TED Global and music

Elizaveta. Photo:James Duncan Davidson

Do you know what E in TED stands for? Entertainment. I know, I thought it was Education. Nope. And I’m glad because all the artists enrich the experience. Not that I’m biased or anything. 😉

The music at TED was extraordinary and there were performances at each of the twelve sessions. This year, the performers were Natasha Bedingfield, Jamie Cullum, Elizaveta, Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, classical guitarist Tariq Harb, Israeli jazz pianist and improvisor Yaron Herman, from Kenya it was Just A Band (I danced on stage with them at the closing

dancing on stage with Just A Band Photo: TED Conference
dancing on stage with Just A Band Photo: TED Conference

party!), American folk rock from Lissie, remixer Tim Exile, Irish vocalist RuthAnne, and three Palestinian brothers who form Le Trio Joubran. Hard to imagine a wider range of musicians. Please check out the links, go watch them on YouTube buy their music. I believe most are on iTunes. They are fantastic.

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

John Kenny opened the conference playing the carnyx, an ancient Celtic horn brought back after hundreds of years. He played with piper Roddy Weir and when they post the video, will put it up.

Had the chance to talk to Yaron about how he prepares to improvise. He has a very specific way of practicing specific things so that when he sits down and composes in front of an audience, he has hundreds of things to draw from. Same thing I’m learning in improv for the stage at IO West.

Joel Taylor

I also had the great pleasure of meeting Joel Taylor who plays here in Los Angeles and saw him at The Hotel Cafe. At TED, he played keyboards for RuthAnne and here he is with his own band. 

Your brain gets a workout during the week – all parts of your brain, thanks to the music and art. I heard over 70 lectures in a matter of days. At first, they all blended together, but since we are pattern seeking beings, things began to sort themselves out.

The theme was Think Again and that I did, not only about the work I do, but who I am and why I’m here. There’s something that happens at TED that is hard to explain if you haven’t been there. It has nothing to do with your own abilities or accomplishments or comparisons, but there’s the awakening or can be (and I’ve heard it from different people who attended in different years, so I think there’s something to this) of “what the hell am I doing with my life?” It’s not about feeling bad, just the desire from so much inspiration to make this life count and make a difference. So many small things have such huge ripple effects…. It all has me thinking again.

In the next post, I’ll go into some of the talks that resonated and some of the conversations that changed my thinking.

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