david byrne, misc

An unexpected collision of interests

Ok, clearly I am not interested in publishing blog posts in sensible intervals. Sorry for the rather spastic blogging recently, but certain things are really exciting me right now and I can’t keep it in. Namely, a collaboration between my most recent musical hero David Byrne, and an activity I love dearly: WGI.

More information here, complete with quirky, KVHS-inspired promo video.

To be clear, I was always involved in the percussion division of WGI, but winterguard is the OG “sport of the arts” and it’s so cool to see it getting some unique recognition!

When Byrne agreed to lend a composition to a high school performance team back in 2008, he knew little about the color guard phenomenon, which is wildly popular in high schools across the North American continent. … At the time, Byrne’s only request was to see for himself how his music was used. Upon viewing an electrifying DVD of the Winter Guard International’s World Championship, the creative seed for Contemporary Color was planted. “I was stunned at what I was seeing,” Byrne recalls, “and being a musician I naturally wondered to myself: what if these performances had really great live music? Wouldn’t that lift it to another level?” 

You mean, like drum corps? :) Seriously, though, it makes my heart sing that he would be so interested in the activity to want to collaborate with WGI. It’s awesome that he asked to see the performance in the first place. I am almost done reading Byrne’s book How Music Works and it’s cool to see that throughout his career, music and the visual arts have been consistently intertwined. And that’s the special thing about WGI and DCI, it’s art and music and athleticism all at once.

“I’d never seen anything like it,” Mr. Byrne said. “Because it was in an arena, I could tell that this was a hugely popular thing, but completely unknown to 98 percent of New Yorkers.”NYTimes

Story of our lives! Here is a throwback video of the colorguard I am most familiar with, Fantasia from good ol’ Riverside, CA:

I would love it if anyone could share with me their favorite WGI videos from the past few years. I’m still stuck in 2009. (PS – not every WGI show has a large monolith in it. I just happened to pick two monolith-centric shows, haha.) Anyway, I guess it’s unlikely that I’ll be in the New York area at the end of June, but if I am, you’ll know where to find me………

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