The former Talking Heads frontman spent two days in A Room For London, a one-bedroom installation above the Thames, with the intention of making some music.
“London’s tempo is 122.86 beats per minute,” said Byrne, speaking about the project. “I brought along some field recording gear to use while I was staying in the lovely pod/room/boat. I went out during the day and recorded sounds that I thought might be useful and evocative. It turned out that most of the sounds – even the church organ in Southwark Cathedral – seemed to converge around a common rhythm. It’s a bit too good to be true – that every large city should have its own rhythm, but here it is. I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along…”
You can listen to the result, ‘Get It Away’ – which collages ambient recordings taken around the South Bank area and fits them around a steady beat – here.
A Room For London has more performances and residencies lined up for the coming months, featuring the likes of Laurie Anderson, Imogen Heap and Amadou & Mariam. All performances will be streamed via their website.