DFW Music News

First Song From The Upcoming St. Vincent, David Byrne Collaboration Will Be Performed By A Marching Band

The collaboration we mentioned a few months back between our own Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and David Byrne appears to be moving along slowly but nicely.

We just read this morning that one of the songs they've teamed up on (either called "The Movie" or "Two Ships"), will initially be performed by the radical New York-based 12-piece marching band called Asphalt Orchestra for a show benefiting Housing Works.

According to Byrne's press release, in which he gives a brief history of how the duo got together, he gives big props to Clark for coming up with the idea to feature a brass band and outlines some of their collaboration's future plans. Read Byrne's statement after the jump.

About a year ago, I ran into St. Vincent at the Housing Works benefit in which Dirty Projectors and Bjork performed together. How's that for dropping a lot of names in one sentence? Anyway, Annie and I had previously met at the Dark Was the Night benefit in which we both performed, and I'd said I was a fan of her music and disturbing videos. So when Rachel at my office, who volunteers at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, passed on a suggestion that Annie and I do a similar collaboration, I immediately said yes, though I didn't think we could pull together a short set of new material as fast as Longstreth did (6 weeks, I think). They'd raised the bar pretty high, and as a result we agreed to come up with new material.

I believe it was Annie who suggested we hang the material around a brass ensemble, which creatively sounded great, and besides it could be acoustic and wouldn't require amplification in the intimate Housing Works space. Beyond that, we didn't know in what direction things would go or how we'd work together. We were still both on tour back then, so we began by passing snippets and inspirational MP3s back and forth. I had some work in progress that I re-arranged, and Annie passed me some horn tracks she'd made in GarageBand. I restructured those a little and wrote some melodies over them. We're still inching forwards on this -- no completion date is set, which is a nice situation to be in. However, we did prod ourselves to complete a couple of tunes by setting some deadlines. A few months ago we had Tony Finno arrange the horns, and we performed one of the songs -- tentatively titled "Who" -- at the end of Annie's show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center. Now, having been approached by the Bang On a Can spinoff Asphalt Orchestra, with the help of Ken Thomson we've adapted another song called either "Two Ships" or "The Movie" for their group. This will be an instrumental version and we'll do a vocal version later.

Asphalt Orchestra performs this and other commissioned works on August 4 outdoors at Lincoln Center.
- David B

We're really looking forward to hearing how this thing shapes up.

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Daniel Hopkins
Contact: Daniel Hopkins

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