The Playground

The Simply Music blog

Ted Talks and More on Music & Creativity

Found in: Miscellany & Merriment

A picture is worth 1000 words, but a 1000-word online talk is free! Here’s a selection of interesting and informative Ted Talks and other Talks about music and creativity. Enjoy!

1. Daria van den Bercken: Why I take the piano on the road … and in the air

Daria van den Bercken has taken her love of Handel to the streets, as well as the air and many other surprising places. Why? Because the sense of wonder you might get from seeing a piano being played in the air above you might trigger the sense of wonder she hears in the music.

2. John Q. Walker: Great piano performances, recreated

With new technology it’s possible to analyze old recordings by legendary musicians and bring them back to life, live, on computer-controlled pianos. John Q. Walker demonstrates how you can be in the room when Glenn Gould recorded his Goldberg Variations or when Art Tatum played the Shrine Auditorium in 1949.

3. Tod Machover + Dan Ellsey: Inventing instruments that unlock new music

Tod Machover is a true musical innovator, working at MIT’s Media Lab making instruments that create new possibilities for advanced musicians, but, most excitingly, open opportunities for those with conditions that limit their ability to express themselves. Here he shares the stage with Dan Ellsey, who uses software driven by facial gestures to create his extraordinary compositions.

4. The Lady Lifers: A moving song from women in prison for life

“Life” has a different meaning for these women from Muncy State Prison in Pennsylvania. The Lady Lifers share their prison experience through song.

5. Andrew Bird: A one-man orchestra of the imagination

If you think that technology is replacing traditional instrumental skills or dehumanising music, Andrew Bird’s multi-instrumental live-looping magic will make you think again. Better, in this talk he unfolds his own creative process in a live exploration of a work in progress.

6. Rob Poynton: Beyond Control. A complex world demands the ability to improvise

Business leader Rob Poynton uses improvisation to “break the control addiction” and free the flow of creativity.

7. Kirby Ferguson: Embrace the Remix

Is there anything truly original, totally out of the box? Not according to Kirby Ferguson, who shows how all creativity comes about thanks to something that came before it. So Copy, Transform and Combine your heart out and enjoy it, guilt-free.

We hope you liked these talks. Let us know what you think by adding a comment.