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David Byrne releasing new edition of ‘How Music Works’ book, putting on variety show at Town Hall


David Byrne has just released an updated version of his book How Music Works (“I wrote a new chapter on the latest developments in music discovery—the music we hear is largely determined by non-musical forces”) which is out now via Crown. To celebrate, David Byrne is presenting the “How Music Works Variety Show” at NYC’s Town Hall on June 1. Tickets are on sale today (5/10) at noon and here’s David’s description:

I’ll introduce you to some amazing performers that inspire me! I did something similar related to bikes and urbanism some years ago. Those events showcased innovative industrial design, live lock-picking, a bike horn orchestra, streamed video from NY traffic. This music event will include all sorts of performance: music, of course, but also magic, theater, dance, science and humor… and more.

If you’re unfamiliar with his book, originally published in 2012, here’s a little more about it straight from the horse’s mouth:

The book focusses on how various contexts determine what music we hear, what it is, what gets written, how we hear it and how we feel about it. Music, like everything else, is determined by forces that are often external to the music itself: the acoustics of where we hear it, the technology of recording and reproduction, the economy of the arts, the way it is performed, and the way our social world and education shapes our opinions about what we hear. Of course, I mix in my own history, experiences and anecdotes. These ideas didn’t come out of thin air; I’ve been thinking about them my whole life. Add to that the new chapter about the algorithms and data that now determine what we get fed and what is recommended.

David will also be doing a Reddit AMA on Thursday, May 11 from 2-3 PM EDT. Ask him anything!

You may have caught David’s “Reasons to Be Cheerful” presentation that kicked off the BRIC OPEN Festival a couple weeks ago in Brooklyn.

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