David Byrne’s Journal: 02.14.10: Valentine’s Day
What I’m going to talk about is an insight I’ve had about creation. That insight is that context largely determines what kind of music is written. Maybe the analogy applies to other forms of creation as well — painting, sculpture, programming or performance — or at least the shape of them.
That doesn’t sound like such a big insight, but it’s actually backwards from what I perceive to be conventional wisdom — which is that creation emerges out of some interior emotion or from an upwelling of passion that inevitably and must find an outlet.
Excellent writing by David Byrne. I recommend reading the whole article! I am looking forward to the talk being released by TED. Must say, I am in total agreement. We write for a specific context, and not only that, our performance changes according to our surroundings. For example, the piano at the Cologne Opera in 1974 (was it that long ago?) was deemed out of tune in the very high and very low registers, but Keith Jarrett was convinced to play it anyway… and when you listen to The Köln Concert, you will notice that he stays in the middle, avoiding the areas he doesn’t like…
I find that the music I have written for this new album is very specific to the new trio. It’s music that suits this trio. The new music is more Funk than Fandango, more Soul than Solea, more R&B than Rumba. I think it’s becoming a wonderful album of music.
We are almost done with tracking. We are not using any clicks and it’s wonderful how the band can make subtle tempo changes in unison, like pulling back by a couple of bpm for a bridge or verse and a going hair faster for a chorus. It’s also astonishing how consistently we play different takes of the same song, recorded on different days, at the same tempo. In Star Wars a droid makes a comment as to how unreliable the internal clocks of organic lifeforms are… I beg to differ. We have elastic time, something a droid would know nothing about.