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« Perfect Pitch Piano: Learn to Play Piano by Ear | Main | What Do You Hear? »

The Genius Of Secrecy

Do not make the mistake. Do not think that being completely transparent is the way forward. Not as an artist. The musical economy may change, and so may the ways of distribution and consumption, but our gut feeling towards art never will.

If you are an environmentally sound chilli bean shack on the shores of Hawaii then by all means entrust your brand with the good people that built it. But surely, if art has anything on the real world, it is the expansion and exaggeration of the other side of life that real-life skips out on – the mystery.

Artists have the luxury of exploring the dark tenets of the bad one at a distance, and get to be witty about it.

Some things do ruin the experience.

Some things mean some artists become stale.

Create a world people are intrigued by and want to join. This doesn’t mean becoming best friends with each person in order to make a sale. Use the essence of mystery and paradox that artists have the power of exploiting. Create a world event rather than a local hit; a dirty bomb rather than a paper plane; a movement rather than a fan club.

Sharing every time you’re doing something and why completely breaks the barrier between the sexily distant and the over-arching eager to please partner. Share too much too soon and they’ll just get bored.

As an artist you are not selling a service, or solving a problem, you are creating an experience. There is no standard. There is nothing you definitely need to have and something you shouldn’t. People bend to meet the artists’ will, not the other way round.

“The reason that high-end restaurants, nightclubs, fashion lines, artists, or celebrities do not use niches, taglines, or clearly-articulated unique selling propositions in their branding is that they are not solving problems. They are providing an experience. And the experiences we’re most willing to pay for again and again involve uncertainty, suspense, excitement, adventure, and intrigue. Paradox. Tension. Unknowing. How is it going to turn out?

With experiences and intrigue, the more you tell, the less you sell. The qualities that are being sold are fundamentally ineffable. They are tacit qualities, not explicit. Attempts to quantify or account for that je ne sais quoi in an orderly and rational way actually diminish and impoverish the magic of je ne sais quoi. Attempts to explain (literally, “make plain”) the experience dull its shining, its aura, its fundamental beating heart of paradox.”
Michael Ellsberg for

If you want to be a professional musician then ignore this article. If you want to be an artist that is pushing and innovating; read this article again with a coffee.

Considering that you deal in experiences not in a service; how do you intrigue people?


Marco writes at on the the new way of doing things; for artists, entrepreneurs and creative geniuses who are exploiting the internet to start their own stuff - their own life.

To download the behyped manifesto ‘How To Start Something’; click here.

Go to for more.

Reader Comments (1)

Wow, great article Marco! This reminds me of walt disney's "fantasia", the first time I saw it I thought that it was art, so It seemed to ruin it a bit that Walt stepped on screen to explain what you were about to see. As an indie artist, it is hard to manage releases because you do want as many people as possible to know what you are doing and working on. My music is in so many genres that I often feel the need to tell folks what they are about to hear, and how that translates to my other work. "Warning, this song is not Rock', and so on.

Interesting food for thought

December 15 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Gibson

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