Thomas Dolby: Back on stage (NY, SF, LA, UK…)

Posted by: Tedconfjune

ThomasOne of the most joyful moments at TED2006 had to be TED music director (and electronic music icon) Thomas Dolby playing his classic, “She Blinded me With Science.” As always, his performance blurred the lines between composition and invention, surprising at every turn. Everyone was left wanting more …

Wish: granted. Thomas begins this week his first solo tour in years, and it promises a thrilling interplay of music and technology, at once nostalgic and cutting-edge. “I first played my one-man show nearly 30 years ago in electronic underground clubs across Europe,” Thomas told us. “I decided to revive it using a combination of state-of-the-art and retro technology.” By retro, he means really retro: “vintage 40’s and 50’s oscilloscopes and ex-Royal Navy field-test equipment that I’ve gutted and retrofitted for MIDI so it can control my modern software synthesizers.”

As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a synched projection screen using film clips intercut with live shots of his hands working the system (taken from a head-mounted camera, no less). “The audience feels like a voyeur in some deranged ham radio operator’s secret garden shed,” he jokes. And then there’s the music: He’ll play some of his earliest heavily electronic songs, like “Leipzig” and “Flying North,” alongside more atmospheric pieces like “The Flat Earth.”

Intrigued? Of course you are! Fortunately, we’ve already arranged for TEDsters to catch the magic. On May 3rd, Thomas will headline a TED evening at New York’s Joe’s Pub, followed by two public shows. Not in New York? Thomas plays this Thursday March 9, at San Francisco’s Mighty and April 12 at Anaheim’s House of Blues. Check the tour dates for LA, Seattle, Portland…