How an astrophysicist became a beatbox Jedi

Think Progress Team

Friday 9 December 2016

Graduating from a mess of disparate equipment to a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Simon Shlomo Kahn – beatboxing artist, technologist, composer and teacher – has all he needs to create highly layered, complicated beats and melodies.

As an eight year old, Shlomo became obsessed with the hypnotic rhythms of jazz drumming and, while growing up, he recalls playing every instrument he could get his hands on. When he first used a computer to make music, it unleashed a world of sonic possibilities.

Named the King of Jam in the UK’s annual tournament in 2002, he left Leeds University to pursue beatboxing full-time and pioneered a range of techniques. He is nicknamed the ‘beatbox Jedi’ for his ability to manufacture sounds that mimic musical instruments and occupy a sonic category all of their own.

In 2004, his collaboration with Bjork was heard by 3.9 billion people at the Athens Summer Olympics opening ceremony, in 2007 he started the world’s first beatboxing choir, and in 2015 the BBC named him a music ambassador. He uses the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon to take his vocals to the next level, saying: “The computer is doing everything. It’s the workhorse.”

Read the full article here.


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