El músico y enigmático líder de Talking Heads fue invitado a curar el Meltdown Festival de Londres en 2015, instancia que aprovechó para llevar a cabo una generosa acción (y eventual pesadilla logística): montar una biblioteca con 250 libros de la colección personal que posee en su departamento en Nueva York.

Como la muestra tendría lugar en una biblioteca de poesía inaugurada por T. S. Eliot en 1953, originalmente le habían propuesto a David Byrne que compartiera libros sobre poesía, pero el artista confesó no ser muy lector de ese género: “Soy de los que siente que la poesía y las letras de las canciones son bestias muy diferentes, y mucha (no toda) la poesía me resulta difícil de entender”.

Los asistentes al festival entonces tuvieron la fortuna de poder acceder y tomar prestados los libros de Byrne, de los cuales 224 tratan (naturalmente) sobre música. Títulos sobre jazz, salsa, rap, diseño sonoro, ritmo africano, música latinoamericana, cultura punk y canto popular forman parte de esta extensa colección, algunos de los cuales fueron fundamentales para la investigación de su aclamado libro «How Music Works».

Si moriste de envidia leyendo todo esto, tenemos una buena noticia para ti: David Byrne publicó la lista completa de los libros sobre música que formaron parte de aquel pop-up.

224 libros sobre música en la biblioteca de David Byrne:

  1. 40 Watts from Nowhere: A Journey into Pirate Radio by Sue Carpenter
  2. A divina comedia dos Mutantes by Carlos Calado
  3. A Photographic Record: 1969–1980 by Mick Rock
  4. A Thelonious Monk: Study Album by Lionel Grigson
  5. A Whole Room for Music: A Short Guide to the Balfour Building Music Makers’ Gallery by Helene La Rue
  6. Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life by Brandon Labelle
  7. Acoustics for Radio and Television Studios by Christopher Gilford
  8. Africa Dances by Geoffrey Gorer
  9. African Music: A People’s Art by Francis Bebey
  10. African Rhythm and African Sensibility by John Miller Chernoff
  11. Afro-American Folk Songs by H.E. Krehbiel
  12. AfroPop! An Illustrated Guide to Contemporary African Music by Sean Barlow & Banning Eyre
  13. All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman
  14. Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafè by Miguel Algarin & Bob Holman
  15. An Illustrated Treasury of Songs by National Gallery of Art
  16. And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey by Studs Terkel
  17. Arranged Marriage by Wallace Berman & Robert Watts
  18. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music by Cristoph Cox & Daniel Warner
  19. Austin City Limits: 35 Years in Photographs by Scott Newton & Terry Lickona
  20. Bachata: A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music by Deborah Pacini Hernandez
  21. Bandalism: The Rock Group Survival Guide by Julian Ridgway
  22. Beats of the Heart: Popular Music of the World by Jeremy Marre & Hannah Charlton
  23. Best Music Writing 2001 by Nick Hornby & Ben Schafer
  24. Best Music Writing 2002 by Jonathan Lethem & Paul Bresnick
  25. Best Music Writing 2003 by Matt Groening & Paul Bresnick
  26. Best Music Writing 2006 by Mary Gaitskill & Daphne Carr
  27. Best Music Writing 2007 by Robert Christgau & Daphne Carr
  28. Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
  29. Black Music of Two Worlds by John Storm Roberts
  30. Black Rhythms of Peru: Reviving African Musical Heritage in the Black Pacific by Heidi Carolyn Feidman
  31. Blues Guitar: The Men Who Made the Music by Jas Obrecht
  32. Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music that Seduced the World by Ruy Castro
  33. Botsford Collection of Folk Songs Volume 1 by Florence Hudson Botsford
  34. Botsford Collection of Folk Songs Volume 2 by Florence Hudson Botsford
  35. Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie
  36. Bourbon Street Black: The New Orleans Black Jazzman by Jack V Buerkle & Danny Barker
  37. Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship by Idelber Avelar & Christopher Dunn
  38. Brutality Garden: Tropicalla and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture by Christopher Dunn
  39. Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise by David Rothenberg
  40. But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz by Geoff Dyer
  41. Cancioneiro Vinicius De Moraes by Orfeu
  42. Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music by Mark Katz
  43. Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White
  44. Chambers by Alvin Lucier & Douglas Simon
  45. Chinaberry Sidewalks: A Memoir by Rodney Crowell
  46. Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and the Advent of Punk by Deborah Harry, Glenn O’Brien & Shepard Fairey
  47. Clandestino: In Search of Manu Chao by Peter Culshaw
  48. Clothes Music Boys by Viv Albertine
  49. Cocinando! Fifty Years of Latin Cover Art by Pablo Yglesias
  50. Conjunto by John Dyer
  51. Conversations with Glenn Gould by Jonathan Cott
  52. Conversing with Cage by Richard Kostelanetz
  53. Copyrights & Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity by Siva Vaidhyanathan
  54. Dancing in Your Head: Jazz, Blues, Rock and Beyond by Gene Santoro
  55. Desert Plants: Conversations with Twenty-Three American Musicians by Walter Zimmerman
  56. Diccionario de Jazz Latino by Nat Chediak
  57. Diccionario del Rock Latino by Nat Chediak
  58. Driving Through Cuba: Rare Encounters in the Land of Sugar Cane and Revolution by Carlo Gebler
  59. Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion by Mickey Hart & Jay Stevens
  60. Essays on Music by Theodor W. Adorno
  61. Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond by Michael Nyman
  62. Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2 by Negativland
  63. Fela Fela: This Bitch of a Life by Carlos Moore
  64. Fetish & Fame: The 1997 MTV Video Music Awards by David Felton
  65. Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954–1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim
  66. Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents by Bruno Nettl
  67. Folk Song Style and Culture by Alan Lomax
  68. Folk: The Essential Album Guide by Neal Walers & Brian Mansfield
  69. Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition by Iannis Xenakis
  70. Fotografie in Musica by Guido Harari
  71. Genesis of a Music by Harry Partch
  72. Give my Regards to Eighth Street: Collected Writings of Morton Feldman by B.H. Friedman
  73. Gravikords, Whirlies, & Pyrophones: Experimental Musical Instruments by Bart Hopkin
  74. Guia Esencial De La Salsa by Jose Manuel Gomez
  75. Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning by Gary Marcus
  76. Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening, and Modernity by Veit Erlmann
  77. Here Come the Regulars: How to Run a Record Label on a Shoestring Budget by Ian Anderson
  78. He Stopped Loving Her Today: George Jones, Billy Sherrill and the Pretty-Much Totally True Story of the Making of the Greatest Country Record of All Time by Jack Isenhour
  79. Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music and Graffiti by Steven Hager
  80. Hit Men by Frederic Dannen
  81. Hitsville: The 100 Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazines 1954–1968 by Alan Betrock
  82. Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why by Ellen Dissanayake
  83. Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture by Alice Echols
  84. How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond by John Powell
  85. Hungry for Heaven: Rock and Roll and the Search for Redemption by Steve Turner
  86. I Have Seen the End of the World and it Looks Like This by Bob Schneider
  87. I’ll Take You There Mavis Staples: The Staple Songers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway by Greg Kot
  88. In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise by George Prochnik
  89. Indian Music by B. Chaitanya Deva
  90. It Ain’t Easy: Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues by Paul Myers
  91. Japanese Music and Musical Instruments by William P. Malm
  92. Javanese Gamelan by Jennifer Lindsay
  93. Jazz by William Claxton
  94. Knitting Music by Michael Dorf
  95. La Traviata: In Full Score by Giuseppe Verdi
  96. Laurie Anderson by John Howell
  97. Leon Geico: Cronica de un Sueno by Oscar Finkelstein
  98. Lexicon of Musical Invective by Nicolas Slonimsky
  99. Light Strings: Impressions of the Guitar by Ralph Gibson & Andy Summers
  100. Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music by Eric Weisbard
  101. Listening Through the Noise: the Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music by Joanna Demers
  102. Listen to This by Alex Ross
  103. Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981–2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany by Stephen Sondheim
  104. Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Music Made New in New York City in the ’70s by Will Hermes
  105. Love in Vain: The Life and Legend of Robert Johnson by Allen Greenberg
  106. Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture by Tim Lawrence
  107. Low by Hugo Wilcken
  108. Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-dirty in Seventies New York by James Wolcott
  109. Macumba: The Teachings of Maria-Jose, Mother of the Gods by Serge Bramly
  110. Mango Mambo by Adal
  111. Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song: MPB 1965–1985 by Charles Perrone
  112. Max’s Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll by Steven Kasher
  113. Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James and the Shondells by Tommy James
  114. Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe
  115. Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career of an imaginary Soul Superstar by Dori Hadar
  116. Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and “Inventor of Jazz” by Alan Lomax
  117. Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture by Thurston Moore
  118. Music by Paul Bowles
  119. Music and Communication by Terence McLaughlin
  120. Music and Globalization: Critical Encounters by Bob W. White
  121. Music and the Brain: Studies in the Neurology of Music by MacDonald Critchley & R. A. Henson
  122. Music and the Mind by Anthony Storr
  123. Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations between Music and Possession by Gilbert Rouget
  124. Music Cultures of the Pacific, The Near East, and Asia by William P. Malm
  125. Music in Cuba by Alejo Carpentier
  126. Music, Language and the Brain by Aniruddh D. Patel
  127. Musica Cubana Del Areyto a la Nueva Trova by Dr. Cristobal Diaz Ayala
  128. Musical Instruments of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia with More than 4,000 Original Drawings by Ruth Midgely
  129. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
  130. My Music by Susan D Crafts, Daniel Cavicchi & Charles Keil
  131. New York Noise: Art and Music from the New York Underground 1978-88 by Stuart Baker
  132. Noise: A Human History of Sound & Listening by David Hendy
  133. Noise: The Political Economy of Music by Jacques Attali
  134. Notations by John Cage
  135. Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds by David Toop
  136. On Sonic Art by Trevor Wishart
  137. Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving the Opera by Fred Plotkin
  138. Patronizing The Arts by Marjorie Garber
  139. Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music by Greg Milner
  140. Pet Shop Boys: Literally by Chris Heath
  141. Popular Musics of the Non-Western World: An Introductory Survey by Peter Manuel
  142. The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the Science of Song by Elena Mannes
  143. Presenting Celia Cruz by Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte
  144. Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs
  145. Queens of Havana: The Amazing Adventures of the Legendary Anacaona, Cuba’s First All-Girl Dance Band by Alicia Castro
  146. Recordando a Tito Puente: El Rey del Timbal by Steven Loza
  147. Reflections on Macedonian Music: Past and Future by Dimitrije Buzarovski
  148. Remembering the Future by Luciano Berio
  149. Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording Music and Its Effect on Music by Michael Chanan
  150. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Records and the Sixties by Ian Macdonald
  151. Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans by John Broven
  152. Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here to Pay: The History of Politics in the Music Industry by Steve Shapple & Reebee Garofalo
  153. Rock Archives by Michael Ochs
  154. Rock Images: 1970–1990 by Claude Gassian
  155. Rock Lives: Profiles and Interviews by Timothy White
  156. Salsa Guidebook for Piano & Ensemble by Rebeca Mauleon
  157. Salsa: The Rhythm of Latin Music by Gerard Sheller
  158. Salsiology: Afro-Cuban Music and the Evolution of Salsa in New York City by Vernon W. Boggs
  159. Samba by Alma Guillermoprieto
  160. Sonic Transports: New Frontiers in Our Music by Cole Gagne
  161. Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear by Steve Goodman
  162. Souled American: How Black Music Transformed White Culture by Kevin Phinney
  163. Sounding New Media: Immersion and Embodiment in the Arts and Culture by Frances Dyson
  164. Soundings by Neuberger Museum
  165. South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous by John Broven
  166. Spaces Speak, Are You Listening: Experiencing Aural Architecture by Barry Blesser & Linda-Ruth Salter
  167. Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music by Angelique Kidjo
  168. Starmaking Machinery: The Odyssey of an Album by Geoffrey Stokes
  169. Stockhausen: Conversations with the Composer by Jonathan Cott
  170. Stolen Moments: Conversations with Contemporary Musicians by Tom Schnabel
  171. Stomping the Blues by Albert Murray
  172. Tango: The Art History of Love by Robert Farris Thompson
  173. Text-Sound Texts by Richard Kostelanetz
  174. The ABCs of Rock by Melissa Duke Mooney
  175. The Agony of Modern Music by Henry Pleasants
  176. The Anthropology of Music by Alan P. Merriam
  177. The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
  178. The Beatles: Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn
  179. The Book of Drugs: A Memoir by Mike Dougherty
  180. The Brazilian Sounds: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil by Chris McGowan & Ricardo Pessanha
  181. The Faber Book of Pop by Hanif Kureishi & Jon Savage
  182. The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places by Bernie Krause
  183. The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau
  184. The Kachamba Brothers’ Band: A Study of Neo-Traditional Music in Malawi by Gerhard Kubik
  185. The Last Holiday: A Memoir by Gil Scott-Heron
  186. The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States by John Storm Roberts
  187. The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock by Charles White
  188. The Merge Records Companion: A Visual Discography of the First Twenty Years by Merge Records
  189. The Music Instinct by Philip Ball
  190. The Music of Brazil by David P. Appleby
  191. The Mystery of Samba: Popular Music and the National Identity in Brazil by Hermano Vianna
  192. The New Woman Poems: A Tribute to Mercedes Sosa by Nestor Rodriguez Lacoren
  193. The Performer Prepares by Robert Caldwell
  194. The Rational and Social Foundations of Music by Max Weber
  195. The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl by Trevor Schoonmake
  196. The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa by Evan Eisenberg
  197. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross
  198. The Rolling Stone Interviews: The 1980s by Various
  199. The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice by Greil Marcus
  200. The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World by Trevor Cox
  201. The Sun and the Drum: African Roots in Jamaican Folk Tradition by Leonard Barrett
  202. The Thinking Ear by R. Murray Schafer
  203. The Traditional Music of Japan by Kishibe Shigeo
  204. The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art by Tim Blanning
  205. The Veil of Silence by Djura
  206. The Wilco Book by Dan Nadel
  207. This Business of Music: The Definitive Guide to the Music Industry by M. William Krasilovsky & Sidney Shemel
  208. This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin
  209. Through Music to Self by Peter Michael Hamel
  210. West African Rhythms for Drumset by Royal Hartigan
  211. What Good are the Arts? by John Carey
  212. White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960’s by Joe Boyd
  213. Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History 1955–Present by Gail Buckland
  214. Whose Music? A Sociology of Musical Languages by John Shepard, Phil Virden, Graham Vulliamy, Trevor Wishart
  215. Why is This Country Dancing: A One-Man Samba to the Beat of Brazil by John Krich
  216. Woody Guthrie: A Life by Joe Klein
  217. The Rough Guide to World Music: Latin and North America, Caribbean, India, Asia, and Pacific: An A-Z of the Music, Musicians and Discs by Simon Broughton & Mark Ellingham
  218. The Rough Guide to World Music: Salsa to Soukous, Cajun to Calypso by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, David Muddyman & Richard Trillo
  219. World: The Essential Album Guide by Adam McGovern
  220. Yakety Yak: The Midnight Confessions and Revelations of Thirty-Seven Rock Stars and Legends by Scott Cohen