She who dances with the harp. Maria Palatine’s introductory line on her website sums up a lot about the Belgium-based artist. A harpist, a singer, a dancer, Palatine celebrates nature and life with her music. For her performance at TEDxDelftWomen, Palatine has chosen three songs that symbolise her source of authenticity: nature. “The last song, a Spanish song, is about the wind. It is a symbol of the power inside you,” she said.
Growing up Palatine had, what she calls, an “uncommon upbringing”. She spent the first six years of her life in a little house in the forest. “Aside from my parents, I felt more connected to nature than to human. Even today, nature is an existential experience for me.”
Music is also Palatine’s way of taking a political stand. In 2013 she released a clip called Our hearts are with you about the political prisoners in Burma/Myanmar. “Aung San Suu Kyi has been a big role model in my life and I’ve been following events there very closely,” she said. At the moment she is collaborating with an African dancer on a project that takes a stand on the issue of ‘water’. “It also explores water as symbolic for the different states of human existence. Ice as the coldness, flowing water as tenderness and communication…”
Authenticity for her lies in living as true to oneself as possible. “It’s not easy to be yourself because there is such pressure and competition. But it’s important to be simple and connected and in turn encourage others communicating with you to be the same.”
Palatine has been watching a number of TEDx talks since she was invited to the platform. “It’s really inspiring and I am particularly excited about the theme for this event. Authenticity. I am looking forward to all the talks.”