This album is dedicated to the memory of Katherine Hoover and Bill Spence. Both were instrumental in the creation of Clickable; Katherine as a composer and early viewer of the show, and Bill as a guest performer on our final track. We are sorry they are not here to enjoy the final product, but are so grateful for their contributions.
Clickable: The Art of Persuasion is a concept album, an audio version of a live show that, in addition to the music, uses theatrical performance and audience participation to tell the story of persuasion. Creating a concert, and now an album, this way opened us up to musical sources that are rarely performed in a chamber music setting. The album includes commercial jingles, a lullaby, dust jacket texts set to music, a protest song, a serenade and a spoken-word commentary on social media.
Persuasion is a double-edged sword. At its best, it can take the form of powerful storytelling, an appeal to a person’s emotions or to their sense of justice. At its worst, it is coercion, pressure, manipulation. Our dust jackets touch on the darker sides of persuasion. Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility hints at secrets, greed and a dark undercurrent of societal pressures, and LIARS and Power Money Fame Sex both explore the baser sides of human nature.
The Hedonic Treadmill is told as a series of commercial breaks. Once one market need is met, another must immediately take its place, and the happiness each brings us is fleeting. Lewis Spratlan’s tune conveys that drive toward innovation, but also our relentless need for more.
No treatment of music and words of persuasion would be complete without addressing the paradoxical aspects of social media, the way it sells itself as a place of community and an arena for discussion, but leaves us instead feeling “isolated and silenced,” as Liza Jessie Peterson reminds us in her poem Click. Tweet. Like. Repost.
But Common Thread is the response to this, a step into the light. It is music that leaves us feeling joyful and full, rather than empty and alone. What could possibly be more powerful and more persuasive than a singalong, in real time, and “in real person” to quote Peterson again? We have moved beyond self-interested persuasion and offer instead an invitation based on trust. We’ve found that our audiences have leapt at the chance to sing with us, and it feels healing. We aren’t just creating music together, we are creating a community.
Please read on for details about each piece, and how we made a theatrical and interactive show into an album: