TEDx Music: A Network Visualization

Amy Robinson TEDxIstanbul TEDx Music

Over the years, TEDx Music has grown from a small collection of a few songs to an exquisitely diverse curated catalog of over 600 tracks on SoundCloud. Getting music out there is no longer enough – it’s time to build software that facilitates discovery.

Drawing inspiration from network data visualization and systems ecology, we created an interactive map of a world of innovative music. In the talk below from TEDxIstanbul, I show the TEDx Music Map for the first time. We hope to release this soon so anyone can play with it.

What’s next for TEDx Music

TEDx Music releases new tracks every Tuesday. Once we refine the interactive visualization and open it to the public, we’ll begin creating a pipeline that automatically analyzes each new song using Spotify’s Echonest API, populating the viz with new nodes for each performance released. In the future, you’ll be able to see exactly where each new track sits relative to a global catalog.

We’re also working to bring a map-based visualization to life, enabling navigation by location. Imagine zooming into Japan and being able to hear all the music that has been performed in Tokyo.

As for artists, we plan to create a TEDx Musician Map, enabling exploration of the creative minds behind the music. In much in the same way that TED convenes people who share a love of ideas, it’s my hope that TEDx Music becomes a platform for we who love music.

Finally, in the interest of going beyond cool and into something scientific, I’m organizing collaborative research with Berklee College of Music to evolve this music dataviz prototype into a next generation tool through which we burst the filter bubble of music.

Think about it: how do you search for something if you don’t know it exists? This problem plagues the music industry. People discover by blogs, word of mouth, and radio station autoplay recommendations. But what if there was a better way? A way where you actively control your trajectory, where the unknown manifests right before your eyes? That’s where we’re heading. The future may well be an ode to awesome.

TEDx Music Network Visualization, TEDx, TEDx Music

TEDx Music Network Viz, Alpha Version

Huge thanks to TED, TEDx, Zach Zimbler, Eric Berlow, Elena Crescia, Gaurav Gupta, Andrew Karnavas, and Tim Gnass. Also thank you to everyone else who has helped with TEDx Music over the years. And thank YOU for listening. The best is yet to come! Here’s to creating the future we imagine :)

Want to get involved in TEDx Music? Email me amy at tedxmusicproject dot com.

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TEDx Music Project on Soundcloud

Few things make me excited to be working after 10 pm on Saturday.  The TEDx Music Project is one of them.  I’m thrilled to share the next phase and give a quick update on our progress since TEDxSummit.

TEDx Global Music is on Soundcloud!

The first phase includes 17 tracks.  Follow us to be among the first with access to the latest music from TEDx.

Our team is hard at work building the next generation of TEDxMusicProject.com.  It will go live in a few short weeks and feature TED API integration.  The new site will showcase both video and audio versions of the best live TEDx performances.

Listen to the tracks, download them and share with friends. Which track(s) do you like most?

Finally, a massive thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen and supported the TEDx Global Music Project along the way.  Major props to Souncloud for featuring us alongside audio sources such as The Economist and David Guetta.  We managed to gather well over 1,000 followers..in our first 24 hours public (June 22).  It’s only going to get bigger.

Follow the TEDx Music Project on Soundcloud.

#lifebonus

What makes you excited to be alive?

Open-ended questions like the one above light me up.   I personally love it when people lay out the ideas they are passionate about and then explore how and why those ideas matter.  Would you like to be asked “What’s the most curious thing you have discovered recently?” more often?  I would. Hopefully this post will inspire you to surprise someone with a delightful chance to share who they are and enlighten you in the process. It’s relatively easy: ask a good question.

About 48 hours ago I sent the following email to a few friends:

Hey!  I hope you’re well!  This is for fun/how I’ve decided to keep Friday Fresh.

Reply inline and I will subsequently send fresh shit from my end.  It’s important to note that when you successfully answer these challenges you, friend, get a life bonus!!  Seriously, it will make your day rock.

– Most interesting thing you’ve discovered in the past 10 days (if it’s too hard to choose, share up to 3)
– Most beautiful image/video from past month
– Best meal or food from the past month
– Did you learn a new word in the past month?  Share.  If not, go find one.
– Funniest/most entertaining.  “Find out what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest” -Herman Hesse
That’s all.  You have 48 hours to reply.  Good luck!
For fun/inbox entertainment
Amy
This is more than inbox entertainment.  I think it actually helps me get to know a person along the lines of what’s important and how he or she spends free time.   What matters to you?
“Such as are your constant thoughts, such will be the character of your mind” Marcus Aurelius
From here on out, this post is crowd-sourced.  Every video, image, link, quote and fact was “recruited” by the above email.    I hope you enjoy this fresh broad collective perspective that materialized over the weekend.
  • Most Beautiful Image/Video

Creative tech

a story for tomorrow

Rediscovered classic

que bella

there and back: space

NASA releases epic panorama of night sky made from 18,000 images.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Most interesting thing you’ve learned/discovered

Nat Geo’s Friday Fact: A hurricane weighs as much as 160 million rhinos!

exp.lore.com

How to divide a square equally into 5 parts.

“Triggered by Brené Brown’s talk about shame I discovered some things about myself.
I discovered that fears and insecurities can be layered and that if you’ve successfully stripped away one layer you may discover another one underneath.
Unfortunately, I am not always aware which fears and insecurities I really have.”

“That the technology for taking a blood sugar reading on an iPhone is being developed.”

ChronoZoom beta is out!

Sexually rejected mice turn to booze.

“Offer a male fruit fly a choice between food soaked in alcohol and its nonalcoholic equivalent, and his decision will depend on whether he’s mated recently or been rejected by a female. Flies that have been given the cold shoulder are more likely to go for the booze, researchers have found. It’s the first discovery, in fruit flies, of a social interaction that influences future behavior.”

Wild lions up close with the Beetle Cam.

Shark teeth are essentially modified scales and evolved from skin, not bones (right, sharks are cartilaginous; they don’t have bones).

“No matter how much you plan, you’ll always face something totally unexpected.”

True.  Perspective on embracing the unanticipated with delight from a different person:

“I have no idea where I’m going, I’m totally conflicted and I’ve never been happier or more flipped out.”

  • New words

awesomeness 

bitumen – the pronunciation is awesome. It’s a synonym for asphalt.

buckram – 1. A coarse cotton fabric heavily sized with glue, used for stiffening garments and in bookbinding. 2. Archaic Rigid formality

coqui – teeny nocturnal frog 

dongleflump – “not sure about a new word but I make lots up, like this one.” Define for yourself, world!

entelechy -In the philosophy of Aristotle, the condition of a thing whose essence is fully realized

LTE – (4G phone network) means Long Term Evolution

pedantic – overly concerned with minute details or formalisms

plumbeo- (Spanish word)  sad, slow, opaque.  “It is like the colour of the sky in winter.”

sycophant – A person who acts obsequiously toward someone in order to gain advantage; a servile flatterer.

wish – “I had forgotten what it meant.  I know now.”

What is the last new word you learned?

  • Best recent nomnoms

I ate fruit roll-ups with a girl I had just net a few days before, she looked at me and smiled and I felt like a teenager.

mom’s chicken pot pie; a private restaurant in Bogota, Columbia; Portuguese food: Rice with octopus and red wine; dinner with Hans Rosling on Wednesday; sukiyaki; Silk City Diner pork tacos; pork chop at vinotinis; fish tacos at Tacombi NYC; some beef mince thing at a party (I have no idea what it was); oven roasted Red Drum fish fillet with kai lan; butternut squash, pasta and a preserved lemon saffron sauce; dinner at an Australian restaurant near Amsterdam; Brenda’s soul food; dinner in Philly two weekends ago on a pitstop before I came home to Switzerland.

Catching up with friends and sharing stories and challenging each other to think critically on a wide range of topics.

  • funny+entertaining

“Went to my grandmothers 80th birthday party, which for most 80 year olds means a nice little party with family and friends. Now for my grandmother, who happens to be the owner of 4 Gentleman’s clubs in NYC..her friends are well interesting.”

Demoreel for visual effects studio The Mill

“If camping outside is so great, then why are all of the bugs trying to get into my house. “- Jim Gaffigan

When was the last time you got this excited when you heard a new song? :)

“My kids listening to Toy Dolls”

Where’s _why?

Portraits imagining a baby’s future profession.

Books on Amazon:

That is all.  John Hodgman

The Fan“, Eric Bogosian (comedy)

  • anything else?

“48 days until I graduate from Penn State. No sure exactly what’s going to happen in the next 48, but I know it’s going to be crazy.”

What are you doing with the next 48 days of your life?

Try something different.  Do new.  Ask open-ended questions.  Instigate surprise.  Play.  Explore the world and minds around you. And feel free to answer the questions below or post your own question in the comments section.  Or tweet interestingnesses with the hash tag #lifebonus to @amyleerobinson.

– Most interesting thing you’ve discovered in the past 10 days (if it’s too hard to choose, share up to 3)
– Most beautiful image/video from past month
– Best meal or food from the past month
– Did you learn a new word in the past month?  Share.  If not, go find one.
– Funniest/most entertaining.  “Find out what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest” -Herman Hesse

Kudos to Antonella Broglia (Madrid), Jon Yeo (Melbourne), John Eberhart (Huntsville, USA), Dave Lim (Singapore), Marconi Pereria (Rio de Janeiro), Lisa Nicole Bell (Los Angeles), Steve Garaguilo (Zurich), Hugo Schotman (Zurich), Evan Grant (London),  Brad Garland (Huntsville), Philip Kovacs (Huntsville), Dylan Finelli (Boston), Zach Zimbler (Penn State), Lionel Felix (Austin TX), Dan Jacob (Toronto), Shreenath Regunathan (San Francisco), and Sean Gourley (San Francisco).  This post is friend-sourced.

Explore: Music

I’ve been braistorming and working on this global music initiative for several months.

Now that I have leaped into the cool blue sea of human music, I’m enthralled.  I want to know more.  I want to understand why a violin sounds different than a synthesizer.  I want to see and touch sound.  I want to be capable of describing the dynamics of what I can hear.  I have 50 questions and 10 answers and so I’m going social.  I invite the world to share, listen, talk, and explore music.

Learning comes from curiosity, in my opinion.  I love to ponder and bounce around and discover.  Then I think of something it is with a relaxed yet invigorated mind, which makes an instant connection with something I care about – usually one of the “things” (thoughts) that lead to curiosity in the first place.  I wonder.  Life is good.

Explore: Music

Inspired by TED and TEDx.

Longfellow called music “the universal language of mankind.”   In much the same way that the TED Translations expands the reach of TED, the The TEDx Global Music Project aims to share TEDx harmonics with the world.

Explore the song reservoir and sign up for  Tues and Fri releases.  New music to your inbox.   

TEDx Global Music Project

Audio amusement park!  I’ve spent the 4th of July weekend curating 595 music TEDxTalks for the TEDx Global Music Project.

The variety and passion of these performances sweeps me into a lush appreciation for humanity.  Creativity is beautiful.

Over the past four days I have experienced an invigorating, overwhelming range of sound.  Remixed symphonieselectrified beats and vocal virtuosos who together are redefining what music can be.

The world is wonderful — it takes but a few moments of beautiful to keep this in mind:


Take a time-bending worldwide audio roller coaster ride with the TEDx Global Music Project: a platform for musicians to share their creative innovations and an organized playground for the world to discover and explore sound.

My sincerest appreciation to TED for opening up the world with TEDx.

Diary of Ambidexterity

A musician at TEDxAtlanta taught himself to play guitar with his left hand after a nerve affliction made it impossible for him to continue playing with his right.   Becoming ambidextrous is a monumentally difficult undertaking.  I know because I have taught  myself to do it as well.

Just days before the conference I wrote the following pages, pictured at  the bottom of this post.  I shared them with Billy after his final performance.  Years I have practiced to reach this moderate level of dual articulation.

I am vibrant with life and curious and intrigued to the nth degree.  The notes convey this so I have decided to transcribe their contents for you:

Page 1:  LEFT HAND.

“13 April 2010.  Existing here fawning over reality.  Is this life real?  It is, silly rhetorical question.  What I mean to imply is a sense of wonder regarding what the world brings to the table.  Human beings are astonishingly wonderful creatures.  They recognize and respond to passion.  It moves and compells the interesting lot of us into curiosity.  I am driven beyond measure and comprehension in directions that seem at the whim of creative impulse.  Where does it come from?  How does curiosity exist?  It fuels me.  That’s a potential book title.  Tangents.  What is to be said of them?  This ambidextrous endeavor in attempt to expand utilization of this one body with two hands, one typically the malnourished sibling of its dominant counterpart.  I have two hands, I should be able to use them with equal finesse.  This page has taken about thirty minutes to write.  It is my finest specimen of left-handed writing to date.  Indeed, my left hand, forearm, and fingers feel exhausted, like my legs when I run a 10K.  Intriguing relativity.”

Page 2:  RIGHT HAND.

“13 April 2010.  I compose this page after writing the one to the right with my left hand.  Look at these scripts.  Hell, even check the speed.  I will take a photo of these two pages.  Looking now it seems as though the next page was composed by your author under drugs or a bumpy road.  I attest I have not left my bed and that both are by the same human being.  It took so much more attention, focus, concentration, a stronger grip on both the pen and task at hand.  I recall my first attempts at ambidexterity.  Frustration was the word.  I read in Gray’s Anatomy that most people have a lateral curvature of the spine – to the right – and reverse in left-handed specimens.  Fuel for the fire of achieving perfect alignment.  Posture, balance, skeletal frame refinement – these are paramount in my scale of importance.  It is one of those “still in my head will be conveyable to rest of world in due time.” An underlying structure ties in – the systemic approach to energy’s interaction with itself – and passionate inquiry meets curiosity once and forever again, taking me endlessly into realms unknown.  Beautiful. (This page – five to ten minutes).”

This is the first time I have directly shared my personal notes with the public.  Enjoy this glance into my thoughts to myself.

I wonder what our taking on of difficulty says about who we are.  I wonder what the degree to which you laboriously follow passion in pursuit of the difficult says about who you are.

Be Inspired,

Amy

Notes

Art Show Like No Other: Lady GaGa

Seldom is creativity so bizarre that it can be labeled intriguing, disturbing, sparkly, and absurd. Modern art sometimes fits this bill..after watching the video for Bad Romance and ending with a confused and strange feeling, I’ve decided “modern art” is the only way I could attempt to classify the unclassifiable Lady Gaga’s works. Brace yourself before you watch it. It blurs through claw-like dances, kidnapping, poisoning, prostitution, diamonds, murder, and a dead polar bear..to name a few.

I call it art because the video is her abstract representation of a story. I Googled her explanation of this new wonder, and indeed, there is a plot. I’ll summarize.

Lady Gaga takes a bath to wash off her “badness” (which I assume is represented by the broken-style dancing that preceeds it). She is kidnapped by supermodels, who drug her, pour vodka down her throat, rip her clothes off, and ship her to an upscale whore house. Shots of Gaga dancing for an auction house of men while strewn in jewels are disected by clips of a reptilian-esque gaga – the beauty and the beast. Jump to a shot of the winning bidder sitting on a bed, awaiting his prize, who is shown walking up to meet him. A polar bear skin conceals a pyrotechnic bra which our little lady uses to torch the customer alive. The finale is a cigarette-smoking Lady Gaga laying in bed by the charred corpse. Hm.

Baffling, yes. Words obviously fall short. But I cannot help but find it curious and intriguing that so much organized absurdity can come from one musician/creative genius. Every detail is considered, each symbolism carefully thought out. Much like a Picasso or Matisse, the beauty lies in the bending of what we know. The first time I saw Guernica it seemed unfathomable that it could ever compare to Louis David’s immaculately executed Coronation of Napoleon; however, as I looked deeper, I found the appeal of Picasso to be in his creative portrayal of reality. This artist’s talent pulled the viewer away from her standard conception. He forced an openmindedness and reconsideration of “normal” that lay foundations for innumerable other alternative methods of expression. In my opinion, Lady GaGa does the same thing. Like all abstract and modern art, she is neither universally appealing nor understandable by our conventional means. And like all great artists, she wields elegant talent while remaining unscathed by the barrages of criticism that accompany it. To me, who will never step onto the streets in the things this woman drapes, sticks, balances, or paints onto her body, the core aspect of her appeal remains beautifully simple: She makes damn good sound!

And now, the much anticipated and rarely understood Lady GaGa in “Bad Romance” :