Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rockjazz and the Meaning of TED (TEDxBerkeley 2010)

Eric Lewis was the closing performer at TEDxBerkeley 2010. He is a piano player, but he plays a style of music he has dubbed "rockjazz." He takes the improvisational aspect of jazz, the idea of building on the greats and making their music your own, but moves away from the 1930s and 40s. He plays with contemporary pop and rock music instead.

For us, he played his rendition of the Killers' "Mr. Brightside" (this video is from a different performance of the same song, but I'll link to ours when it's online):

This was followed by "Diary of Jane" by Breaking Benjamin, in which he took a stroll outside of the keys and began playing the strings of the piano itself.

The best part, however, was the finale. Previous speaker Ross Evans, who had talked about bringing together your passion and purpose to contribute to society, joined him on stage during a playthrough of Coldplay's "Clocks" with a rope and an impromptu set of tricks done to the music.

This is the meaning and purpose of TED. TED is where innovators come together and new ideas and actions emerge from the maelstrom of ideas and excitement whipping around the room. There is no, "You can't do that." It's like the first rule of improvisation - always say "Yes, and..." and go with the flow, because you never know what will come out of your interaction.

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