November 11th, 2012

In September, one of the TEDxFulbright organizers emailed me to ask if I would be interested in participating in their upcoming event. My answer: Of Course! I was actually in Frankfurt, Germany for this November event less than 48 hours, but it was such a joy to contribute. I met so many great people doing interesting work and all of them had stories about how the Fulbright program had changed their lives. Honestly, the experience left me so energized about the broad impact of this program and humbled to have joined the fraternity of scholars known as “Fulbrighters”.

Wolek @ TEDxFulbright

Photo by Wiltrud Hammelstein.

Preparing to give a lecture and performance in less than 15 minutes was no easy feat. I spent many hours refining my talking points, editing out some things and amplifying others, trying to form a cohesive answer to my big question: Why am I drawn to making music with laptops? Searching for the answer made me revisit the writings of pioneers who had shaped my thinking (namely John Cage and Max Mathews) and examine why I still believe these computers hold so much for creative potential. It was a healthy process of reflection and knowing that I had such short amount of time improved the focus of my overall message: The Potential of Any Sound.

In preparing the music, I decided to keep things simple by using my existing performance system built in Max and limiting myself to just four sound samples. I knew this would help me produce an effective and reliable demonstration, yet still do “something new” (something that I can be compulsive about at times). While preparing, I also experimented with new methods of documenting my work, such as using lecture capture software to record run throughs and posting them online. The name of this new work continues my habit of lifting titles from parts of a larger whole, this time borrowing from the popular TED tagline: ideas worth spreading.

To view my TEDx talk or hear the music, see the links at the bottom of this post. If you watch and find it useful or interesting, please contact me and let me know.

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