices of local artists while bringing world-renowned cultural icons to Seattle audiences. The series celebrates music, photography, sculpture, philosophy, heritage, and traditions around the world that enrich our lives.

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May 13, 2021

What kind of beat is irresistible to listeners, and how is it achieved? What makes a musical collaboration successful? What can musical minds teach us about innovation? They don’t think like we do, and in the creative process, they don’t act like we do. R. Michael Hendrix believes it isn’t a coincidence that some of the world’s most respected creators, like Jimmy Iovine and Bjork, are also entrepreneurs.

The designer and musician joined us to share from interviews he conducted for his book Two Beats Ahead: What Musical Minds Teach Us About Innovation. He discussed conversations with some of the biggest names in music, and how their musical strengths correlate to innovative business practices: with Justin Timberlake, he spoke about the importance of demoing; with Jimmy Lovine, the essentials of acute listening. Hendrix shared secrets to maximizing results in a collaboration from Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams. He imparted the importance of experimentation from musical pioneers Imogen Heap and Radiohead, and provided us with a front-row seat to a conversation about producing with T Bone Burnett and Hank Shocklee, co-founder of Public Enemy. With clear and concise mindsets that any entrepreneur or innovative thinker can put into practice, Hendrix offered us a one-of-a-kind presentation that shows us how to thrive in an evolving world, from some of top creative geniuses of our time.

R. Michael Hendrix is a Partner and Global Design Director at IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm. He has delivered design keynotes at Fast Company, Wired, SXSW, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and others, plus music keynotes at SXSW Music, Sonar Plus, and Moogfest. He is also an Assistant Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music, and a regular guest lecturer for professional societies and universities across the globe.

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