We’re all familiar with Pomp & Circumstance, the graduation song that’s the official soundtrack of almost every commencement. But how did it get so big? In this episode of Vox’s Almanac, Phil Edwards investigates and finds diamonds, war, and Dame Clara Butt.
(Full English subtitles are available for this talk — click the CC button in the bottom right of your screen to turn subtitles on.)
One night in 2002, a friend gave Jorge Drexler the chorus to a song and challenged him to write the rest of it using a complex, poetic form known as the “Décima.” In this fascinating talk, Drexler examines the blended nature of identity, weaving together the history of the Décima with his own quest to write one. He closes the talk with a performance of the resulting song, “La Milonga del Moro Judío.”
The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more.
A student then takes the bench and the pair analyzes how a beginner visually approaches a piece as opposed to someone more tenured.
Watch An Insanely Good Theremin Player Nail One Of Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Songs
Theremin is a notoriously difficult instrument to play — in part because you don’t actually touch it while you’re playing it — but Carolina Eyck makes all the tricky passages in “The Ecstasy of Gold” look easy.
Sound design can make or break a film, but most audiences won’t notice it if it’s done right.
The internet is an imperfect place. It’s bred some godawful behavior and made some things worse. But this is proof that it’s probably all worth it.
Florida dairy farmer Ed Henderson has been playing the trombone since elementary school. And these days his audience, well, fits the scenery. Turns out, cows love jazz music! What began as a one-off backyard practice session, has turned into a regular gig that Henderson says entertains and pleases his audience of 6,800 or so cows. Hey, whatever works!
Alarms come in many forms; from the gentle ping of a text message notification to the wake-up wail of a bedside clock, these sounds are a part of our lives. That’s why an alarm that could actually save your life needs to be so attention-grabbing—and intensely annoying. This is how Carryl Baldwin, a human factors psychologist at Virginia’s George Mason University, designed the most annoying sound possible to warn drivers of head-on collisions.
Mandy Harvey is a singer-songwriter working on her fourth album. She was studying music in college when she lost her hearing. She sings by feeling vibrations in the floor, and by using the muscle memory of her vocal cords to sing notes.
Start humming the opening theme to Nickelodeon’s classic “Doug,” and any self-respecting ’90s kid will surely join right in. Fred Newman, the man behind the doo-doo-doo’s, didn’t just give his improvised snap-and-pop to the show’s theme and soundscape, though: he was also the voice of Skeeter, Porkchop, Mr. Dink, and the lead singer of the Beets. Having also worked on “Gremlins,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Fred is a true legend of the voiceover game. His advice after a lifetime of making sounds? “Whatever makes you weird, go there and pursue that.” Thanks, Fred. We salute you.
The dancers of the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center plié, pirouette and jeté to their own rhythm in a new form called Hiplet. The dance draws on both the movements of hip-hop and classical ballet technique and is performed on pointe shoes. We caught up with the dance’s creator, Homer Hans Bryant, to learn some of the moves, get the story behind its inception and find out what it takes to make it as a Hiplet dancer.
Angel and Dren Coleman are twins. Lots of people are twins. Angel and Dren Coleman are twins who graduated from Dartmouth and now enjoy success as professional DJs and producers. They’re pretty special. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, the sisters are taking the booth by storm with their hard work, golden ear and eye for keeping a crowd moving, and, most importantly, unwavering support of one another. There’s no limits when you’re smashing the ceiling.
Ken Butler is a Brooklyn-based artist and musician who has built over 400 musical instruments. But these aren’t just any custom-built instruments. Butler builds his pieces from discarded items he finds on the streets of New York City. Hockey sticks, tennis rackets, brooms, golf clubs, pieces of furniture, styrofoam, toothbrushes: all are fair game for his masterpieces. It’s musique concrète… jungle.
In Seoul, South Korea, a young musician is mixing a centuries-old Korean instrument with the music of rock legends. Luna Lee plays the gayageum, a box-like string instrument that dates back to 400 B.C. However, Lee thought it was wasteful to only play the traditional music associated with the instrument, so her repertoire features covers from Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Nirvana, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and other rock luminaries. With millions of views on her YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/luna422422), Lee is bringing Korean traditions of the past and popular culture of the present to a whole new audience.
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, also known as “PKN,” was a Finnish punk band formed by four musicians who all have developmental disabilities. They’ve been playing together since 2009 and even represented Finland in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. But the salad days are over, and the band is breaking up. We went over to Finland to see one of their last gigs. Punk might be dead, but true punks never die.