Christian Long

Matthew White: Gives the Euphonium a New Voice

In TED Talks on April 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Reflection by CAROLINE M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Matthew White: Gives the Euphonium a New Voice

I am not an expert on music, and especially not on the euphonium. Watching this video was nothing more than an enjoyable experience to my ears, and it was enjoyable.

Matthew White pushed the typical boundaries of the euphonium and even though I am not a frequent listener to such an instrument I knew that White was creating an original sound. You usually find the euphonium player in a high school marching band and if they’re talented enough in a prestigious orchestra, but here we had White who’s made it on TED who see White’s music as an “idea worth spreading”. It’s not so much as an idea as talent worth being recognized. Honestly, how many of us are going to see this as an idea and go home and learn how to play the euphonium and learn from Matthew White? Probably an extremely small percentile. B

ut what’s worth spreading is the creativity and originality that’s influential. It gives us all the inspiration to do something deserving of appreciation. Not everything is necessary to understand just to be in it’s presence and experience it is enough.

It may seem difficult to express feelings and thoughts from an instrumental object, but I feel that words tend to fail us at times, and expression in other ways such as music is sometimes the best way to go about. Your voice isn’t always the words that come from your mouth, but the other sensations and senses that flow through you. It’s the way you express your desires and wishes, your thoughts and ideas. Matthew White has phrased his feelings in the tune of “The Warrior Comes Out to Play.” The thrill and excitement was evident, just watching this clip I found myself “getting into” the song. I was anxious and hopeful that he would play his notes to perfection, and it seemed that he did a fine job. All these feelings came flooding into my body and it’s magical how a simple or not so simple sound can evoke such sensations. The brain and the heart and all our senses being connected to be so in sync is one of the most interesting and peculiar things to me.

I feel that musicians find it their duty in their line of career to initiate this connection and bring all of humans closer by their voice, which is their music.

If you’ve ever been in a room filled with people and they are all singing or playing music there’s this emotion rushing through the place and it’s magical. Not everyone has this talent to produce it or even the ability to feel it, it’s a gift. It’s something extra, something that can’t be taught in a classroom. It’s a creative streak that should be cherished and I think that TEDx sees this, Matthew White may not be an astounding mathematician or scientist but he has that spark that every extraordinary person has. It’s hard to find something that differentiates you from the next person but everyone has something special and it just needs to be found. Everyone has the ability to be on TED they just need to find what makes them original.

In Matthew White’s case it’s giving “the euphonium a new voice.”


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