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In this David Byrne keynote, the iconic musician talks about how architecture and venues have a profound impact on the music that performers write. Relaying his own experiences, Byrne mentions how certain venues, although loud and full of a fairly rambunctious audience, lent themselves better to the music he was writing. In comparison to notable concert halls like the Disney Hall and Carnegie Hall, Byrne’s music did not sound as good; it did not sound as if that were the most appropriate place for his type of music.
Using examples of African tribal circles versus Gothic Cathedrals, Byrne argues that the music played in those areas was appropriate for and was complemented by the surroundings. The culture and habits of a surrounding space impact how certain music is received while the physical layout and contours of a venue determines, to an extent, the audible quality of the sound.