Do you know about David Byrne’s latest project? Or the latest that I know about anyway; he has probably had five others since this morning, prolific genius that he is.
Here is a video for the Santigold track of a song called, “Please Don’t,” which is part of Imelda Marcos’ life story told in song, as composed by David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame for any uninitiated folks out there who have been MISSING SOMETHING) and Fatboy Slim. Different singers handle every track, with a variety of styles, and the CD is called “Love Lies Here.” There are six videos that go along with the songs. This is one.
Byrne is telling the story of Marcos’ relationship with her maid and her approach to world influence through “handbag diplomacy.” It’s compelling, actually. But to me, everything he does is compelling.
And the reason I’m writing about this is because artists have power. I wrote last week about the 10-year-old artist helping to save the birds of the Gulf. Artists of all sorts have the ability to get us to care about things, to think about things.
Here’s some of Byrne’s conception of this idea:
“The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!”
There’s even a line dance on his website that one can download the steps to (same link as at the top).
Dancing through history-learning; I like it. Influencing people with art; I like it.