playlist

Seeing sound and hearing color

Keep your ears and eyes wide open for the several different ways you can interact with sound and color.

  1. 11:16
    Honor Harger A history of the universe in sound

    Artist-technologist Honor Harger listens to the weird and wonderful noises of stars and planets and pulsars. In her work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including "the oldest song you will ever hear," the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.

  2. 10:00
    Jared Ficklin New ways to see music (with color! and fire!)

    Designer Jared Ficklin creates wild visualizations that let us see music, using color and even fire (a first for the TED stage) to analyze how sound makes us feel. He takes a brief digression to analyze the sound of a skatepark — and how audio can clue us in to developing creativity.

  3. 4:39
    Evan Grant Making sound visible through cymatics

    Evan Grant demonstrates the science and art of cymatics, a process for making soundwaves visible. Useful for analyzing complex sounds (like dolphin calls), it also makes complex and beautiful designs.

  4. 9:35
    Neil Harbisson I listen to color

    Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color — and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.

  5. 10:53
    Daniel Tammet Different ways of knowing

    Daniel Tammet has linguistic, numerical and visual synesthesia — meaning that his perception of words, numbers and colors are woven together into a new way of perceiving and understanding the world. The author of "Born on a Blue Day," Tammet shares his art and his passion for languages in this glimpse into his beautiful mind.