Sunday 28 February 2010

David Byrne on Creativity

There aren't may people in the world I am envious of but David Byrne, musician, artist, designer and all round creative guru, is one of them. This interview from the Tate Shots Sound & Vision series takes place in the Roundhouse in Camden against the backdrop of Byrne's amazing Playing the Building installation.

What I like about this interview is Byrne's understanding and exploitation of the inter-disciplinary nature of the arts. It's interesting to hear him talk about the influence of his art school education and the importance of the ideas articulated in The Bauhaus but also why it's almost impossible to be creative unless there are constraints or limitations that focus your energies. The footage of music and choreography combined also made me reflect on the amazing performances this week as part of the Ludus Residency at Tallis. I was really struck by the power of the music and dancing combined in the ID: Me production and wondered if we could encourage some kind of collaboration between dancers and musicians at Tallis this summer.

This video might make a good starting point for our next Visual, Media & Performing Arts faculty meeting. We're thinking about ways in which the work we present as part of this year's arts festival could, in some way, respond to the architecture and history of Thomas Tallis School. Byrne's installation at the Roundhouse, created from a series of pipes, mechanical gizmos and an old pump organ, is a brilliant example of the way in which this kind of art can transform our understanding of architectural space. The Roundhouse has been both a railway turning shed and a rock music venue. This work brings these two histories together. Playing the organ turns the whole building into a musical instrument and the sounds it makes evoke the noises of old locomotives. Brilliant!

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