Playlist: 5 outstanding music performances from TEDx events

Be Steadwell at TEDxFoggyBottom

Be Steadwell at TEDxFoggyBottom

From improvised cello-idioglossia collaborations to loop-pedal driven “queer-pop,” here are five performances from around the world that incorporate a range of musical techniques, each grounded in their individually unique and eclectic style. Watch them all below:

1. Cello + vocals.

Improvisation | Lisa Gerrard & Peter Hollo | TEDxSydney
Lisa Gerrard and Peter Hollo, an acclaimed vocalist and cellist respectively, met for the first time at TEDxSydney’s 2015 soundcheck. Hollo’s cello plucks wrap elegantly around Gerrard’s highly controlled vocals, creating a haunting and ethereal improvised performance.

2. Looping + voice.

“Rumbling” | Angela Sheik | TEDxPenn
Angela Sheik is unassuming in the manner in which she wields the looping pedal, a tool that allows performers to repeat music tracks in real-time. It doesn’t take long for each instrumental layer to coalesce and blossom into a rich soundscape, only to be matched by Sheik’s deep soulful vocals.


3. Sampling + beats.

Who Have I Become | Be Steadwell | TEDxFoggyBottom
Be Steadwell demonstrates how beautifully beatboxing, looping and sampling can blend together to create a hypnotizing music experience. In this performance, she harmonizes with her various vocals; at once it surrounds her lyrics and rises above her, then later dramatically falls into a silence for her echoing a capellas. Her sound is soulful and fiercefully rhythmic, accompanied with vulnerable lyrics.

4. Jazz + strangers.

Jazz improvisation as a model for radical collaboration | Jim Kalbach | TEDxJerseyCity
Jim Kalbach applies the values of jazz improvisation, including empathy, humility, embracing uncertainty and following patterns, to compose an improvised music performance with local musicians he met right before giving this talk. The result is a soothing, colorful, playful performance highlighting the sounds of different musicians who have one thing in common — a love for music and experimentation. This unrehearsed piece shows how various talents can come together to create something special and organic.

5. Strings. Lots of them.

Creative string instruments performance | Tim Snider | TEDxUniversityofNevada
Tim Snider makes music using his hands, vocals, an array of stringed instruments and even his feet to illustrate songs that are folksy, soulful and fun. His aesthetic involves looping and layering original samples of the electric violin and guitar, then adding his vocals and hand beats to the vivid mix.


  1. Check out Trace Bundy and his guitars at the recent TedX Boulder — amazing musical performance.

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