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Beatboxer Tom Thum and his incredible voice

Like many other people out there, I first encountered Tom Thum when I saw his incredibly popular TEDx talk on YouTube (+75m views).
I was in talks with YouTube Australia about creators to interview for a documentary series I was working on when Tom’s name came up.
It wasn’t really what I was looking for in this particular project, but of course, I jumped at the chance. Tom Thum, what are you kidding?!



As luck would have it he’d just finished building his purpose-built studio and so that formed part of the narrative.
I was one of the first outsiders to step into his new “shed” built at the back of his acreage (or thereabouts).
Tom was really good to work with — he was a savvy operator, knew what I needed, and was very happy to oblige — and he even used his own gear to get me a clean feed of the day’s creations that I was able to drop onto my timeline.
I was shooting with ABC gear that I was not entirely familiar with (Canon 6D and recording audio separately on a Zoom H6) and Tom unlocked some of the functions that the  Zoom — which he also uses as a mixer — was capable of performing.
One of my regrets is not having the foresight to have earlier asked him to prepare for recreating the classic ABC News tune. I asked him on the day but, understandably, he said he’d rather do it properly than half-arsed.
I shot this in about three hours at Tom’s house near Ipswich, Queensland, as part of the Short Docs series of YouTube videos I did with my former colleague Marcus Thompson for ABC News.
I also shot another video with composer/conductor Gordon Hamilton who created some music with Tom.




2 thoughts on “Beatboxer Tom Thum and his incredible voice”

  1. Thanks, Kamo for sharing this with us.

    I think we talked about Tom Thum before (I know him from… his TED Talk of course – it’s actually featured in one of the textbooks I use for teaching once in a while), I can’t believe how talented he is.

    1. Oh, you should let him know! I’m sure he’d get a kick out of knowing that he’s being used to teach English in Japan! Yeah, he’s incredibly talented and he was a really interesting guy to follow around for a day.

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