Christian Long

Eric Lewis: Plays Chaos and Harmony

In TED Talks on May 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Extra credit reflection by ALEX C.

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

Eric Lewis:  Plays Chaos and Harmony

How do you write a summary about a talk that has no words? How do you put music into words? How do you put music that is banged out on a piano into words? How do you put chaos into words? How does chaos become harmony?

To an average music listener all these things can be very hard. To a classical music listener or classical music player it might be a little bit easier. Now this can be very wrong to some people you may be hearing the exact same thing I’m hearing. This post will be more of what I hear, so it will probably be very similar to what you hear or completely opposite from what you hear.

Now what do I hear?

I don’t hear chaos I hear the whole orchestra on a single instrument. Ok, maybe I hear a little craziness here and there, but I feel as if I can pick out the different instruments. If you listen hard and carefully you can hear the violin part, the cello part, and the viola part. Now the hard part is to figure out which instrument is playing which, but that shouldn’t matter as long as you can hear the different parts.

Technically I am done with this post, but there is more to talk about. What more could there be to talk about if its a three minute talk with no words?

Here is the video description on youtube:

“Eric Lewis explores the piano’s expressive power as he pounds and caresses the keys (and the strings) in a performance during the 2009 TED Prize session. He plays an original song, a tribute to ocean and sky and the vision of the TED Prize winners.”

This song is a tribute to the ocean and sky. Do you see an ocean or sky, when you listen to this masterpiece? (I call this a masterpiece because I doubt he could repeat this performance note for note.) Personally I see an orchestra. I know kind of funny. Isn’t the piano in an orchestra? It is, but there something different about this song. If I just listen and look off into space I see a stage with Benjamin Zander standing on it conducting this exact same piece.

What do you see?

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