Singing Science with Kelly Clarkson | StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Singing Science with Kelly Clarkson | StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson

(upbeat music) – This is StarTalk. I’m your host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, your personal astrophysicist,
and I’m also director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. And I got with me my co-host, Chuck Nice! – Hey, Neil!
– Chuck, baby. – Hey, how are ya? – Tweeting @ChuckNiceComic.
– Thank you sir, yes! – I follow you, by the way. – I follow you too. – You do? That’s very nice of you. – To the ends of the Earth. (Neil laughs)
To the ends of the Earth. – Actually, I might follow you on a list. I have a lot of lists that I follow, because I follow comedians,
and I follow scientists– – Now I don’t feel special. – Oh, sorry! (laughs) – You took it away.
– You had me at I follow you. Then you qualified it, I
follow you along with– – 46 entities which
includes, like, the Pentagon and the Navy and DARPA, and Chuck! – And Chuck Nice.
(Neil laughs) Somebody will find your
Twitter profile and be like, how did Chuck hack his Twitter profile to get in this list? – Well, today we’re exploring the science of the singing voice, through my interview with singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson. ♪ Miss independent ♪ (Neil laughs)
♪ Misunderstood ♪ – In fact, the full
interview, because for this, we cut and paste, for
this, the full interview is available on the
StarTalk YouTube channel. – Very nice.
– Alright. And her newest album,
which is how she landed in our universe, is called
The Meaning of Life. – Oh!
– That’s how this happened. – Let me tell ya, if Kelly
Clarkson is telling me the meaning of life, I don’t wanna live. (Neil laughs) I’m just sayin’. – So we have, in-studio,
expert guest because I am no vocologist or
vocal, I sing really good in the shower. – Now, your speaking voice
would betray the fact that you might be able to sing well. – In the shower.
– Oh, okay. – That’s it. The acoustics in the shower
make anybody sound good. Our guest today is professor
and performer Brian Gill. Welcome to the show, Brian! – Hey, thank you very
much, glad to be here. – So, you are, I got here, you are associate professor of voice. – Yes.
– That’s a thing? – Yes, and voice pedagogy. – And voice pedagogy!
– Yes. – Ooh, wow.
– At Indiana University. – [Brian] Yes. – This is in Bloomington, Indiana. – [Brian] Bloomington, Indiana, yes. A lovely little college town. – The Jacob School of Music.
– Yes. – [Neil] That’s a beautiful thing. – Yeah.
– And it says here, you are a vocologist.
– Yes. – Vocologist!
– That’s just wrong. That should not be a word. (all laugh) – They made that up. – You made that up! – They did it real quick, on the fly. – I’m sorry, I won’t be in this Friday. I have an appointment with my vocologist. – Yeah, yeah.
– You’re fired. – It sounds official so
then people believe you. – It does! Just because you’re good at a thing doesn’t mean you put -ologist on it and, that’s another thing. – Are you a voice teacher or a vocologist? – I’m a funnyologist. – Comedologist.
– Got it right. Comedologist.
– I’ll laugh, then. – So, you’re a tenor.
– Yes. – And you’re a performer, as a tenor, and opera, musical theater,
love musical theater. And concert recitals in
the US and in Europe. I feel privileged that you’re in town. – I feel privileged to
be here with you, too. – [Neil] We snatched you out of, you were gonna head back
to Indiana yesterday. – Yes, I’m going back tonight. – And we delayed your plane
knowing that you would come. So, I gotta know– – Trouble on the tarmac? – I gotta know, I got people. I know the guy who–
– Stop him. – Checks the engines. – You see that dude out
there with the two cones, the lit up cones?
– Yeah! – Those are Neil’s drags.
– They dragged me off. I didn’t know what hit me. – So, I have to ask. What specifically is vocology? – It’s, quick definition,
science of practice and voice habilitation, and
if necessary rehabilitation. – Gotcha.
– Oh! So, now I know what habilitation is. I never knew. We all know what rehabilitation is. – Of course.
– Yep. – But nobody ever habilitates.
– Truly. – Only in private.
– Yeah. – I do habilitate.
– Fix it later. Wait ’till it’s broken. – Wait, so habilitate is the,
what would that be, then? The sustenance and care and
feeding of your voice, right? – Yes, you teach a person
high level functions so you don’t injure your voice. – So you don’t injure it.
– Yes. – [Neil] Then you don’t
have to rehabilitate. – That’s right, because
it’s more difficult to rehabilitate than habilitate. Once the system’s
broken, to get the pieces back together, including
the mind, and how the person reacted to the injury or
the breakdown of the system is very difficult. – Wow.
– That’s neat. – So you know you’re a
real singer when you have a singing injury.
(Neil laughs) I would love to be in this opera but I’m in injured reserve! Right, right. – I tore the rotator cuff in my voice! – Now playing the part
of Carmen, unfortunately, due to injury, I’m out for the season. – He’s out for the season!
– Right. – Yes, that’s what happens. And it covers any professional voice user, which would also be someone like you all that use your voice in this medium, so. – We do.
– That’s right. So if something happens with
a politician or a teacher at a school, or something like that, because they have a heavy voice load, then a vocologist is uniquely trained to help them out. – I remember Bill Clinton.
– Yes! – I remember he needed the, yeah. And he ran into, he
already sounded like this to begin with, yet I
just wanna let you know that I talk like this
because I’m not habilitated the way I should, and then
I remember he was either campaigning for himself or
Hillary or Barack Obama, I’m not sure. But either way, he had to
come off the campaign trail because–
– He lost his voice. – He had injured his voice,
and they called it an injury. – Yeah, yeah, a really
common thing, unfortunately. – Okay, so–
– Wow. – But, if you’re habilitated– – Interesting.
– Nice. – Okay, we’ll be drawing
on your expertise heavily for this conversation that I’ve had with Kelly Clarkson. She’s been judged as one
of the best vocalists in the industry. – I would say so, yeah.
– Definitely. – She’s got a powerhouse voice. – Mhm.
– She does. – She’s versatile.
– Mhm. – Sold 25 million albums.
– Wow! – 36 million singles, worldwide. – Geez.
– And she was the first artist in history, I got a crack
team of researchers here, to top each of Billboard’s
Pop, Adult Contemporary, Country, and Dance charts. – Wow.
– Man. – And only two of those actually count. – Which ones? Pop and Dance, what? Right.
– No country, country people– – Country right now is huge.
– Yeah, country’s huge. – Yeah, I’m joking. What do I know? I’m jokin’.
– Hootie went over there. – So, I had to ask her
about her newest album, The Meaning of Life.
– Nice! – So just, straight up, let’s figure out where that came from. Check it out. So, The Meaning of Life
is your eighth album. – Yes.
– And forgive me, I haven’t heard all your albums– – Yes.
– But I heard this one. – I’m so offended.
(both laugh) – I’ve listened–
– I’m leaving. (both laugh) Just kidding, I’m just kidding! – But, this one, I’ve heard
the stuff that has charted off of those albums, of
course I’ve heard those. In this album, it’s a soulfulness to it. – Yes.
– That, but it has sort of pop roots bringing soul into it– – That soulful part.
– And I’m old enough that I’m trying to ask
myself, where would they have put this album in
the stovepiped categories at a record shop? And I don’t think there’s a spot. – No, I mean, I guess it’s pop just because it’s popular. – No, no, there’s too
much soul, excuse me. (Kelly laughs)
No, no no, no, no, no. – No, it is a more soulful
pop, well, it’s funny though– – Because you sing it
and I just have to stop what I’m doing–
– Thank you! – And just feel it. When it’s a Pop song,
you can keep cooking, and you shake to it but
you’re not moved by it. – Yeah, thank you. – When was the last time
I was moved by a pop song? – Yeah.
– That’s why it’s pop. Because everybody likes it. – Yeah, it’s popular, yeah. – It’s popular, right.
– Yeah. – But if you’re moved,
that’s another kinda– – That’s the record we
wanted to make, yeah. – Well, you made it. – You weaving, bobbing,
weaving, I feel like– (both laugh) – I’m just saying, you made it. – No, it is soulful pop
and it’s definitely, there’s definitely a
difference when you listen to this album versus the other albums. I mean, one, you can just, I’m happy. And it creates a whole different, that happiness creates
a whole domino effect of different sounds and
tones, and even the freedom that Atlantic has given me
creates a whole different vibe. Because an artist in their
form to where they’re able to just go, oh, wait, I
can do whatever I want? – It’s like, what? Holy–
– Yeah, it’s scary! Because you’re like,
wait, now it’s all on me. – Now you’re accountable.
– Yeah! – If this stuff doesn’t sell–
– Yeah! – Right, right, right. – But, luckily, I love, I
was telling my husband this even before the album dropped, I was like, I’ve literally been
waiting so long to make this musical footprint that
like, even if it didn’t do as well as other things, I
love that I’m still happy at the end of the day for that. Because I’ve been very blessed. I’ve had 15 great years of success, and even if it were over me, like, I’ve had a phenomenal career
and I’m very thankful. – So, Brian, from sort of
a vocologist’s perspective, what sets her voice apart? – Happiness?
– Happiness, I think. Now that we’ve heard that. I love that, though, that’s beautiful. – And now we know that she was miserable– – Before that!
– For the last 15 years before this album. – But she’s what I’d call a Thoroughbred of vocalists, in that she can do something that’s a very high demand on the voice, the amount of, we call it, connection at the vocal fold level–
– Vocal fold. What is that? – Vocal folds are two flaps of tissue in the larynx, right here. (larynx tapping)
– Oh, don’t! – Oh, wow, I can do that. – No, no, I can’t, I
don’t know what that is! You flick your finger into your throat? – He plucked his throat and made a sound. – [Brian] You need good acoustics, right. (larynx tapping) (larynx tapping) (larynx tapping) – No, I am not doing that
to my neck, I’m sorry! – First of all–
– Let’s get around this. – Let me tell you something.
– I think he’s a robot. – I am plucking myself
so hard that it hurts and I still can’t get
any sound out of it, so. – Yeah, you have to close the
vocal folds and you’ll get it. – I close the vocal folds. – Like you’re getting something, you go. (larynx tapping) (larynx tapping) – Oh!
– Oh, that is! – Oh, it worked, nice job! – Excuse me, I am not
even attempting that. – That’s it, that’s it, nice. – Yeah, but you can’t breathe. – But she’s been able to
sustain that kind of production really, really well over 15 plus years. It’s been 15 years in
stardom, but even longer than that, so. – So, Brain, you performed opera. – [Brian] Mhm. – Hard rock?
– Yes. – Funk?
– When I had hair. – Okay!
– Yes, yes, funk. – Funk?
– Uh-huh. – Not in Indiana.
– No. (all laugh) I’m guessing, that was
in another music palette. – Another life, absolutely. – Okay, jazz, even
Indian classical music– – Indian classical!
– Which I love. I love Indian classical. Of these genres, not only
the ones you perform, but that Kelly Clarkson has
shined in, can you rank them based on the demands on vocal performance? – [Chuck] Ooh. – Well, I think they all
have different demands, especially hard rock,
sort of the gravel people expect in the voice, and heavy metal, that kind of thing. – Ooh, gravel, you mean
like a Janice Joplin– – Yeah, it’s like a
noise, kinda like a snarl. (Chuck snarls)
Exactly, yeah. – Like you’re taking a dump
and drinking Jack Daniels at the same time! ♪ Oh Lord ♪ ♪ Won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ♪ – Where did you get that–
– Difficult to pass. – I can’t get that out of my head. – [Chuck] It’s hard, I’m just saying, it’s a difficult thing to do.
– You say things I then can’t get out of my head
for the next 48 hours. – It’s gotta sound more constipated. – Right, exactly. – Janice, we need more constipation! – There it is. ♪ My friends all have Jaguars ♪ You know what I mean? Yeah, exactly, like, or like, Joe Cocker. – Yeah, Joe Cocker, man. – Yeah, yeah. – But then you get to,
like, for Westerners, Indian classical music
involves different tonality and that’s really
challenging, so figuring out how to do that. Luckily I was not the lead singer, I was the head of a
backing group behind it. – I’m Sorry, I don’t know anything about Indian classical music. Is that the music that goes
on for like a half hour without any change? – It can go on a long
time with just a beat. – Yeah.
– Yeah, okay cool. – And they kinda chant. – And sitar’s in there somewhere, too. – Yeah.
– Okay, cool, cool. – Yeah.
– So, in these genres, then, because they come from such
different cultural places, country, Indian, funk, pop, is it technique or do you
have to actually feel it? Do you need some genetic
link back into that place to draw from, in order
to perform or to excel? – Both. I think there’s a technique to it, there’s a way you use
your voice that you can actually define in a scientific way, what the people are doing. It’s no longer as much of a mastery. But then there’s also
an exposure to a genre that’s absolutely imperative
someone have, or else– – [Neil] It’s a cultural thing. – They sound like a poser. Yeah, you have to grow up
loving it, and it’s yours. – [Neil] And it’s gotta
be under your skin. – Yeah. I have people who come
to me as opera singers, and then they’re like, I
wanna do a little more rock. And I’m like, do you like rock? And they’re like, not really. And so–
– Then get the hell out. – Yeah, they’re gonna sound funny. – Go on down the hallway. So, I asked Kelly about
how she conveys feelings and emotions in her singing,
so let’s check it out. That’s got me thinking, I
can read a poem on a page, a rhyme, and it’ll mean
something, informationally, to me perhaps, but if I hear you sing it there’s a whole other conduit
of communication going on. – Oh, definitely, it’s emotions. – And, are you, you must
be self-aware of that, and you can go in there
and you can manipulate it– – Yeah, I mean, that’s– – You, how do you grok that? – I think it’s, I don’t
even think about it. I think I’m just so, I’ve
always been touched by music even before I knew I could sing. I loved dancing, I loved
music, it was a safe place for me, it was like a, it
was a whole different kind of learning, just with
people’s lives, whether it was rock, rap, pop, like,
country, whatever you’re listening to, the music
is a very good indication of the time, in that timeline
that you’re referring to. Music, if you look at
it, it always follows it because obviously artists
are affected by our nature and nurture, a bit, so yeah, I dunno– – But what’s your goal? You know you can reach people emotionally, but you also would have
the capacity in a song because a song is a story, to
reach people informationally. – Yeah, I mean, you wanna– – So what’s your balance? What’s your balance? – I like to be a bit
poetic but at the same time keep the story simple
enough to where people aren’t focused on the words of the story, it’s more focused on the
feelings of the story. It’s more focused on
how that made me feel, and how that, because I’m
more of an emotional person. – Because I’d just go
out and read a damn book if I want words.
– Yeah. – Too many words.
– Yeah. And it’s, I dunno, I’ve
always been the one to focus more on, like,
I always feel like, okay. I know I talk about Meryl
Streep a lot but my point is– – Not yet, on this show. – I know, but I’m just saying. I do talk about her a lot. But here’s my point, I’ve
never said this before. – And I love me some Meryl Streep. – Oh, but I feel like
she’s one of those people, it could be a silent movie and she would effortlessly,
flawlessly dictate by her emotions, her eyes,
just her, every part of her, you would know exactly what she’s saying without her saying anything
through the entire movie. And I think she would of
been the most fantastic silent actress as well,
because she’s got that art to her whole, like, physical body, her emotional state, like,
her eyes, and her mouth, and her, all of that,
whether it’s Miranda Priestly or whatever character she’s playing– – From The Devil Wears Prada,
for those not in the know. – Or if it’s Out of Africa
or something, but whatever those are, she does so much
and I think that as a singer, too, that’s what I try
to do, like, with songs. I try to like, whatever the words are, I could be not singing words at all, but just melody, and by my intensity or by–
– The modulation of that? – My emotion, yeah, you
could almost tell the story I’m telling without there even been words. – Yeah, so Brian, is there, would you say there’s an evolutionary
propensity to respond to a singing voice as opposed to just a spoken voice, and why? I mean, if you’re just
communicating information, I’ll just utter a sentence. But somehow that doesn’t work as well as if I sing a sentence. – Yeah, I think singing
in the different timbres that you have and ranges
that you’re singing are more impactful with communication. Darwin had a thought that in hominids, like, early progenitors of
man, that the first utterances were probably musical. So I mean, if you think
about most species– – Like, doo-wop, or?
– Yeah, like doo-wop. (Neil laughs) Bunch of cavemen just like– ♪ Do do, do do do ♪ ♪ Do do dah ♪ ♪ We don’t have vocabulary yet ♪ ♪ So it’s just ♪ ♪ Bap a do bop a do bop ♪ – They can’t say you’re out of tune. – That’s when scat was invented. – Yeah, scat. – But most species have
some kind of song for mating and attracting people
and identifying family and territory and all those things. – I’m just seeing an early hominid standing outside of a cave going. ♪ My mind’s telling me yes ♪ ♪ But my body ♪ ♪ My body’s telling me no ♪ Come on out here, girl. ♪ Ah ♪ – Oh, Lord.
– Sorry. Go ahead. – Well.
– I’m sorry. – I had to ask Kelly about the basis for, the thematic basis for her current album. So let’s check it out. The Meaning of Life. – When you say it like that
it’s far more dramatic. (both laugh) – That’s kinda bodacious
audacious to be calling your album–
– It was bold. – It was bold. – You can figure out the meaning of life when you buy my album. (both laugh) That’s it. – That’s a great selling point! – It’s like Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory. The golden ticket. – Wow, okay, so that means
I don’t get to learn it here and now– – Yeah, not just yet,
not until you get it. I’m just sayin’.
– Ooh. So, the meaning of life. Is this something you’ve
known for a while, or just kinda came onto it? – No, I mean, I think we’re
all under construction, and I think the point of me doing it– – I like that, we’re
all under construction. – We are!
– Beautiful. – Yeah, and I think the point of it– – In fact, I think the
people who are fully built, they’re no longer learning anything. – Well, and that’s, first of
all, any person that thinks they’ve got it figured out
completely is a total dork, like. – It means they really
haven’t figured it out because they haven’t figured it out that they haven’t figured it out. – Yeah, what if you’re a philosopher? Yes. But I do think that
Meaning of Life is really just about connection, and making sure they’re positive connections. There’s always people–
– People to people. – Yeah.
– But how about all the negative people who are out there? – You just push them outside your bubble. (both laugh)
– Yeah. And you know what? I have a tattoo for that. A pastor told me–
– Most people have an app for that, you have a tattoo. – I know, I have a tattoo,
because I really needed the daily remember. I’m working in an industry
where people can be not-so-lovely, and so I
have a tattoo and my pastor told me this when I was
a kid, and I loved him. He was like, one of those
people that you wanted, you’re like, what do
you have in your life, because I wanna be like you. He just had a light about
him, and I just thought he was special, and he said
one time that there’s gonna be people in your life
and it’s easy to love the lovely people, but it’s not easy to love the unlovely. And I thought that was really
poignant, and I thought, you have to love the
people that are unlovely even more, because they
weren’t loved enough, so. – Mm, they’re missing something in life. – Yes, so, I dunno. I think it’s about just trying to make those positive connections and
really, I think it’s simple. I think we complicate it as humans, because sometimes we try to figure out and sometimes you can’t. – But you’re–
– Well, sometimes you can. I can’t. – Your mother was a schoolteacher. – She was. – So, here you are making it
part of your life’s mission to figure things out, and a schoolteacher, they’re trying to get their
kids to figure stuff out. – Yeah, the teachers question. – So, how much of that touched you? – I love, I mean, she always
taught me to question, and I think that’s the best part of, whether you’re talking
about faith, politics, life, any, love, it’s
always to question it. Like, I love that. I love to question whatever’s happening in the moment, one to make sure it’s real, and two, just because I don’t think, when you stop questioning,
you stop asking, you stop caring, right? I dunno. – I can’t say it better than that. – I bet you can! I bet you can effortlessly! – Coming up on the science
of voice and my interview with Kelly Clarkson,
when StarTalk returns. Welcome back to StarTalk. I’m with my co-host, Chuck Nice. – That’s right.
– And our expert guest in this episode, Brian
Gill, professor of voice at Indiana University.
– Hello. – Bloomington.
– Yeah. – Oh, yeah. We’re talking about the
science of the singing voice, featuring my interview
with Kelly Clarkson. – Yeah.
– And I just had something to follow up. We talked about your
capacity to bring an emotion or an authenticity to
what it is you’re saying, and I remembered, I liked
James Taylor, but not enough to buy all his albums. I waited ’till he had his Greatest Hits and I bought the Greatest Hits album. – Mm, okay.
– And on there– – Why, were you having trouble sleeping? (Neil laughs) – Stop it! My sister can’t get enough of him, so, goes to all his concerts and everything. And so I’m listening to
the album and I’m a fan of the blues, and in there he has– – A blues song?
– The Steamroller Blues. – James Taylor?
– He has a blues song. And then I said, okay, he’s trying, but he went to a prep
school in Massachusets in high school, and goes
to Martha’s Vineyard, and how many blues singers
ever came outta Massachusets? And so I couldn’t– ♪ Woke up this morning ♪ ♪ But the Volvo wouldn’t start ♪ ♪ Dun duh nuh nuh nuh ♪ – He does drop the f-bomb,
though, in that one. – He does! – So I think that does– – Is that what that would– – Yeah, it’s improv with him. – It just wasn’t working for me. He was not convincing as just, it wasn’t working. – It wasn’t working for him
either, I’m telling you. I’m letting you know. But I think the blues as a
genre is probably the one that you would have to feel the most, in order to–
– I’m thinking, personally. I tweeted recently the list of states that blues singers
don’t tend to come from. (all laugh) – Oh, I love that! Utah on top of the list?
– Utah! – Oh my God.
– New Hampshire. – Yes, that’s amazing! How did I miss that tweet? That’s amazing! – How did you miss that? – How did I miss that tweet? – I’m just saying.
– That is phenomenal. – Yeah, you got be from, like,
from Alabama, Mississippi. You gotta be po’ in Chicago. – You gotta be po’ in Chicago. That’s it, right, Louisiana, right. – At some price.
– You need something right. Exactly. There’s got to be some poor black people near you somewhere, that’s what it is! – Or you don’t have the blues. – Oh, you’re from Colorado, no? – There’s no Colorado
blues, you know what I mean? What do they sing about? – Rocky Mountain high. – Yeah, exactly. ♪ My skis broke ♪ ♪ Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh ♪ – Yeah, exactly, you know what I mean? No hot chocolate at the lodge? Like, really? – Only three marshmallows?
– Okay, yeah. Dude, that’s brilliant. – I’m just saying, you’ve
gotta find that tweet. It’s about six states. – Yeah, that is brilliant. And the Utah blues, I’m
going home to write that. I’m going to write that song
tonight, I guarantee you. The Utah blues. I can’t wait. – So, let’s get back to my
interview with Kelly Clarkson and see where that takes us next. Check it out. Do you think of your voice
as an instrument that needs cultivating and care and– – Yes.
– Okay. – Yeah, no, I have to, I mean,
– The reason why I asked is because we were in the
green room before you performed in the YouTube space, and
I love to call it space. – Yeah, you would.
– YouTube space, yes. If you got space in your
name, I’m good with it! But before you were just
yucking it up with everybody in the green room, and then
you just walk out there and then out comes this, how do you, how– – Well, I warmed up earlier this morning, so I worked before, I’ve been
working since this morning. So, I definitely aim to warm up every day. It’s just like a speaker,
like a public speaker, like, your voice is, or a runner. Your voice is a muscle,
it’s these little things that you have to keep trained. I know some singers don’t have to. I think I heard Jennifer, in an interview, Jennifer Hudson, she said
she didn’t, I’m sorry. – All you first name people. – I’m sorry! – I’m gonna start
namedropping first names. – No, no, no!
– Okay. – I say it because–
– Me and Steven. Steven Hawking, okay, yeah. – Okay.
– Alright, my turn. My turn, okay.
– My turn. Yeah, you’re in a
different pool of people. – I was meeting Ike the other day. Like, Isaac Newton, yes. Jennifer Hudson.
– No, I’m saying she’s a huge, big vocalist. – Another American Idol person. – As well, yes. And she’s a big vocalist and she doesn’t. She said in interviews,
and I found it shocking. She says, “I don’t warm up
at all, it just happens.” So, I’m not like that. I have to warm up a bit. I can do it, it’s just
not gonna sound as good. – Okay, not to call you out,
but you are 15 years older than you were when you won American Idol. – Yes. – So, can you, is the
warm-up the same now? – Oh, it’s easier.
– Easier! – Yeah, I think.
– Why? – It’s funny, I saw Tony Bennett at this– – Oh, good Tony Bennet, thank
you, no, no, that’s fine. Have both names. Yeah, I saw Tony. – No, I’m saying I–
– We’re tight. – I was at this event
and this was years ago, and he was saying, and
he was 80-something, and I was like, I mean,
he killed all of us. He was amazing. And I’m a Tony Bennett
fan, but I didn’t know. I thought maybe the older
we get, I don’t know, sometimes people sound different. He sounds even better,
like a fine glass of wine. It’s so beautiful. And I will say if you’re
doing things correctly and you’re taking care of yourself and you’re not ruining your chords, you’re not ruining your
chords, not getting, you’re not doing things you’re
not supposed to be doing. – Your vocal chords or
your musical chords? – Your vocal chords. – Is that a weird question?
– I mean if you’re– I dunno.
– No, I mean my vocal chords, like, you’re not, you hear of people having
surgery and all that stuff. If you’re taking care of yourself I think you get better with age. Your voice sounds more lived
in and it sounds, like, I can go lower, I can go higher. – I like that phrased, lived in. – Yeah. – Like a good pair of boots. Just to be clear, in the green room before she went out, I
understated what she was doing in the green room. She had friends, her husband, her agent, her booking, everybody, and
she’s just yucking it up with everybody while she’s
eating chicken and waffles. – Wow. – Just scarfing down chicken and waffles. – I’m thinking–
– That’s a good warmup. – Is she about, what’s
about to happen after this? I had no idea. She went out there–
– And ripped it apart. – And ripped us, just tore a new one, and oh, my. So tell me about the
anatomy of the vocal chords. – So, well, there are two– – And while you’re at it,
I’d like to distinguish them, if you can, from that of other
primates or anything else that would make sounds
like birds or whales. – One of the main things in human beings, the larynx, which is the
voice box, right here, has descended, and so it
creates a bent resonator and that’s like a space
here and then a space going this way. They’re roughly about the same size. – [Neil] So upwards, and then forwards. – Yeah, all the other
species have a larynx that’s way up there, and so they
only use it for sounds and they don’t use their tongue very much for articulation when
they’re making sounds. So, that’s unique about human beings. – So, the other sounds–
– Here it comes. – Like the Nutty Professor, he was like. (Chuck babbles) So, anyway. – So, that’s one of the
unique features, and then you’ve got, with voice
you’ve got this power source which is the air that
comes from your lungs, you’ve got the tissue
here, the vocal folds that vibrate, that create
sounds, and then that sound is filtered through the space above it. So that’s the basics of the
way the instrument works. – Does that serve any purpose for us socially or otherwise that
we would be so different? – Yeah, yeah, and the way
we use our voice, too, serves a purpose. There was a study not
too long ago where people could judge trustworthiness and dominance in I think it was 500 milliseconds
of listening to someone. – Really?
– Yes. – Oh, so–
– Right away. – Deep information
about social interaction is communicated just by
the tonality of your voice. – [Brian] Just 500 milliseconds. – Wow.
– And so there’s certain habits that people have,
that are often rated higher, or the way a woman modulates
the voice by choosing different pitches and things like that. That’s trustworthy. A person who doesn’t do that, and then the same thing with male– – [Neil] If they’re valley girl? – And they speak a bit higher.
– Like this? – And they say, now listen, we have to, that’s also rated as trustworthy, too. – Honey?
– Honey, please? – Sweetie? – Okay, so it’s not just
words, so for example the writer has that challenge,
because if you’re just putting words on a page
it’s harder to then communicate the tonality
of how that’s actually being expressed. So the good writers somehow get
that in the sentence, right. Either by the pre-descriptor,
she responded anxiously or she, you then put that in. But you don’t need any of that
if you’re just speaking it. – Right, because you can
hear that, so you can hear all these things. – Right.
– Okay. – And if you understand
the emotions, like, the trigger for voice goes
through the limbic system which is part of where
our emotion comes from, hypothalamus–
– The trigger for voice. – The trigger, like the– – Oh, the trigger for voice. – Nerves firing for the voice. – So, the trigger for the interaction of voice with another person. – Yes, it runs through the limbic system, and so emotion then can
be encoded on the voice because it’s running through that. – Whoa! – Which is why when you
were talking to someone and you say, I’m terribly sorry, but I need you to move this along, and they say, calm down, and you’re like, I am not upset! – You a lyin’ mofo.
– Right, exactly. – It’s hard to hide. – It’s hard to hide!
– Because it’s there. Which is what makes a performer so unique because they’re actually taking a signal, you know what happens to your voice if you’re really upset. You can’t use your voice, I mean, you can’t do anything. So a performer’s taking that
signal and they’re getting just enough of the emotional information, encoding it in the voice so that you– – [Neil] On purpose in the moment. – So that you can understand it, yeah, on purpose, in the moment, but they’re not going too far, so there’s this whole thing nowadays where people are
trying to push people to feel! And then that person gets
in there and they’re like, ugh, and they can’t
sing, and that’s too far. So, we have to figure out, it’s much more complex than that. You can’t be void of emotions but you also can’t be overwhelmed by it. – So, tell me, can you
reflect on her comments about age and what that
does with your voice. – [Brian] Yeah, so first– – Because all the sopranos, they’re done, there’s no 80 year old sopranos. – It’s a rare thing. Mirella Freni, though. – I like that HBO series, I’m sorry. Shoutout to Mirella Freni, though. She’s one of the best in the opera world and she’s 80 something now
and still sounds beautiful. – At 80?
– At 80 something, yeah. – So, we send them out to pasture. So, what’s going on there? – Yeah, so what happens,
there’s a breakdown in the voice, and one of
the things that jumped out in that clip was, I believe
Kelly’s in her 30s, I think? So–
– She is, yes. – Yeah, so, that’s not aging voice. That’s, like, the prime of
the life for your voice. So you get in there,
the musculature develops in your 30s into your
40s, and then it starts right around in the 50s, mid-50s, it starts going downhill in
that there’s muscle atrophy, there’s a thinning of the
vocal folds themselves, and there’s also calcification, ossification and calcification, in the vocal, in the voice box, yeah. – Hardening.
– Hardening. – Which gives you less flexibility and so there’s a downgrading of technique. – It would make you less
versatile but it wouldn’t still mean you can’t but
some soulful elements– – Definitely not.
– In your song. – Yeah, and I think what she was saying– – Like the Tony Bennett example. – Yeah, he’s one of my favorites. – He’s one of my favorites. And actually, functionally
he lasted far longer than other singers of his era, so– – Because the others died. – Yeah, exactly! – Sammy’s dead, they’re all gone. – They’re all gone! – That’s one way to
outlast them, outlive them! – Martin’s dead.
– Outlive them. – That is perfect, that is perfect. – Periculo’s dead. – Bing Crosby, all of them! They’re all dead!
– All dead! – Nice. – But if you combine the
understand a person gains all through life, that even
the sort of lack of ability they may have, or flexibility
that they may have is made up for in their
understanding of emotion, and they’re more deeply
grounded in life, so that shows. – [Chuck] Hm, interesting! – So, today, as I came to learn, your singing voice, like
most things in society, can be enhanced by technology. And I asked her, I asked
Kelly, about Auto-Tune. – Uh-oh.
– Hmm. – To find out how that plays. Let’s check it out. Am I allowed to ask you
in front of cameras? – Yes.
– Do you use Auto-Tune? – On records?
– Yeah. – Yes, we don’t do it
live but we definitely have used it on records. – Because Auto-Tune, you
can now do it live, yeah. What you sing here comes
out on the right note– – You can do it live. There are people who do
concerts that have their vocals, yeah, because I know who they are, ’cause, I know the people that work for them. – It’s just people in the
closet about their Auto-Tune. – Yeah, there are people
that Auto-Tune live. I don’t do that live. I don’t wanna take away
from that emotional moment. But when it’s on record I don’t mind. If I love a performance and I’m like, oh, I don’t know if I’m gonna nail that again, or if I even try it again
and I don’t nail it, like, just everything was perfect but one thing, I don’t want that one thing to– – To ruin the whole recording. – To ruin the whole vibe, so I don’t mind using it sparingly, but we
definitely don’t use it a ton. – Because it’s a major addition to the musician’s arsenal,
the singer’s arsenal. – Yeah, and there are a lot
of cool things you can do. I mean, I know a lotta
guys in rap use them because it sounds cool, like– – Well, that’s when you, okay. – Yeah, they like, over– – We did a whole program for
NOVA, back when I was host of Nova spinoff called NOVA ScienceNOW. I interviewed the guy
who invented Auto-Tune, and he was telling me
about what happens if you– – Manipulate it?
– Yeah, if you change it over the edge and then it
makes that funny distortion– – That robot kinda–
– Right, and– – Which can be cool sometimes. Because, on this, we did it
on Medicine on this album. – He made it clear that
that was not the intent. The intent is to fix your note to be the proper note,
not to dangle off the side of the waterfall where all these extra, weird noises come from. – Yes, and it’s also cool, like, how we, okay, there’s a song called Medicine, that’s where we use it. Like, on Medicine there’s
this part that goes, ♪ Never get me high ♪ ♪ Never get me low ♪ and I sing it, but then
there’s this also part, they literally took my
vocal and almost, like, changed it, manipulated
it like an octave lower to where it has this like ♪ Never bring me up ♪ and it’s like this, it sounds like a man. My mom was like, “Who’s
the man on your record?” I was like, “That’s my voice,
I just manipulated it.” So, there’s really cool
things you can do with it. I think at the end of the
day if you’re not capable of doing it live, then I don’t think you maybe should be doing it. That’s my personal
thing, but, if it’s like, gonna ruin a moment that’s
really beautiful and like, you don’t wanna change that moment, that doesn’t bother me. – So Brian, would you
say Auto-Tune in music is analogous to doping in athletics? Chuck hosts a sports spinoff of StarTalk called Playing With Science and all manner of these topics come up, but now we have an analog in a whole other field. You are fixing your performance. – Yeah, well–
– So people will applaud, rather than–
– Voice doping. – Voice doping, yes.
– That’s cool. – Doping brings, I mean, doping in sports brings you to the ability
to do it, though, live. Whereas Auto-Tune doesn’t. Auto-Tune puts it on some
kind of digital format and so I think what Kelly
said is right on the money. I think if you can’t do
it live, what’s the point? Because you’re trying to commune. Most people perform because they’re trying to commune with people. – Yeah, but if you
can’t perform any longer and Auto-Tune helps you hit that note, then that’s, to me,
sounds just like doping. – It does. – Okay.
(all laugh) Well, there you have
it, there you have it! There you go! I was ready for a fight,
but nope, that’s it! There it is! – I agree with you, Dr. Tyson. – Another quick one. Do you think that computers
will one day, AI for example, will be able to not only
compose an emotional music but then perform it in a
way that we might not even need humans, because it’ll
know how to maximize access to your emotional purse strings? Not purse strings–
Heart strings. – Heart Strings, thank you. – I think I’m gonna go
on record saying no, never gonna happen. I mean, I don’t want it to happen. – He doesn’t want it to happen. – There’s always–
– He knows he don’t want it. – By the way, Brian, they’ll never be able to write a funny joke either. – Exactly, exactly, right? – Two experts.
– Yeah. – We gotta take a quick break. When StarTalk returns,
more of my interview with singing sensation Kelly Clarkson. – We’re back on StarTalk! Cohost Chuck Nice, guest Brian Gill. – Yes.
– Vocologist, ooh. Ooh, vocologist.
– So fancy. – So, we’re featuring my interview with singer-songwriter voice
sensation Kelly Clarkson. And just before we went to
break we were talking about whether Auto-Tune, which puts you on note, contrary to how so many
people think of Auto-Tune, as doing a funny thing, puts you on– (Chuck sings) You become a warbler or something. – Yeah, exactly. – It puts you on note. ♪ Do you believe ♪ – Thank you, Cher.
– Sounds good. – And you said it had meaningful analogies to doping in sports, but
then during the break you mentioned that
there are actual singers who are actually taking actual steroids in support of their voice. – Yes, yeah, so if you,
for some that are legit and they have a big gig
that they’re gonna do, and if you’re gonna
earn 50 thousand dollars you’re gonna do it.
– Right. – And if you take steroids, it can reduce the swelling and enable you
to get through a performance. But, they’re abused
often, so folks, behind, they’ll be backstage in a Broadway show and they’ll be looking, who has steroids, who has steroids, I’m looking for pills. – I need the juice man! – Exactly, and it’s usually used– – They’re actually
pumping iron too, right? – Exactly, oh, they’re buff. These are buff people, so. – Wow. – That’s why singers are
getting buff lately, oh my! – Exactly right, six pack.
– Oh, my. – So, let’s get back to my interview with Kelly Clarkson. Did you know she’s also an author? – No, I didn’t!
– Oh, wow! – She’s written children’s books. – That doesn’t count. (all laugh) – Let me tell you why it counts. Let me tell you why it counts. – [Chuck] Go ahead. – There will always be
children to buy your book. Whereas, there’s only one pool of adults at any given time. – This is so true, but a
brilliant marketing scheme does not legitimacy make. (all laugh) – Anyhow I found out
that she wrote a lullaby to go with each one of
her books, so I had to get inside that and find
out what was going on. – That’s cool.
– Let’s check it out. I also understand you
wrote a lullaby for each of your two books? – I wrote a lullaby for the first one. – I love lullabies, they’re so beautiful. – Yeah, I do too. I was gonna write a lullaby for each one, and we might still do
that, but the Christmas one which was the second one
in the River Rose series, I actually did a full-on
Christmas song for, because we thought it would be cool, because it was, there’s not a lot of original Christmas songs out there. We always re, even on my
Christmas album there’s a few. ♪ I’m dreaming of a white ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah. – But I love that one, but it’s nice to do something original
every once in a while. So, we did a full-on Christmas
song for the second book but there’s a lullaby for the first one. It’s the song I sang to
her when she was a baby. – So the series, the
book series begin with, what words? I mean– – River Rose and the Magical
Lullaby is the first one. – Okay, so River Rose and the. – River Rose and the Magical
Lullaby and then it’s River Rose and the Magical
Christmas is the second one. – Gotcha, okay. And we’ll see more presumably. – Yeah, there’s a whole
series that I’ve written. We actually didn’t plan
on the Christmas one. It just came up. And my editor was like, we can do that in a year, right? And he was like, uh-huh. ‘Cause like, I really
wanted it to come out. It’s a fun age for River Rose. The real River Rose, for Christmas, so I thought it would be cool. She loves it, so it’s kid-approved, which, it’s hard to get kid-approved. – They stamp it and it’s good. So, lullabies, I think it’s
scientifically demonstrated to be soothing to babies. I mean, we knew that
empirically but I think you can study brain patterns and what parts of it it hits, and it calms anxieties– – And it’s a speaking voice, like, a smooth, rather than a, like, your voice compared to my speaking voice. Yours would be more soothing. – So, you can sing and I
can speak and we can, like, go on the road. – Yes, we have a duo, I’m ready! – I say, the universe. – And I go, ♪ The universe ♪ (both laugh) ♪ Yeah ♪ – That was actually good. I like it, I like it. – So, Brian, is there a
definition of a lullaby. – Uh-huh!
– A functional definition? – I mean, from what I understand– – [Neil] Other than babies dig it. – Babies dig it. The basic idea is it’s
a construct of a song that’s designed to be
super simple, because with their cognitive functioning, children can’t process something that’s too difficult, so it
has really consonant intervals. – [Neil] Consonant. – Not dissonant. – [Neil] Oh, not dissonant. It’s the opposite of dissonant, okay. – Yeah. ♪ Dum dum dum ♪ ♪ Dum dum dum ♪ – Simple.
– Mellow. – Yep, and–
– Nursery rhyme like. – Repetitive, exactly.
– Melody. – And repetitive is key, for
something that’s repetitive, so that it’s– – So, all of music today, basically. – I fall asleep often.
– Yes, exactly. – It’s like, you know.
♪ Oontz oontz oontz ♪ – When you listen to the
radio, it’s like, hey, you’re an idiot, you’ll like this. – Is that what that is?
– I’m sorry. – That’s the preamble to every song. The unspoken preamble. – The unspoken preamble. Hey, you’re an idiot, you might like this. – The dummies are gonna love it. – Can I tell you my favorite lullaby? – Ooh.
– It’s Feed the Birds. – Feed the Birds?
– From Mary Poppins. – I don’t know it.
– Yes you do? – Do I know it?
– Oh my gosh. – And I love just the
words, and the, she sings it to lull the children to sleep. And she sings about the bird woman at St. Paul’s Cathedral. – Is this gonna be scary or whatever? ♪ Feed the birds ♪ ♪ Tuppence a bag ♪ ♪ Tuppence, tuppence ♪ ♪ Tuppence a bag ♪ (Brian snoring) (Neil and Chuck laughing) – Oh, it worked, Neil! – It worked quick, it worked!
– What just happened? – And so there’s a bird
lady who’s homeless, who you buy bags of crumbs
from her to then feed the hungry birds, on
the steps of St. Paul. And there’s a line where she says, ♪ The saints and apostles look down ♪ ♪ As she sells her wares ♪ ♪ Although you can’t see it ♪ ♪ You know they’re smiling ♪ ♪ Each time someone shows that he cares ♪ – Oh!
– Oh, that’s sweet! – It’s a really beautiful song. – Man, comforting.
– That’s gorgeous. – It’s beautiful, it’s socially conscious, and these are not infants, they’re tweens, the kids are tweens, and
so that’s my favorite. You got a lullaby? – My favorite lullaby? Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye. (Brian and Neil laugh) ♪ I’ve been really trying baby ♪ – [Brian] Yeah, yeah! ♪ Pwip, pwip, pwip ♪ – Brian? – To sleep or get in the bed? Just trying to figure that. There’s difference. – It’s not to go to
sleep, it’s to sleep with. – Yeah. – Two different usages of the things. – Two different things, right? – My wife, Kim, the most
beautiful soprano voice you’ve ever heard, and
she sings to my boys every night, we both do, but she’ll sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow
to one, by request, she takes requests, and the other one she sings The Easter Bunny
Is Coming To Town Today. ♪ The Easter Bunny is
coming to town today ♪ And he just sits there. – And he loves it.
– Yeah! (laughs) – Wait, how old are they? – Seven and nine.
– Seven and nine. Wait, wait, so you married another singer. – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes. – Because of the thing? – We were performing together. I heard her voice, she was
rehearsing and I heard this voice and I was like, man! And later I met her. I didn’t know her voice and I walked up, and I was like, whoa, man! And then I put the two and
two together and it was– – So, it was a mating call.
– It was! (Chuck laughs) It was! Come to me! – Whoa, that’s awesome! – It’s like the penguins in the movie! Only it’s a sound for
just one other person in the whole other world. – Everything else was silenced. – That’s tremendous. – And the sun rose. – No, that’s awesome, man. That was cool.
– Congratulations. – So, in this last clip with Kelly, I think we bonded over the poetic beauty of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of August 2017. Let’s check it out. So, you’re from Tennessee? – I’m from Texas, but
I’ve been in Tennessee for over a decade. – For over a decade. So you’re a resident of Tennessee. – I’m a resident of Tennessee, yeah. – What part of Texas? – Fort Worth, Burleson area. – Fort Worth?
– Fort Worth! – Fort Worth, I love you. – Yes!
– That was a bumper sticker, I remember, Fort Worth, I love you. – Oh my gosh, because why wouldn’t you? (both laugh) – I love Texas. – I met my wife in Texas.
– Yes! – So, we have roots in there. – That’s why she’s fantastic, okay. – So, Tennessee, you’re
a Tennessee resident. – Yep.
– Okay. – Now, I arranged to have
a total solar eclipse go completely through your state– – Actually, Sumner
County, where our farm is, is exactly, like, one of the best places. – So–
– We got to see it. – Maybe my invitation
was still in the mail. – Lost in the mail. – Well, I’ll go back home and check. – You could of come! – Maybe it was there! – We could had a cookout– – I dunno. – We were on our land, just hanging out. – Maybe it’s still in there. – I must not have sent you the address, the right one. – Did you have any, like, astro-person on your ranch for this? – No, we– – You had no scientists on the ranch? – No, I love that I appear
that I have scientist friends to you, that I’m that cool. – Everybody needs a
scientist in arm’s reach. – I know. Well, we do have Chris Dye on our team. He’s a a genius. We call him MacGyver on tour. But he wasn’t in Tennessee
yet, at that time. We were floored, though, it
was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. – Followed my a moon shadow. – That was so cool.
– Steeped in darkness. – Steeped in darkness, write
that book right now, sir. Look at you. – Ooh, steeped in darkness. – That is nice. – No, I’m glad you experienced it. It’s one of the great
spectacles of nature. – Yes, it was amazing because
once it happened, like, literally the woods, like,
we have a lot of forest and woods on our land, it came alive. Like, all of a sudden,
the locusts, the crickets, everything was just like
booming, the sounds! – You heard all the twilight creatures. – Yes, and everyone was
so quiet because we were in awe of what was happening, and then, all of a sudden, we were like, oh my gosh. I mean, deer and things
were just coming alive, and then, it was probably very confusing because then it stopped,
and then the sun came back. – Animals saying, what the hell? – Yeah, they’re like, what’s happening? I’m getting punked. – Okay, so the next time
there’s a total solar eclipse over your farm, you’re gonna call me up. – I will call you up. – I’m gonna call you, and
you aren’t gonna come, but I’m gonna call you. You think I won’t. Actually, the next time,
to see it, I think, is it, where’s the next one they
said that was coming, was it in ’24, or? – Well, there’s an eclipse
every couple of years, so they’re not as rare as the press would have you believe. – No, no, no, agreed. – Right, right, so,
nowadays, we have airplanes, so there’s one, like, in
South America next year or the year after, year 2019 I think. So you’re never really that far away from the next one. And lately, by the way, two thirds of– – But they’re all different. – Two-thirds of Earth’s surface is ocean, so there are entrepreneurial
sort of ocean people who say, we’ll sail our
boat into the eclipse path and then you have an ocean cruise the rest of the time you’re there. – What?
– Yeah. – That’s pretty sexy. – Yeah, it totally works, completely. – Yeah, nice bottle of wine.
– Totally. – Yes.
– So– – Play Total Eclipse of the Heart. (both laugh) ♪ Nothing I can do ♪ You seen that video? It’s amazing. – So I tweeted, during the eclipse, all the songs I knew that referenced a total solar eclipse,
so you should look it up. There’s some songs in there.
– I’m not that fun. No, no, you can make the eclipse album. – Yes!
– We’ll totally. – Oh my God, that’s great.
– We’ll collaborate. – And listen. – You hear that, Atlantic Records? That’s your next. – The duet between us. You could be, like,
you’re the voice, though. You’re the sexy voice in Boyz 2 Men. And I’ll be the singer. You do that, “Hey baby.” You just come in and just
start talking dirty science. Talk nerdy to me. – I say, Kelly, look west. – Look west. – Here comes the moon shadow. ♪ Moon ♪ – One thousand, eight
hundred miles an hour. ♪ Yeah ♪ (both laugh) And I’ll just come in with, ♪ Whoa whoa whoa whoa ♪ – It is a cone through space of darkness. – Ooh, darkness, darkness, darkness. – That is awesome.
– Oh yeah. – She is every bit as fun
as that conversation sounded like it was.
– She sounds like it. – And she also sounded
pretty authentic, to me, in every way. I was totally, like, now
people can just be like this, where you kinda like, you were friends your whole life, yeah? And I used to take that
personally, like, wow, we really bonded. But I think they’re just
like that, and that anyone in a conversation might feel
the same way about them. So–
– She just has that type of spirit, you think. – [Neil] Spirit, that’s a good word. – Grounded, down to Earth, that sounds– – [Neil] Yeah, yeah, anchored. – A solid person.
– Right, right. Right, right. – I’m more of a fan after
hearing your interview with her, I have to say. – Me too. – And by more of a fan,
I mean I am now a fan. (Neil and Brian laugh) – Love so soft.
– That wasn’t your thing. – I’m just, yeah. – [Neil] It wasn’t your thing. – No, I’ve always liked
Kelly Clarkson, always. – So, this eclipse song that
we were sorta sketching. Do you have a favorite universe song? – It’s really not a universe, it’s more of the closest celestial
body in the solar system, then it is a universe song, but. ♪ Fly me to the moon ♪ ♪ And let me play amongst the stars ♪ – Okay, so now. People think of that song
being about the moon, but the moon is, like, the
closest thing it sings about. – [Chuck] That’s right. – It also sings about Jupiter and Mars. ♪ On Jupiter ♪ ♪ Let me see what spring is like ♪ ♪ On Jupiter and Mars ♪ ♪ In other words ♪ ♪ Please be true ♪ ♪ In other words ♪ ♪ I love you ♪ – Yeah!
– Yeah! – Alright! – Ladies and gentlemen,
that’s been StarTalk! – Take it on the road! – We’re the three tenors,
no, the three whatever. – The three amigos! (all laugh) – Brian, thanks for coming in for this! – My pleasure. – We’ll have to find you again. – Please, bring me back. – We will totally bring you back. – Alright! – This was a fun time, yeah! – Because we get singers, what are we gonna do with
this singer this time? But if we got a vocologist
he can come at it from every angle. – [Chuck] Bring it on, bring it on. – Absolutely, bring it on. – You got it. – I’mma start using that. “So what do you do?” I’m a vocologist. (all laugh) – Here’s my card. – Yeah, you can’t say I’m not. You don’t even know what it is. How the hell you gonna tell me I’m not a vocologist,
if you don’t even know what the hell it is, ‘kay? (Neil and Chuck laugh) – Chuck, always good having you. – Always a pleasure. – I’ve been your host,
Neil deGrasse Tyson, your personal astrophysicist. I wanna thank Brian, Chuck,
and of course, Kelly, for making this show happen. You’ve been listening, and possibly even watching, StarTalk. And as always, I bid
you to keep looking up. (smooth music)

79 Replies to “Singing Science with Kelly Clarkson | StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson”

  1. It's an interesting thought about auto-tune and whether you are using a technique for artistic purposes or cheating. Watched 'Tim's Vermeer' recently. .fascinating. I think if you create Art that makes people feel and think.. it's never cheating.

  2. Maybe I misunderstood the question, but when Neil asked if computers will ever have a method of putting in emotion in music through vocals, aren't programs like vocaloid just that?

  3. Did anyone notice when Kelly Clarkson said she had a tattoo Neil grabbed her hand. Honestly that is sexual harassment. Did she invite him to touch her! THROW NEIL IN JAIL!!! MAKE HIM LOSE HIS JOB!!! WOMEN are not allowed to be touched when telling a man she has a tattoo!!!

  4. Is this "science in art/art in science" going to actually be a thing from now and going on? Because i feel like it is well deserved man.

    I must confess I'm not a scientist but actually a student from opera singing and classical guitar but teachers nearby are broken… I've been learning so much from YouTube since one year ago that I'm actually thinking in just throw away everyone in here.

  5. As long as it is NOT misused, if 92% of a song is the person singing, it's logical and fair to PROPERLY use auto-tune on the 8%.
    In my opinion obviously.
    But if misused the way it is in "rap" music today, I feel it is no longer music.
    And I also do not consider mumbling random groupings of random words as rap. Hence the above quotations.
    No hate, simply opinion.

  6. For "cosmic" related songs it's hard to be Cat Stevens' Moonshadow . I'm shocked that didn't come up when discussing the eclipse. :/

  7. "Rock-a-bye, Baby, perhaps one of the most terrifying lullabies in exitence; with the horrible image of babies falling out of trees to the ground below, I'm glad that babies in general don't understand the words.

  8. Well this is a wasted episode who the f*** is Kelly Clarkson what the f*** she know about anything intelligent or analytical

  9. – I didn't listen to all your records.
    – And I didn't even know all your books.
    that's what twiterologics call "even steven".

  10. The meaning of life is the most simple thing that so many miss. What's the meaning of life? To LIVE It. Because there is no way that you will survive it as so many try to do.

  11. Only one white guy really ever did the blues justice. Stevie Ray Vaughan. That's it. And he still wasn't close to Muddy Waters or BB King.

  12. Yeah. Can't fuckin do it. Clarkston has a beautiful voice, but those that program her aren't what I'm looking for…

    What works for astrology does not make excellent music…

  13. Neil, Kelly klarkson can sing and all… and she may be vocally fatigued these days, but she’s still got chops. But come on. Interview rob halford. You’ll learn a lot more from him. He’s pushing 70 and can sing fukn circles around this chick.

  14. Hey Neil can you do a programme on Oumuamua and Tabby's star please? Also, why not try something like Carl Sagan's book "Contact", with your considerable knowledge of Science??

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