Tag Archives: A to Z’s of Art


David Byrne with St. Vincent

Yes, Byrne, as in David Byrne.  This type of post is a departure for me, but I am excited to see him tonight with St. Vincent (AKA Annie Clark). I saw David Bryne for the first time in 1978 with The Talking Heads,the band he was the founder of that was together from 1975 through 1991.  (Okay, I snuck into the concert somehow and sat behind Elvis Costello, who played there the next night!)

I am adding this paragraph late on Tuesday after seeing the show.  He didn’t perform much from the Talking Headss, but I saw a total collaboration between him and St. Vincent.  Using eight horns, from a tuba to a trumpet, and i swear I saw a flute at one time.   The show was totally coreographed, with the horn players marching around.  I enjoyed it, but still found it lacking.  I guess because I missed the Talking Head songs.  The highlight – her and David playing the THEREMIN!!!!!!  I’d never seen one played – the only instrument that is played without touching it!

David is a true renaissance man, working in various media such as film, photography, opera and non-fiction.  He has received a Grammy, Oscar and a Golden Globe Award and has been inducted into the Rock Roll Hall of Fame.


  • born in Scotland and apparently is not a U.S. Citizen
  • could play the guitar, accordion and violin before high school
  • is left handed but plays the guitar right handed
  • studied at The Rhode Island School of Design for a year
  • has collaborated as a solo artist with Brian Eno more than once
  • has an interest in world music
  • collaborated with Twyla Tharp for The Catherine Wheel
  • won an oscar for the score from Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor
  • Wrote, directed and starred in True Stories
  • collaborated with Fatboy Slim on Here Lies Love, a disco opera based on Imelda Marcos
  • a visual artist, he is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York
  • creates public installations, often anonymously
  • was in a relationship with photographer Cindy Sherman for five years
  • writes a regular cycling column for the New York Times

There is so much more to know about David Bryne.  I think my favorite project he ever did was “Playing The Building” installation done in the Battery Maritime Building.  He basically took the building and somehow hooked the entire building (pipes, heaters, vents, etc) to an old pipe organ which made a playable musical instrument.

David is on tour with St. Vincent, accompanied by an eight piece horn section.  St. Vincent has said her stage name is based on Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center where poet Dylan Thomas died.  “It’s the place where poetry comes to die, that’s me.” she has said.  She has also said it was her grandmother’s middle name. The most interesting thing I found, she plays multiple instruments, including the theremin.

I’m looking forward to this show, she has been compared to Kate Bush and to David Bowie.   Her music features violins, cellos, flutes, trumpet and clarinets.

I feel this is a good collaboration, even though she is half his age (she is 30, he is 60).  But, David Bryne had a xylophone player for one tour, I’ll never forget the first pounding notes on that instrument for Psycho Killer!