Brian Eno: Founding member of ‘70s glam-rock band Roxy Music. Wearing chainmail and feather boas, he could be seen tweaking knobs and swatting synths before knob-tweaking was cool. Says he’s not a musician, and he doesn’t write lyrics.
David Byrne: Odd-pop songwriter with a knack for offbeat catchiness. Since The Talking Heads, has composed ballet scores, written books, produced films and designed bicycle racks for the city of New York. Among other artistic pursuits.
The landmark collaboration between the two, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, changed the way music was made.
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was the first mainstream use of sampling. Arabic sermons, emergency announcements and all manner of audio are processed and layered over percussion, synthesizers and guitars. Byrne and Eno brought a new set of tools to the forefront of musicmaking.
“(That record) set us on the path,” says Rick Morris, musician and former co-owner of the longtime Asheville fixture Vincent’s Ear. “That record was the antithesis of an exorcism. It put something into listeners that changed the way music was made…. This was music that drew listeners and players alike away from traditional pop forms. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, didn’t mean quite so much after that.”
Byrne and Eno released a new record this summer, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. Eno describes it as “electronic gospel” on Byrne’s Web site: “Music in which singing becomes the central event, but whose sonic landscapes are atypical of such vocal-centered tracks.” Eno goes on to say he’s intrigued by gospel music as an act of surrender.
Byrne will bring “Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno” to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $46 and $36, available at www.ticketmaster.com.