Read How Music Works by David Byrne Free Online
Book Title: How Music Works|
The author of the book: David Byrne
Date of issue: May 1st 2012
ISBN 13: 9780857862501
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 499 KB
Edition: Canongate Books
Read full description of the books How Music Works:“But at times words can be a dangerous addition to music — they can pin it down. Words imply that the music is about what the words say, literally, and nothing more...
― David Byrne, How Music Works
...If done poorly, they can destroy the pleasant ambiguity that constitutes much of the reason we love music. That ambiguity allows listeners to psychologically tailor a song to suit their needs, sensibilities, and situations, but words can limit that, too. There are plenty of beautiful tracks that I can’t listen to because they’ve been “ruined” by bad words — my own and others. In Beyonce's song "Irreplaceable," she rhymes "minute" with "minute," and I cringe every time I hear it (partly because by that point I'm singing along). On my own song "Astronaut," I wrap up with the line "feel like I'm an astronaut," which seems like the dumbest metaphor for alienation ever. Ugh.”
― David Byrne, How Music Works
Like several nonfiction books I've read lately, my big complaint is I wish he just gave us more, dug a bit deeper, and perhaps hired a better editor. I like that the book was infused with his own populist, funky, musical biases. It seemed casual. Like talking to a really open person who isn't trying to hide or pull the shades on his own past. He didn't shy away from his own mistakes and his own life. He used Talking Heads and his own albums as examples of the different ways music can be done and sold. His interests allow this book to move from punk to African music to soundtracks, etc.
One of my favorite themes of Byrne's reminded me of the last book I read (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction). David Byrne seemed passionate about not just music alone, but music's place in our social networks. How music is both a communication with others and reflective of our community. In his more zen moments he even rambles on about the music of the Universe, etc. Byrne's biases were occasionally annoying. He did seem to carry a pretty large dark spot right on-top of classic music's basic repertoire. His politics, or musical reactions to politics, also seems a bit naïve. But all is forgiven, in the end. This is a guy who is not afraid to put himself WAY out there, describe the scene as he sees it, and figure out a way to make the people around him want to dance. And THAT I guess says a lot and hides a multitude of minor sins as we dance into the darkness.
Read information about the authorA cofounder of the musical group Talking Heads, David Byrne has also released several solo albums in addition to collaborating with such noted artists as Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson, and Brian Eno. His art includes photography and installation works and has been published in five books. He lives in New York and he recently added some new bike racks of his own design around town, thanks to the Department of Transportation.
Photo © Catalina Kulczar-Marin
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