Do you speak music?: Sima Cunningham at TEDxYerevan

Do you speak music?: Sima Cunningham at TEDxYerevan


Translator: Gohar Khachatryan
Reviewer: teddy fres Have you ever started to sing a song, and in moments everyone is singing along? (Humming a tune to “Imagine”
by John Lennon) ♫ Da-ra-ra-ran-da-ra-ra ♫ ♫ Da-ra-ra-ra-ra ♫ Let me hear you, come on! ♫ Da-da-da-da-da-da ♫ ♫ Da-da-da-da-da ra-ra-ra ♫ ♫ Da-ran da-da-da ♫ (Audience cheering) (Laughter) SC: That comfort
of hearing familiar notes, that friendliness, that vibration
in all of our throats, our bodies are moving together. We’re all lost and found
on top of this planet. We study each other and try
and can what we’ve learned all of this knowledge we’ve gained
in short little phrases, so we can go home and say, “Here are these people
and they think this way.” I’ve been to places
where my only relations with people came through formal translations. We talked about politics,
economics and wars, and I’d say my thoughts
and they’d say theirs. I was in Venezuela trying to understand, get a feel for the people,
the lay of the land, because our Presidents
have been calling each other names and cutting relations and playing games. But we were there to connect with them but it’s hard when you only have words,
and they are not even yours. So, I looked and I looked
and I looked around, and, lo and behold, what a friend I found. His hair was kind of shaggy,
and he looked really cool. So I decided to try out my bad español, “Musico?” I asked and he smiled so fast, and we talked
and after some minutes had past, we decided to play some music that night, he brought all his friends
and I brought mine, and we played and we jammed and we recorded and wrote
and we didn’t need words, we had plenty of notes,
and I left Venezuela really feeling that I’d built a bridge
and it carried true meaning. And that is the bridge that has taken me everywhere to Eastern Turkey
and the DMZ in Korea, to Brazil and New Orleans
and here to Armenia. Because when I first got here
I felt really alone and like I was out of place
and this wasn’t my home, but then one night I was put up on a stage with this fantastic musician,
who is with me today. And when me and Sasha met,
we didn’t exchange a word. We just started to play,
and this is what we heard. (Guitar music) ♫ Don’t look away from the window ♫ ♫ See the man sit and stare ♫ ♫ Follow his head down to the pavement ♫ ♫ To find what is not there ♫ ♫ And you can be wrong
and still bounce back from it ♫ ♫ And just move on down the road ♫ ♫ I’ve been wrong before I got over it ♫ ♫ But until those voices join
you’re missing the point ♫ ♫ Dare to think what you’re saying ♫ ♫ Its probably not all that bad ♫ ♫ This ideology that you’re obeying ♫ ♫ Will give more trouble
than you’ve ever had ♫ ♫ And you can be wrong
and still bounce back from it ♫ ♫ And just move on down the road ♫ ♫ I’ve been wrong before I got over it ♫ ♫ But until those voices join
you’re missing the point ♫ ♫ You can be wrong
and still bounce back from it ♫ ♫ And just move on down the road ♫ ♫ I’ve been wrong before I got over it ♫ ♫ But until those voices join
you’re missing the point ♫ ♫ You can be wrong
and still bounce back from it ♫ ♫ And just move on down the road ♫ ♫ I’ve been wrong before I got over it ♫ ♫ But until those voices…
until those voices join you’re missing the point ♫ (Applause) Impossible, is a nasty word
to use when talking about people. It’s a word we’ve heard so many times, a word we use to draw our lines and grow the space that’s in between us ’cause game theory diplomacy would suggest that people aren’t people,
but people are pawns, and we are expected to act a certain way and so long as we let those,
who only care for the state, dictate the way we are allowed to relate
with each other, we’ll get nowehere, and we’ll stay stuck
inside fortified borders. Because sometimes words just can’t break through the problems
we have with each other. The histories, too bloody
and complex to work out, and lose-lose scenarios all around, so what are we to do
if peace is truly our aim? I think an important step
is to get out of the game and try to describe a particular space where people can meet face-to-face, where social harmony isn’t just “tested” but musical harmony is manifested. It’s a moveable space and it can be found when any two people sit on the ground and push musical sequences
towards one another, and they roll around
and they create this ether of love and respect
and they learn from each other. Because for too long
people have crossed oceans to conquer, steal, buy and sell, but I am hoping no longer
will this be the dominant reason, because today we live in a world of ideas, and the beautful thing about creativity,
it was made to be shared. It’s like fire, you give some
and you lose nothing. So, let’s think of being with each other
as works of art, and by opening minds
and opening hearts. We can start to take risks,
like all true artists, and take those first steps,
because those are the hardest, and ignore what is said
about people by power, get out of their boxes,
because this is the hour to try something new. (Guitar music) ♫ You can be my fire
but don’t stand too close ♫ ♫ ‘Cause the more you light it up
the less I know ♫ ♫ I prefer the pieces
of a puzzle in a box ♫ ♫ Cause the moment they lie solved ♫ ♫ I’ve got to walk and talk ♫ ♫ All at once ♫ ♫ Give away your fire and it only grows ♫ ♫ But if it’s power
that you want give up more ♫ ♫ Stepping forward
all the while thinking back ♫ ♫ And when its moving like a dance ♫ ♫ It’s time to set the fires ♫ ♫ All at once ♫ ♫ Ooooooooooh ♫ ♫ Cause when the heat death comes
and ends our happy medium ♫ ♫ I hope you’re not the only one
who turns towards what they know ♫ ♫ ‘Cause when the heat death fries
the irises within our eyes ♫ ♫ No monument can show the blind
what they don’t already know ♫ ♫ ‘Cause when the heat death comes
and ends our happy medium ♫ ♫ I hope you’re not the only one
who turns towards what they know ♫ ♫ ‘Cause when the heat death fries
the irises within our eyes ♫ ♫ No monument can show
the blind what they don’t already know ♫ ♫ You can be my fire
but don’t stand too close ♫ ♫ ‘Cause the more you light it up
the less I know ♫ (Applause) Music is about letting go
and finding a space inside of all of us for the polyphony and the harmony
and the complexity and the simplicity and the possibility of peace to exist. Thank you! (Applause)

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