Skip to content

TEDx / Remix

Note: we urge you to view this piece in high definition, listening with headphones or speakers, for the full aural experience.

In early 2012 we were invited to produce a remix for TEDxStellenbosch in collaboration with the TEDx Global Music Project. Our piece was to be based on material from the growing archive of TEDx musical performances that is the TEDx Global Music Project.

Our first goal was to expand on the remix concept by not simply creating a collage of found sounds (the conventional approach). This view led us to create an abstract sound world which involved extensive planning, processing and attention to detail. We decided early on to produce an audiovisual piece in which the sonic and visual elements were interdependent.

In order to compose the piece we chose a framework of two rules. Firstly we sought to explore the TED aesthetic in colour, movement and form. Secondly we worked exclusively with sound samples from TEDx musical performances. Our visual elements were produced in Processing and much of our sound design was generated in Pure Data. The final composition was arranged in Logic Pro and Adobe Premiere.

The following are examples of some of the many processes we undertook in the creation of our “TEDx / Remix”.

The TEDx Krakow: “Amadrum trio” was one of our favourite videos. We chose particular rhythmic phrases from the performance to use for cuts, transitions and punctuation in our piece. These rhythms were then given visual counterparts to literally visualise the rhythmic statements. The melodic content introduced at around 6:44 was generated by slicing a sample of the second Amadrum Trio performance (which included melodic instruments) and placing it in a sampler. The sound was reversed and processed and then fed into an arpeggiator to create the melodic movement.

The Tedx Amsterdam: “Calefax Quintet” video offered us the sound of an unusual instrumental combination, namely that of an oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone and bass clarinet. This ensemble, with their inventive sounds, presented many interesting timbres and harmonies for extensive manipulation. In our piece a great deal of the underlying harmony was created by stretching small samples of the Calefax Quintet performance. In one instance we took a 2 minute slice and stretched it to 45 minutes. The sections we found most interesting were then extracted and placed in our arrangement.

The sound tag intro for the TEDx Amsterdam video was in itself very appealing and so we put this small element through a number of processes and used it throughout our piece. For the white noise introduction we sampled the sound tag of a TEDx Potomac video. An unaltered version was used as the transition from the first to second sections.

Thanks to Gareth Pearson and the TEDxStellenbosch team for the invitation, and to Amy-Lee Robinson of the TEDx Global Music Project.

We hope you enjoy the piece.