Byrne's Bizarre World of Music; PREVIEW

Article excerpt


AS an adolescent, Dumbarton-born New Yorker David Byrne decided to become an artist rather than a scientist.

He says: "That's because, A, the graffiti in the halls was better and, B, I wouldn't have to go through four years of boring s*** before I had the opportunity to do anything bordering on the creative."

How typical of the man who has never stopped evolving as an artist not to waste a moment of his creativity.

Byrne's output as a solo artist and as leader of The Talking Heads has been prodigious.

It includes eight solo albums alone since the band's demise plus numerous collaborations with artists, filmmakers, musicians and photographers.

His most successful collaboration - and perhaps the most surprising - has been with X-Press 2. Their hit slacker house anthem Lazy was a piece of genius, with Byrne delivering one of his most polished vocal performances.

Ashley of X-Press 2 describes Byrne as "a man full of art and magic".

This was never more apparent than on his recent album, Look Into The Eyeball, which had its origin in a compilation that Byrne made while living in Spain.

The tape included work by artists as diverse as Bjork and Stevie Wonder.

He says: "I wanted to show the direction it could go in without being pretentious pop. It could be accessible without being pandering."

This from the man whose last exhibition featured a clock in a sombrero and a radio in a bikini - hardly the stuff of mass consumerism.

Yet we should remember that Byrne is not always entirely sure of his direction. …