David Byrne Talks Contemporary Color at Luminato

On Friday, May 8, David Byrne made a stop in Toronto to promote his upcoming Luminato world premiere: Contemporary Color. Speaking to invited media inside the Ryerson gym, the musician detailed what to expect from the production and even tried his own hand at the sport of color guard.

Better known as the founder of the now-legendary new wave band Talking Heads, this project sees Byrne calling in the help of some other notable names. During the question-and-answer period, he explained that some performers said no to the idea. You’d never know it by looking at the list, though, with Nelly Furtado, former collaborator St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, Lucius, How to Dress Well, Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange), Kelis, Nico Muhly and Ira Glass, and the Beasties Boys’ Ad-Rock and Money Mark all committed to producing an original piece of music that will be performed live and accompanied by 10 high school color guard teams. 

It all amounts to what promises to be a packed stage and a busy night of spectacle, with 350 performers and a 15-piece band accompanying waving flags, spinning sabers, and tossed rifles. 

Contemporary Color makes its debut at Luminato, though it’s not Byrne’s first experience with the festival. He performed last year as part of Rufus Wainwright’s If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway.

Byrne – who conceived the project after a high school team contacted him asking permission to use his music for their performance – will participate, too, and was on his way to visit his Quebec team: Les Eclipses. He spoke of some other musician’s teams as well, including Nelly Furtado’s match to Kitchener’s Ventures (who were on hand for the demonstration.)

Make sure to purchase your tickets on the Luminato website.

You can watch the trailer for Contemporary Color below, then see it for yourself at Luminato on June 22 and 23 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

About author

Former Music Editor & Concert Photographer at Live in Limbo. Sarah was born in Toronto. She's worked at some places that you've heard of (like NXNE) and some that you haven't. She is an Academy Delegate at the JUNOs (CARAS). You can usually find Sarah at a concert, on Twitter @beets, or on Instagram @sarahrix. She also likes dogs and cheeseburgers.