Lecture
The internet has gotten a lot of criticism reducing attention span. Despite that, there is so much that the Internet has done in terms of bringing amazing content and information to people that they would have never had the opportunity of experiencing and learning. TED talks are one such resource. Today through this blog we will share some of our favourite TED talks involving audio.
Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after a jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage. Watch him re-create a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The awe-inspiring and sinister applications of this tech you have to see to believe.
Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color — and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.
Evan Grant demonstrates the science and art of cymatics, a process for making soundwaves visible. Useful for analyzing complex sounds (like dolphin calls), it also makes complex and beautiful designs.
Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.
Designer Jared Ficklin creates wild visualizations that let us see music, using color and even fire (a first for the TED stage) to analyze how sound makes us feel. He takes a brief digression to analyze the sound of a skatepark — and how audio can clue us into developing creativity.
Sampling isn’t about “hijacking nostalgia wholesale,” says Mark Ronson. It’s about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. In this mind-blowingly original talk, watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelet, and trace the evolution of “La Di Da Di,” Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s 1984 hit that has been reimagined for every generation since.
For generations, record collectors have played a vital role in the preservation of musical and cultural heritage by “digging” for obscure music created by overlooked artists. Alexis Charpentier shares his love of records — and stories of how collectors have given forgotten music a second chance at being heard. Learn more about the culture of record digging (and maybe, pick up a new hobby) with this fun, refreshing talk.
Mark Applebaum writes music that breaks the rules in fantastic ways, composing a concerto for a florist and crafting a musical instrument from junk and found objects. This quirky talk might just inspire you to shake up the “rules” of your own creative work.

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