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David Byrne Unveils "Get It Away," New Soundwork Created in "A Room for London" Residency

David Byrne: "A Room for London," photo by Tom Oldham
David Byrne—whose album with Caetano Veloso Live at Carnegie Hall was released on Nonesuch Records last week—has unveiled the new soundwork he created for the Hearts of Darkness series of projects. Byrne designed the piece, titled Get It Away, while living in A Room for London, a one-bedroom riverboat installation atop the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, last month. A Room for London is a collaboration between Artangel and Living Architecture, in association with Southbank Centre.

"I brought along some field recording gear to use while I was staying in the lovely pod/room/boat," Byrne explains. "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."

London's tempo, he says, is 122.86 beats per minute.

A Room for London also plays host to Sounds from a Room, a series of live music webcasts, such as one from Laurie Anderson, which will take place this Sunday at 5 PM GMT, and from Amadou & Mariam, set for May 23.

Watch the resulting work of David Byrne's residency, Get It Away, below. Read more about the project and his source material for the video and sound recording at

David Byrne: Get It Away from Artangel on Vimeo.


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