Wednesday, March 23, 2011

David Byrne: How Architecture Helped Music Evolve

This is a very amusing short lecture by David Byrne about how the venues where music is performed contribute to the evolution of musical art. After musing about his early career playing at clubs like CBGB's and going on to play in large fancy venues like Carnegie Hall, he questions if musicians have a specific venue in mind when they write music, and if that can be a model for creativity.
He concludes that music has always adapted to new venues and new technology, and that an inescapable reality is that the vessel for the art always exists first. This goes contrary to the romantic notion of the outpouring of passionate emotion coming first, and then taking shape into something. Byrne argues that the passion is still there, but the creation of the art is informed by the way that the art will be received.

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