David Byrne: How Architecture Helped Music Evolve

Since the break-up of Talk­ing Heads in 1991, David Byrne has made a good career for him­self as a solo artist, work­ing in film and music, and also becom­ing an active sup­port­er of cycling. Overt­ly intel­lec­tu­al, Byrne has giv­en lec­tures on a great vari­ety of top­ics – from Carl Jung to the ways in which venue and con­text shape artis­tic cre­ation.

The TED talk above was giv­en in Feb­ru­ary 2010 in Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, and here David Byrne presents his ideas on the inter­re­la­tion­ship between music and archi­tec­ture. A tran­script of this talk can be found on the TED Talks page.

Byrne was not the first to explain the link between music and archi­tec­ture. In 2002, renowned archi­tect Daniel Libe­skind deliv­ered a Proms Lec­ture on that very top­ic (find the audio stream here) and, in 2007, Jonathan Cole pre­sent­ed his own lec­ture, “Music and Archi­tec­ture: Con­fronting the Bound­aries between Space and Sound,” at Gre­sham Col­lege, Lon­don. But it is Byrne’s talk that approach­es the sub­ject from the prac­ti­cal point of view of a musi­cian.

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.

Your Favorite TED Talk Ever?

What’s the best TED Talk ever? That’s the lit­tle debate tak­ing place on Reddit.com, and the answer is not obvi­ous, see­ing that TED now has over 500 talks avail­able in its archive. (You can find a con­stant­ly updat­ed list of every TED Talk in a Google spread­sheet here.)

Now, what are some of the Red­dit favorites? Here are five talks that get fre­quent men­tions.

Mean­while, it’s worth men­tion­ing that TED keeps its own run­ning list of its 10 most pop­u­lar talks. Some good ones here. And now your turn. Tell us your favorites in the com­ments below, and don’t be shy.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.