Imogen Heap's aching voice and surprising electronics infuse countless videos and iPods with bone-chilling atmospherics.

Why you should listen

Classically trained composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer Imogen Heap finds her muse in unlikely places. She's mined sonic mystery from sources ranging from cardboard tubes to cheap samplers to the data gloves--not to mention her own vocal cords.

A relentless experimenter, Heap's latest song cycle is built around some 900 fan-submitted "sound seeds," or samples of everyday sounds. The first six of these "Heapsongs" have been released via her website, and include the lovely "Propeller Seeds," inspired by a chance meeting at a past TEDGlobal. During 2012's TEDGlobal she recorded a song in various locations around Edinburgh, "anywhere that has a piano and they let me turn up with a microphone." She has also composed the orchestral score for the crowdsourced nature film "Love the Earth."

Heap's last album Ellipse earned her a Grammy and Ivor Novello award. This summer marks the release of Sparks, her fifth and most ambitious album to date. Sparks' songs have taken Imogen all over the world from her North East London home studio to the Himalayas via China. This year Imogen is the guest artist-curator for the iconic London Roundhouse venue’s new music festival, Reverb. The eagerly awaited Sparks world tour will begin at Reverb in August 2014. Meanwhile, Imogen will be celebrating her tenth TED anniversary this year.

What others say

“Heap is not just a compelling vocalist from the Kate Bush school for the intensely intriguing. She's a charismatic singer willing to dig deep.” — David Wild, Rolling Stone Records

Imogen Heap’s TED talks

Imogen Heap on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

Progress for “the blue heart of the planet” and a plan to de-extinct a kayak: A recap of “Planet Dearth,” All-Stars Session 1 at TED2014

March 18, 2014

By Liz Jacobs and Kate Torgovnick Are we on the brink of a resource crisis? All signs point to yes. As the human population grows, the planet is buckling under the pressure of our needs. In this inaugural All-Stars session, 11 classic TED speakers return to the stage to share their deep concern for preserving […]

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Design

She has music in her hands: Imogen Heap at TEDGlobal 2012

June 29, 2012

Imogen Heap bounds onto the stage wearing black, a glittering, cosmically ruffled jacket and some musical gloves. You know, as you do. The gloves are the way that she activates the music around her, while where she stands on the stage also impacts the treatments on her voice. “I have music in my hands,” she says, […]

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Music

Thomas Dolby: Spot the Billie Holiday lyrics

May 7, 2010

Via The Official Thomas Dolby Blog: Thomas Dolby has posted the lyrics to his brand-new song “Love Is a Loaded Pistol,” which premiered today on TED.com. He throws out a challenge: “See how many of Billie’s song titles you can spot.” Get the lyrics >> He writes that an MP3 of studio version of “Pistol” […]

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Quotes from Imogen Heap

Everybody says / time heals everything. / But what of the wretched hollow? / The endless in between?
Imogen Heap
TEDGlobal 2009 • 676K views Sep 2009
Beautiful, Inspiring