David Francey: Productive Singer and Songwriter (Cognitive Productivity Podcast #1)

I had the tremendous honor and pleasure of interviewing singer/songwriter David Francey. Here you will find a podcast recording of the interview, which took place on 28 July during the 2013 Mission Folk Music Festival.

David Francey has won three Juno Awards, has been nominated for three others, and has won several other major awards. David Francey’s Skating Rink is the theme song for Hockey Day in Canada. His songs are simple, precise, elegant, powerful and exquisitely well written. They cut to the heart of important matters we can all relate to.

My intention before the interview was merely to publish a transcript of the interview. However, David Francey is such a pleasure to listen to that I’ve decided to get a head start on our future Cognitive Productivity Podcast series. In this series, we will explore the art and cognitive science of using knowledge to become profoundly effective. Our podcasts will often feature highly productive minds.

This interview with David Francey explores the overlap between science and art. For example, the principle of parsimony applies to both. Song writers, like scientists and engineers, use knowledge to create products.

CogZest emphasizes the intersection between cognition and affect. (My Ph.D. and some of my subsequent research were in this area.) It is illuminating to examine this intersection in the production of art. I was struck by David’s plain spoken, deep insights into his creative processes.

The interview explores contributors to creativity, including:

  • Refining songs
  • Parsimony
  • Incubation
  • Talent
  • Experience
  • The environment (and changing environments)
  • Emotions
  • Perturbance (tertiary emotions)
  • Self monitoring; detecting and addressing flaws
  • Physical exercise
  • Drive, persistence and effort

David also provides us with insights into the creation of several specific songs including:

Many productive minds have had to overcome adversity. The interview uncovers a surprising antagonist in David’s early life, someone who tried to stunt his creative development. David’s is a story of triumph!

We also learn how other great singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn influenced David Francey. We refer to Jacques Brel, Mozart and other artists in our conversation.

Check out David Francey’s web site for his stunningly beautiful songs.

For more information on using knowledge to develop oneself and great products, check out my book Cognitive Productivity.

Published by

Luc P. Beaudoin

Head of CogZest. Author of Cognitive Productivity books. Co-founder of CogSci Apps Corp. Adjunct Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University. Why, Where, and What I Write. See About Me for more information.

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