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TEDxSP 2009 - Jarbas Agnelli: Birds on the wires

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I have to keep this short or I run the risk of my introduction taking longer than the song I'm performing, which is really short. This is a story about a picture that turned into a song. One morning I was reading the paper and I found a picture of birds on the power wires. I found the picture really interesting because it reminded me of musical notation. So I took the initiative of cutting out the picture and trying to play what the birds were "composing". I've sat at the piano and noticed the melody was very poetic, sweet, almost childlike.. Of course I had to interpret the tempo and duration of the notes. But I tried to be as faithful possible to the position of the birds as to the chords and the melody they were forming. So I created a classical arrangement and sent this picture to the photographer, who I found on Google; it was Paulo Pinto, a photographer for Estadao. He was very touched, and said: "Wow, that's beautiful". Then he sent me the original picture which was a more spacious shot, because Estadao had cropped the picture. So that gave me 4 extra notes on each side. Then I went back to the piano, played it again and it seems to have clicked together, those were the notes missing in my melody. So I sent it back to him and he forwarded it to a reporter and it became a news story in Estadao itself. I was very intrigued by the dimension that was taking so I decided to make a video, a little video to illustrate the reasoning behind my interpretation of that picture. I posted the video two days later on the Internet and it became a global hit. Something I couldn't have imagined, the speed and power that it could have. It was on websites such as Gizmodo, Wired, MSN, and in a week I was being interviewed by American and German radio stations. It was shown in TEDx Phoenix and at the Columbia festival in New York. In other words, the thing has had millions on views, you really can't imagine that such a small initiative is gonna turn into this. I think the lesson I've learned is that you can see poetry anywhere, it only depends on how we look at things. It can be brought to life, it depends on our taking initiative. So now I'd like to play this song for you, I created an extended version especially for TED. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: Brazil
License: All rights reserved
Producer: TEDxSP + colmeia
Director: Julio Taubkin
Views: 1,512
Posted by: tedxsp on Nov 25, 2009

Jarbas Agnelli´s special presentation at TEDx São Paulo 2009, November 14th.

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