Fearless Interdisciplinarity: What Coke Studio and TEDx Terry Talks 2009 have in common

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I love Terry*.  After much reflection, I realised that while the extraordinary Speaker Series and wonderful writing on the website are awesome, they aren’t what keeps me attached to the project. Rather, it is the commitment to interdisciplinary thought that threads through every aspect of Terry*, that has kept me involved over a number of years.

This realisation came to me while watching an online program called Coke Studio that features exceptional musical talent from Pakistan performing fusion style music in unprecedented ways.

As the show website explains:

Coke Studio embodies a musical fusion of exciting elements and diverse influences, ranging from traditional eastern, modern western and regionally inspired music. Bringing alive the magic of live recordings and performances, Coke Studio prides itself on providing a musical platform which bridges barriers, celebrates diversity, encourages unity and instils a sense of Pakistani pride. Coke Studio is an inspired step by Coca-Cola for having created a platform where renowned as well as upcoming and less mainstream musicians from various genres can collaborate musically.

This season, Rohail Hyatt’s musical genius draws together the fundamentals of collaborative music that will showcase Pakistan’s rich music culture by stitching into its fabric, traditional artists, folk music influences and regional instruments in collaboration with Pakistan’s contemporary mainstream artists.

And the project delivers on what it promises (as much as it pains me to praise Coca-Cola). The results of enabling artists from very different styles to collaborate together are often astonishing and always extremely moving compositions.

I mention Coke Studio here because its fearless meeting of different styles and ideas allows for a space where one can converse safely and explore new ideas, cultures and modes of being in the world. No style is above another, and the quality of the combinations are reasons why this show is so successful.

A different setting no doubt, but the same fearless interdisciplinarity that I love about Coke Studio is what I’m looking forward to during TEDx Terry Talks 2009. I can’t wait to have my expectations challenged, my mind expanded, and to have a great time in the process.

Have you applied to TEDx Terry Talks 2009 yet? Don’t delay; send your application in by September 15th 2009.

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Shagufta is a UBC Political Science graduate with a passion for interdisciplinary thinking, writing, travel, reading, tea, and interesting conversations. She hopes to combine all of these things in her life work someday. For now though, she studies social policy and planning at the University of Toronto and shares her adventures in and out of the classroom at http://seriouslyplanning.wordpress.com.