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Thomas Dolby

The list of breakthrough innovations in Thomas Dolby's 35 year career is continuous. As an early MTV icon he blazed a trail for electronic music with his imaginative videos. He co-wrote and produced the first ever platinum-selling rap 12” single Magic’s Wand by Whodini; his synth playing and production graced the recordings of Foreigner, Def Lepperd, George Clinton and Joni Mitchell, earning five Grammy™ nominations. He appeared live with Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, with David Bowie at Live Aid, and with Roger Waters at The Wall in Berlin. And his self-penned She Blinded Me With Science became a Top 5 Billboard hit, going on to become an evergreen geek anthem that still pops up in Grand Theft Auto, The Big Bang Theory and Breaking Bad.

Thomas has created original music for features films produced by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Ken Russell; he has appeared on SNL, with The Muppets, and on numerous TV shows from Soul Train toThe Late Show.

Sought after as a consultant for tech startups and research companies, Thomas Dolby seemed to have a hand in every emerging entertainment platform, from laser disks and computer games to interactive TV, virtual reality installations and location-based entertainment. His name is on multiple US patents, and he has worked as an investment advisor for top venture capital firms. During the early Silicon Valley internet explosion, Thomas founded high tech startup Beatnik Inc and co-created the code that enabled interactive audio in Java. When mobile phones began to play polyphonic ringtones, it was via his BAE technology, which Beatnik licensed to phone manufacturers to be embedded in over two billion cellular phones and devices.

Between adding music to the mix as in-house Music Director of every TED Conference from 2001-12, Thomas taught himself to be a digital filmmaker, and in 2013 he won multiple awards for his groundbreaking film The Invisible Lighthouse, which chronicles the closure of a 250 year old lighthouse visible from his coastal home in Suffolk, UK.

Since Fall 2014 Thomas has held the post Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He is currently completing his first book The Speed Of Sound, to be published by Macmillan/Flatiron in October 2016.

My Moderators Sessions

Saturday, September 2
 

5:30pm PDT