Today I would like to talk about audience, and relate it to something that I am very passionate about- music.
First off, I want to define- rather- redefine audience. When one thinks “audience” a common image that pops into mind would be a cheering crowd, people listening or watching intently, or simply a large group of people watching some sort of production. However, in this presentation I want to approach audience from the point of view of the audience member- the observer. When it comes down to it, when audience is present, it means something is being observed.
That brings me to my next topic of David Byrne. David Byrne is a co-founder of a 80s band called the Talking Heads. However, David Byrne has artistic ability that exceeds just music. He paints, travels, writes, and makes videos, among many other things. In his works, he likes to challenge the audience’s perspectives, and see things from a different point of view. For example, in his live film called ‘Stop Making Sense’ he plays with the audience, asking them see everyday things through a different lense. In his film, Byrne wears a ‘big-man suit’ to appear as if his head is actually very small. Byrne also incorporates off the wall ideas into his music videos, like this one from ‘Once in a Lifetime’.
The reason I’m talking about David Byrne today is not only because he performs in front of an audience, but he makes himself an audience of wherever he goes. Byrne travels the world for his various forms of work, and with him he always brings a collapsible bicycle. He says that this gives him a medium for seeing the new place he is in from a different point of view. In his book, he explains that riding his bicycle is not only a personal comfort that provides stability in his life, but also helps him to better understand what it is really like in the places he visits.
By doing this, Byrne is able to make himself an ‘audience of the world’, transforming himself from a person who is entertaining an audience, to an audience member himself, of wherever he is.
In the words of David Byrne, “You may find yourself in a beautiful house- with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself : Well, how did I get here?”. Through his book, Byrne inspires readers to look at the world in a new light, and truly experience and reflect on every moment.
In conclusion, I would like to leave you all with some homework. The first things is to not take life too seriously, because everything looks a bit different when you look at it from a different angle. Second, take the initiative to look at things from a different point of view, and third, listen to the Talking Heads. You won’t regret it. Thank you.