the elucidating gimmick

Published July 15, 2021

I love a good gimmick.

I really do. But the gimmick has to add to the artistic expression for that real amplification of effort to occur, right? I’m talking about gimmicks of all kinds.

Like the opening of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy. Such a dramatic and gimmicky gesture that pays off so well.


Or OK Go’s continuous-take choreography on treadmills.

choreography on treadmills

Or hocket by the Dirty Projectors. Or the Aka Pygmies. Or Meredith Monk and Bob Een.

Prepared piano could be considered another such gimmick (sorry, John Cage, I mean that in the kindest sense). Or prepared guitar or harp or drums.

But the gift of a gimmick can be to draw in the listener and enliven them with a sense of surprise or wonder, even as you are sharing an otherwise simple or direct song. Take, for example, Patrick Watson’s use of found objects including a bicycle wheel in Beijing.

What’s your favorite musical gimmick?

What gimmick might you add in to support and intensify the storytelling in your latest song?

I can’t wait to hear,
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Gary Grundei, founder | composer

Gary Grundei, founder | composer

There’s a magic that can happen when you put creativity, growth, authenticity, generosity, and community all together in one virtual environment. golden lotus studio was established as an online community in 2018 to fill a need for composers and songwriters of all walks of life and experience and training and styles to be able to support each other in their creativity and growth.

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