Nancy just sent around a link to this video of Bobby McFerrin presenting at the 2009 World Science Festival (we’re hoping they’ll also release video of Xavier Le Pichon's presentation soon). I don't really know much about McFerrin, but admittedly my impression of him in the past has been cynical — his late-80's chart-topper "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" was always a little too earnest for my ears. But I was pleasantly surprised to see McFerrin give this simple, fun, and extremely effective demonstration of the universality of the pentatonic scale.
As it turns out, McFerrin’s been on our “big list” of potential guests for quite a while, but like our other music show ideas he’s never quite made it into the schedule. This video convinces me that I should probably rethink my impression of Bobby McFerrin, and the following quote makes me think he’s worth moving up on our list:
“Music for me is like a spiritual journey down into the depths of my soul. And I like to think we’re all on a journey into our souls. What’s down there? That’s why I do what I do.”