Live from TEDGlobal 2013

Improvised piano loveliness: Yaron Herman at TEDGlobal 2013

Posted by: Helen Walters
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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“Before we came on stage, I asked him, ‘What are you going to play?’ and he replied, ‘I don’t know.’” So TED curator Chris Anderson introduces the Israeli pianist Yaron Herman, who comes onto the TEDGlobal stage to play music to soothe the slightly jangled nerves of the audience. (What with the beaver mourning the loss of its mate, the threat to the world’s bees, and the cyborg cockroach, it’s been quite a session.)

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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

After he plays, Herman attempts to explain the improv process. The key, he says, is in rigorous practice. He experiments with the myriad options open to him whenever he practices — and when he’s performing, he can let his unconscious take over. “I try not to get too much in the way,” he says. “When things come together and the music you’re playing is coming through you somehow, it’s close to ecstasy.” Lovely.

Watch his performance from TEDxCERN earlier this year >>