David Byrne Sings in Somebody’s English Basement


This surprisingly lovely three-part harmony improv conducted by David Byrne and two of his bandmembers apparently occurred in the cellar of Belsay Hall, a castle-turned-arts center on the outskirts of Newcastle. Writes Byrne:

    Quite a place! No wonder the idea of turning it into an arts centre occurred to someone — it has the emptiness of a gallery. Usually these historic houses are filled with period furniture, as if the owners had just moved out. Down in the wine cellar, the acoustics were astounding — to be “correct” the house needed one, though it was never used, as it went against the new religion. Diana told me that Antony did some kind of audio recording here, but we haven’t heard it. The three of us spontaneously improvised, taking advantage of the incredible echo.

Which audio is indeed acoustically incredible, if tantalizingly brief.

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