Live from TEDGlobal 2013 TED Conferences

Musical alchemy: Elizaveta at TEDGlobal 2013

Posted by: Becky Chung
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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

You never would have guessed musical alchemist Elizaveta was fighting strep throat only days before her performance. In Session 2 of TEDGlobal, “Those Flying Things,” she steps out onto a darkened stage in an ethereal white dress and a magnificent lace crown and launches into a long, beautiful and flawless soprano note. Trained in opera performance at the Prague Academy of Music and the University of California, she frequently fuses the genre with other musical genres such as pop and electronic. The effect is a stunning, often haunting, interplay of voice, story and soundscape.

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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

The video screen behind Elizaveta shows video of Elizaveta on the stage — except a morphed version with kaleidoscopic sparks, colors and shapes, as if her music is transforming her into from human to something more fantastical. The visuals are very in tune with her philosophy: “You throw seemingly disparate elements in a pot. If you do it correctly, they’re transmuted and something else takes form. I take opera, electronic beats, piano hooks and a pop melody and create a song. The ingredients work in concert and the end product becomes an emotional auditory experience.” The video work was created in collaboration with French stage visual effects magician Cyrille Brissot.

Her song “Meant” begins with a whisper — “If silence can heal/I know it can kill/I feel its caress” — which grows into a cinematic, operatic tale of heartbreak — “We were meant to be” — and finally ends as quietly as it began.

Here is the music video for “Meant,” Elizaveta’s latest single: