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The Magic of Music and Motivation

19th July 2010

The TEDGlobal 2010 conference in Oxford has just come to an end and the “ideas worth spreading” have been let loose on the population.  TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) was founded by Richard Saul Wurman in 1984 with the aim to spread brilliant thoughts and theories on the basis that ideas truly can change the world.  The conference featured 60 speakers who each had 18 minutes to explain their idea to an audience of 750 individuals.  Online however, millions will be watching the talks as the site has been one of the most popular in the last 5 years, with more than 300 million people tuning in to witness the magic.  This year featured a range of speakers from very varied backgrounds including science, entertainment, technology, the arts and music.  Annie Lennox was there to talk about human rights and there were several musicians in the line-up who all work with a range of very varied styles.  Thomas Dolby is an electronic music pioneer who links the divide between music and technology.  Mor Karbasi is a singer-songwriter who works with a whole “melting pot” of Middle-Eastern music, and Karsu Donmez has created a unique blues fusion coloured by her experiences of jazz, Chopin and Turkish music.  This fusion of styles, tastes and ideas is synonymous with the themes of TED and the idea that the best way to grow is to broaden our horizons and combine the concepts and experiences of many different themes and forms of knowledge, without limiting ourselves to a more blinkered path which stands no chance of developing any originality.  It is an important theme in many areas of life, from inter-disciplinary work within policy departments and academia, to the world of any business which seeks to be innovative. 

Benjamin Zander is one of the pioneers who seeks to show how taking analogies from another world such as music and applying them to the world of business can really open the creative valves and inspire the development of new ways of thinking about business and a new perspective - a fresh approach which can send any business on a more innovative and original path.  Benjamin specifically focuses on leadership and ‘The Art of Possibility’ looking at the structure of business alongside the structure of an orchestra.  His talks are described as an experience rather than a speech per se and other speakers who work in this vein include Charles Hazlewood and Dame Evelyn Glennie, an incredible percussionist who has never let her complete loss of hearing limit her musical pursuits.  Charles has conducted at the BBC Proms and Carnegie Hall during his incredible career and has been busy working on an orchestral festival at his Somerset farm called “Play the Field” in collaboration with Deborah Meaden, the entrepreneur, investor and very successful Dragon.  Last year they were both joined by Kevin McCloud, Simon King and Amanda Lamb in their aim to make music more accessible to everyone.  Charles delivers a brilliant motivational experience as well as interactive workshops and like Evelyn Glennie, looks at the importance of leadership and listening with a new and original approach. 

So Happy Birthday Evelyn and wishing one and all a wonderful, musical Summer!

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