Andrew Bird takes over the TED stage
From the TEDitorial team’s fabulous Liz Jacobs:
I’m super excited about tomorrow’s TEDxPenn event in Philadelphia. Maybe I’m a bit biased because I just graduated from Penn and now work at TED, but this weekend’s conference is shaping up to be a great one.
Inspired by the University’s year-long exploration of sound, this year’s TEDxPenn theme is “Creating the Sound." Penn is at the forefront of cutting-edge research in fields as diverse as bioengineering, cinema studies, entrepreneurship, and ethnomusicology, and TEDxPenn is poised to help the University’s brightest minds share their ideas beyond the ivory tower.
In the spirit of this weekend’s event, I gathered together seven of my favorite talks that showcase the off-beat and mind-blowing sounds that have been shared on the TED and TEDx stages. These talks illustrate the incredible ways we communicate ideas through sound. Enjoy!
**Andrew Bird’s one-man orchestra
An awe-inspiring meditation on music and how we make it. Andrew Bird’s genius electric loops of violins, xylophones and his own whistling create a euphony at TED2010 that’s both mesmerizing and inspiring.
**Sound health: Julian Treasure at TEDxYouth@Manchester
We need to take control of our soundscapes to create a more beautiful sound world, says Julian Treasure, speaking on the stage at TEDxYouth@Manchester. Treasure has devoted his life to studying the sound in the world around us, and in this talk, he offers tips on how to keep your ears healthy and your outlook positive.
**Pamelia Kurstin plays the theremin
Without laying a finger on her instrument, Pamelia Kurstin electrifies TED2002 with the theremin. This unusual electronic instrument operates on sound waves, which create a harrowingly beautiful sound as Kurstin seemingly creates sound out of thin air. (Bonus: check out another theremin performance by Lydia Kavina at TEDxGhent!)
**The world’s ugliest music: Scott Rickard at TEDxMIA
The world’s first pattern-free piano sonata.
What makes music beautiful? Mathematician Scott Rickard deconstructs the patterns and rhythm that make music to our ears, and shares a piece of music so ugly, that only a mathematician could write it.
More than just a fun party trick, human beatboxing transforms a normal person into a full-blown orchestra. In these 6 beatboxing performances from TEDx events around the world, watch as everyday citizens channel drum machines, trumpets, synthesizers, even the didgeridoo.
Tom Thum at TEDxSydney
Gaining more than 300,000 views in just three days, Tom Thum’s beatbox performance at TEDxSydney is something to admire. Here, the veteran beatboxer takes on the didgeridoo, sitar, double bass and transforms the Sydney Opera House into a “smoky downtown jazz bar” with just a microphone and a looping station.
Smily at TEDxTokyo
A man beatboxes via didgeridoo. Enough said.
Jonatan Lopez and Man Wai Che at TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet
Cultures collide as beatboxer Jonatan Lopez (JFlo) and Juilliard-trained bassist Man Wai Che fuse genres into a seamless performance that takes musical collaboration to a whole new level.
krNfx and Elysha Poirier at TEDxToronto
At TEDxToronto, two-time Canadian beatbox champion Terry Im (krNfx) steals the show with this super rad collaboration with visual artist Elysha Poirier. Reggie Watts, look out.
Beasty at TEDxBoredeaux
Though beatboxer Beasty’s talk is in French, you don’t need to parle français to appreciate his remix of “Eye of the Tiger,” which probably could get Rocky to trade Philly for Paris.
Abram Wuliger at TEDxDuke
At TEDxDuke, Abram Wuliger beatboxes on the flute — and it’s pretty spectacular. Calling all aspiring rappers — please sample this.