Written by Martin Kielty
David Byrne has announced a short run of free lectures to take place across Europe over the coming days. Entitled "Reasons to Be Cheerful," it’s a continuation of a concept that he says informed American Utopia, his first album in 14 years, which arrives in March. See the list of dates below.
“I began to look for encouraging things that are happening anywhere in the world, and if they have been tested, if they have been proven to work, if they can be transferred and adopted in other places, if they can scale up,” Byrne explained via his website. “[T]hen, I thought to myself, why not hold them up for consideration, and also invite others to add to this project. There are actually a LOT of encouraging things going on around the world – they’ve given me hope, they’re a kind of therapy, given what’s happening in the world, and I’d like to share them.
"Some of them are naturally about music and performance, but many are about innovations in energy, transportation, education, health... and a lot more. It will be an ongoing online project that is an continuation and extension of some writing and talks I’ve done recently. The project will be cross-platform—some elements may appear on social media, some on a website and some might manifest as a recording or performance.”
Pointing out that he’d already delivered three lectures, including several in New York City, he added, “Now I’m hoping to bring the idea to a wider audience. These [lectures] can’t cover everything but are essentially introductions to the idea.” Byrne recently extended his tour in support of American Utopia, which he’s said is his “most ambitious” since Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense shows.
David Byrne, “Reasons to Be Cheerful” Lecture Tour
Jan. 22 – Copenhagen Main LIbrary, Denmark
Jan. 24 – The Venue, Berlin, Germany
Jan. 26 – Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy
Jan. 28 – De Balie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jan. 30 – Sackler Space at the Roundhouse, London, U.K.