David Byrne Begins Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series

Classic Arts News   David Byrne Begins Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series
"No Boundaries." That's the fitting title David Byrne has chosen for his Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, which begins tonight. The genre-straddling musician and multimedia artist — "Rock's Renaissance Man," as Time magazine called him in 1986 — has programmed a series of four eclectic concerts running through Sunday evening (Feb. 4).

This evening in Zankel Hall, Byrne will lead a brass band and other instrumentalists in the first performance in 15 years of the music to The Knee Plays, his contribution to director Robert Wilson's 1980s multi-part music-theater epic the CIVIL warS.

Tomorrow night in Isaac Stern Auditorium, Byrne will host "Welcome to Dreamland," a program featuring a new genre of experimental folk-rock which has developed over the past few years. The performers include Vashti Bunyan, Devendra Banhart, Adem, CocoRosie, Cibelle and Vetiver.

Byrne's current project is a multimedia song cycle based on the life of Imelda Marcos, the deposed First Lady of the Philippines, in collaboration with electronic music artist Fatboy Slim. Byrne and his band perform selections from the work-in-progress on Saturday (Feb. 3) in Stern Auditorium.

The series concludes on Sunday evening in Zankel Hall with "One Note," described by by journalist Anthony DeCurtis as "cross-cultural variations on the mystical notion of the single tone that contains within itself all that music — and, indeed, all that life itself — can express." Performing will be the French "avant-pop" singer Camille; Haale, whose Sufi-inspired songs are infused with psychedelic rock; and the versatile new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, whose expertise runs from Edgard Varse to Steve Reich to Conlon Nancarrow to techno star Aphex Twin.

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