“a giant game of telephone… with art”


In late 2012, I got an email from an American singer/songwriter named Sally Taylor. She was beginning to plan what she described as “a giant game of telephone, but with art”, and could I suggest a few visual artists that might be able to create something based on a piece of music she’d send them… um, YES! It sounded fun, creative, and amazing… and it was! In 2014 Consenses opened to the public in Martha’s Vineyard, and today I get to ask Sally the ins and outs of this giant project. You can listen right up there under lovely Sally, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First things first, we quickly have to talk about her parents, because:


Yep, Sally is the daughter of American music icons, Carly Simon and James Taylor. For real. As you can imagine, I had a few questions about that too! She obviously comes from an insanely creative family {her brother Ben is a musician too} which I’m sure fueled this big beautiful project. Speaking of which, here’s a peek behind the doors at Consenses. I wish I’d been there for the opening, but my hope is to be there for the closing this coming August {if you’re anywhere near Martha’s Vineyard you should go!}:


Ahhh, so much goodness in one spot! So basically the way it works – there are “chains” of creativity. So a musician writes a piece of music, and an artist would make a painting based on that song. Next, a dancer would create choreography inspired by the visual art. A perfumer could respond to that dance, developing a perfume that would tell the same story, but through scent. This is not one of the official “chains” but it’s a selection of work from Consenses that I LOVE:


Amazing. {Did you see Lisa Golightly and Susanna Bauer in there?!} Each chain was then housed in a customized set designed by, you guessed it, a set designer. Seriously, just the coolest project ever. So, what do you do after you create such a cool project? A TEDx Talk, obviously:


This is such a great talk… and she looks fabulous to boot! Apparently she only got two lunges into her backstage “get the nerves out workout”, but you’d never be able to tell. She did a wonderful job. Watch here.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sung backup vocals on Letterman for my Dad, or hung out with Oprah and Stephen Colbert with my mom… but Sally has:


Crazy cool! I loved her story about being on Letterman and her “Jolly Green Giant” outfit! Thank you so much to Sally for generously sharing her funny, insightful stories; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode; and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. I cannot believe I’m willingly posting these, but just so you don’t think my description was off… here’s proof. Me. Age 11. Mistaken for a boy. A lot. *note the white California glasses and yellow terry cloth shorts. Yowza:


Other links:

  1. Consenses Documentary
  2. Mass MOCA 
  3. Consenses School Project
  4. Oprah clip
  5. Letterman clip


comments (11)

  1. Lisa Golightly /// 06.20.2016 /// 12:01pm

    I was so thrilled/honored to be a part of this brilliant project!!!

  2. the jealous curator /// 06.20.2016 /// 12:32pm

    i love that you’re in there too lisa! such a cool project!!!

  3. Jo /// 06.21.2016 /// 1:59pm

    I am in love with your podcast! – you’re fun, relatable, have so many great stories (that I nod my head to and laugh outloud while wearing earbuds and walking my dog – ha) and this interview with Sally was so awesome. Can’t wait to read more about Consensus and all of Sally’s projects… and I’m gonna watch her Ted Talk now:)
    xo Jo

  4. the jealous curator /// 06.21.2016 /// 3:49pm

    ah, thanks jo! you’re going to love her ted talk : )

  5. Lisa Riedl /// 06.23.2016 /// 10:19am

    A) i love your podcast B) I have often thought if we could combine all five senses into “something” THAT would be amazing! Whole Hearted YEAY!!!!! for Sally who showed how we come together yet keep the individuality for an experience – Not just all for 1 but individuals for the greater good of all – LOVE this podcast and her concept!

  6. Sally Taylor /// 07.02.2016 /// 9:00am

    A big YEAY for you too! It seems so clear to me now that we can only unite and feel connected when we recognize we’re one spiritual being having an individuated human experience. Here is my favorite Einstein quote for you, thank you for being super cool!

    “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

  7. Heidi Lanino Bilezikian /// 07.05.2016 /// 2:51pm

    Thank you both so much for a fantastic podcast! so inspiring, hope to catch the show before it closes!
    Will listen to the Ted Talk today.

  8. Sofie Pihl /// 08.19.2016 /// 7:05am

    I loved this episode so so much! It’s really inspiring to hear Sally telling about the project, which in itself feels so universal and metaphysically perfect. It feels like the essence of humanity and creativity condensed into one giant project. Thank you, Sally!!! And thank you both for the episode!!! oh, and I love you podcast, Danielle!

  9. the jealous curator /// 08.19.2016 /// 8:07am

    yes, such an amazing and inspiring project! (and thanks sofie) : )

  10. Susanna Bauer /// 09.09.2016 /// 2:30pm

    Great episode!!
    Thank you, Sally, for including my work your wonderful project! I so enjoyed taking part and following the Consenses journey. I only managed to listen to this podcast today and it was such a pleasure to follow your conversation. I especially liked the part where you describe how the Consenses project is telling you what it needs…that’s when it flows, when we listen to these voices and they can come from so many different directions.
    And thank you, Danielle, for getting Sally on the podcast and for choosing to show my Consenses piece, it’s my interpretation of a beautiful dance video.

  11. the jealous curator /// 09.09.2016 /// 7:10pm

    i love your piece susanna … i was so thrilled to see your work in the line up! (somehow i didn’t realize that you had done this!). lots of love to both of you xo

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