David Byrne


David Byrne (Dumbarton, Scotland, 1952) is known for being the leader of Talking Heads and the founder of record label Luaka Bop. Byrne has been extremely appreciated also for his solo albums and his projects as an author, director, photographer, and playwright.

Byrne’s career started in 1974 when he founded Talking Heads, together with Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison, who joined the band two years later.

Alongside his experience in the band, Byrne realized different solo projects. In 1981, together with Brian Eno, he published the album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which was a great success both with the public and the critics and was one of the precursors of sampled music.

In 1987, together with Ryūichi Sakamoto and Cong Su wrote the soundtrack for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy in 1989 for Best Original Score.

Subsequently, Byrne founded his record label Luaka Bop, thanks to which he published the albums by Cornershop, Os Mutantes, Los De Abajo, Jim White, Zap Mama, Tom Zé among others.

Extremely important were Byrne’s theatre projects: in 2010, together with Fatboy Slim, he wrote a theatrical production on the life of Imelda Marcus, which turned out to be a great success firstly at the Public Theatre in New York and then at the National Theatre in London. In 2017, Byrne wrote Joan of Arc: Into the Fire, a play on the story of the medieval heroine, which premiered at New York’s Public Theatre.

As for his solo production, Byrne published several albums during the 2000s, where he mixed electronics with ethnic and orchestral music, while in 2012 he recorded, featuring St.Vincent, Love This Giant, thanks to which he approached indie music.

Byrne’s latest album was America Utopia (2018), which OndaRock defined as: « a brief essay on what’s America today, in the aftermath of the delirium of omnipotence rooted in the historical vocation to capitalism, reduced to pathetic neo-liberal fashion through which to flaunt desperate vitality through a blurred socio-relational system and clinging to the dream of materialistic self-determination for everyone, years away from the reality of deep discomfort, and seasoned with neurosis and, at times, psychosis. The aspect – among others – absolutely interesting is how Byrne describes the stage on which this farce is staged: grotesque, hilarious, cultured».

To promote this album, Byrne performed in Italy at Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan in 2018.





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