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TED2007

Raul Midon: "Tembererana"

March 3, 2007

Singer/guitarist Raúl Midón performs “All the Answers” in a world premiere at TED2007, followed by the sprightly "Tembererana."

Raul Midon - Guitarist
Guitarist and singer Raul Midon blends flamenco, jazz and R&B to create a category-defying sound. His life story is as inspiring as his musical vision. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
(Applause)
00:12
It's really quite an honor to be here tonight,
00:18
and I'm really glad that I stayed here and listened
00:22
because I've really been inspired.
00:28
And I'm going to play some songs for you tonight
00:31
that are, literally, world premieres.
00:36
I've been working on my new record
00:38
and I've never played these songs for anybody
00:40
except the microphone.
00:42
This is a song that I wrote
00:44
about the meaning of technology,
00:48
which goes perfectly with this gathering.
00:53
I started thinking about -- when I was in college,
00:56
especially as a blind person,
00:59
doing a research paper was a major undertaking.
01:02
You had to go to the library,
01:06
see if you could get them to find the books for you,
01:08
you know, footnotes and all that.
01:11
Now you can just go on Google. Just look it up.
01:13
I wish I had that when I was in college.
01:16
Anyway, this is a song about:
01:19
we have all this, but what are we going to do with it?
01:22
It's called "All the Answers."
01:26
♫ What is the weather in Cincinnati? ♫
01:39
♫ What is the time in Tokyo? ♫
01:41
♫ Who is this little child's daddy? ♫
01:43
♫ And who the hell needs to know? ♫
01:45
♫ Why do memories of you linger ♫
01:47
♫ when I'm trying to reach my goal? ♫
01:50
♫ And why must I move my fingers ♫
01:52
♫ to the music in my soul? ♫
01:54
♫ I don't know. ♫
01:57
♫ I don't have to know. ♫
01:59
♫ 'Cause here I go ... ♫
02:01
♫ and I got all the answers ♫
02:04
♫ right here in my hand. ♫
02:09
♫ And I got all the answers ♫
02:12
♫ and I don't have to understand ♫
02:17
♫ 'cause I got all the answers. ♫
02:22
♫ Think I'll rummage through the century ♫
02:27
♫ while I listen to the sea. ♫
02:30
♫ Oh, it's good to be so free, ♫
02:34
♫ so free. ♫
02:39
♫ Who was mayor of Chicago ♫
02:51
♫ back in 1964? ♫
02:53
♫ And why did Shakespeare create Iago ♫
02:55
♫ to tear apart a love so pure? ♫
02:57
♫ How can my dreams be so vivid ♫
02:59
♫ in a psychosonic way? ♫
03:01
♫ Why must I become so livid ♫
03:03
♫ about the news I hear today? ♫
03:05
♫ I don't know. ♫
03:07
♫ I don't have to know. ♫
03:10
♫ And here I go ... ♫
03:13
♫ 'cause I got all the answers ♫
03:15
♫ right here in my hand. ♫
03:20
♫ And I got all the answers. ♫
03:23
♫ See, I don't have to understand ♫
03:29
♫ 'cause I got all the answers. ♫
03:32
♫ I think I'll browse on through ♫
03:36
♫ the tabloid news ♫
03:39
♫ while I sip my tea. ♫
03:42
♫ Mm, it's good to be so free. ♫
03:45
(Trumpet sounds)
03:49
♫ I never ever have to be alone. ♫
04:20
♫ I can do it all right here in my home. ♫
04:22
♫ Yeah, mm-hmm ... ♫
04:24
♫ Everything that's ever been known, ♫
04:27
♫ I can punch it up right here on my phone. ♫
04:29
♫ Freedom train, coming soon ♫
04:31
♫ right here in my living room ♫
04:33
♫ from Baton Rouge to Saskatoon ♫
04:35
♫ and all points in between. ♫
04:37
♫ 'Cause I got all the answers ♫
04:39
♫ right here on my screen. ♫
04:44
♫ And I got all the answers, yeah. ♫
04:47
♫ I got every book and magazine. ♫
04:52
♫ I got all, I got all, I got all ... ♫
04:56
♫ I got all the answers, ♫
05:00
♫ all the answers, oh yeah. ♫
05:03
♫ Uh-huh ... ♫
05:06
♫ But I tell you what I'm going to do: ♫
05:13
♫ I'm going to find the capitol of Peru ♫
05:15
♫ or the latitude of Kathmandu. ♫
05:18
♫ I'm gonna Google it ♫
05:21
♫ 'cause everybody's doing it. ♫
05:23
♫ And then I'll rummage through the century. ♫
05:25
♫ I got all, I got all, I got all ... ♫
05:29
♫ I got all the answers. ♫
05:37
♫ Yeah, yeah ♫
05:41
♫ I got all the answers. ♫
05:44
(Applause)
05:53
Thank you.
06:03
Whew! It's a miracle I didn't make any mistakes on that song.
06:06
That's the first time I've ever played it.
06:11
(Applause)
06:14
It's a "feel the fear and do it anyway" kind of thing.
06:20
This next song is a song
06:26
that started out as a dream -- a childhood dream.
06:29
It was one of the titles
06:32
that I was sort of thinking about calling my record,
06:35
except there's a couple of problems.
06:39
One thing is, it's unpronounceable.
06:41
And it's a made-up word.
06:44
It's called "Tembererana."
06:46
And the song is based on
06:48
what I think was my first
06:50
childhood attempts
06:53
to think about invisible forces.
06:56
So "tembererana" was these dreams,
06:59
in which I would be running away
07:03
from bad feelings -- is the only way I can put it.
07:06
So this is called "Tembererana."
07:09
It's based on an Argentinian rhythm
07:13
called "carnivalito."
07:16
♫ A dream within a dream, ♫
07:22
♫ a world within a world, ♫
07:25
♫ the sound of a primal scream ♫
07:28
♫ travels out across the land. ♫
07:30
♫ Images flickering, ♫
07:36
♫ the sound of the war machine, ♫
07:39
♫ a procession of limousines ♫
07:41
♫ travels slowly across the land. ♫
07:44
♫ Another child could use a hand. ♫
07:48
♫ Reaching out from within ♫
07:52
♫ tembererana, hey, tembererana ... ♫
07:55
♫ Annihilation moves. ♫
08:17
♫ The earth is an open tomb. ♫
08:19
♫ The sound of the final boom ♫
08:22
♫ rumbles fiercely across the land. ♫
08:25
♫ Fear, you're the enemy. ♫
08:32
♫ Obliterating all but thee. ♫
08:34
♫ You see what you want to see. ♫
08:36
♫ Before I'm blinded, I will toast ♫
08:39
♫ the shade of power that I love most, ♫
08:42
♫ the power of creation. ♫
08:46
♫ Tembererana, hey, tembererana ... ♫
08:50
♫ Da, da, da, da ♫
09:11
♫ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♫
09:15
♫ As a child, alone and afraid, ♫
09:26
♫ escaping the impressions every feeling made, ♫
09:29
♫ I would run, run away ♫
09:33
♫ into a world where the good was the aim of the game ♫
09:37
♫ and the sum of invisible power ♫
09:42
♫ had a name. ♫
09:45
♫ It's the same name. ♫
09:48
♫ Tembererana, hey, tembererana ... ♫
09:51
♫ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♫
10:07
♫ Tembere, tembere, tembere, tembererana ♫
10:10
♫ Tembere, tembere, tembere, tembererana, hey ♫
10:18
♫ Tembererana, hey ♫
10:22
♫ Tembererana ... ♫
10:25
(Applause)
10:28

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Raul Midon - Guitarist
Guitarist and singer Raul Midon blends flamenco, jazz and R&B to create a category-defying sound. His life story is as inspiring as his musical vision.

Why you should listen

Raul Midon is into beating the odds, shattering stereotypes, and making category-defying music. "I was told as a child, 'You're blind; you can't do this,'" Midon told an interviewer in 2005. "I was told when I moved to New York, 'You can't do that, you're not going to make it.'" At 40, however, Midon has clearly made it.

After singing backup vocals for stars like Shakira, Julio Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, Midon released his major-label solo debut, State of Mind, with help from guest artist Jason Mraz. Midon's innovative songwriting incorporates his lyrics, guitar handiwork (jazz, classical, flamenco, R&B) and "vocal trumpet" improvisation. Though he draws comparisons to Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Richie Havens, Midon is the rare original in an industry of few.

His latest album is A World Within a World.

The original video is available on TED.com
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