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David Byrne announces St. Vincent collaboration, Wall Street 2 soundtrack

on July 19, 2010, 1:40pm

Ok, David Byrne, you win.

In terms of unique projects, the former Talking Heads frontman just about takes the cake. Just ask Fatboy Slim, Sean Penn, and the Florida Governor.

Well, in addition to all the aforementioned, Byrne has also been working with the lovely Annie Clark — of St. Vincent — on a collaborative effort. Today, in an open letter first posted by Stereogum, he elaborated a bit more on the duo’s endeavor, namely how and why they got together and what the current game plan is.

About a year ago, I ran into St. Vincent at the Housing Works benefit in which Dirty Projectors and Bjork performed together. How’s that for dropping a lot of names in one sentence? Anyway, Annie and I had previously met at the Dark Was the Night benefit in which we both performed, and I’d said I was a fan of her music and disturbing videos. So when Rachel at my office, who volunteers at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, passed on a suggestion that Annie and I do a similar collaboration, I immediately said yes, though I didn’t think we could pull together a short set of new material as fast as Longstreth did (6 weeks, I think). They’d raised the bar pretty high, and as a result we agreed to come up with new material.

I believe it was Annie who suggested we hang the material around a brass ensemble, which creatively sounded great, and besides it could be acoustic and wouldn’t require amplification in the intimate Housing Works space. Beyond that, we didn’t know in what direction things would go or how we’d work together. We were still both on tour back then, so we began by passing snippets and inspirational MP3s back and forth. I had some work in progress that I re-arranged, and Annie passed me some horn tracks she’d made in GarageBand. I restructured those a little and wrote some melodies over them. We’re still inching forwards on this — no completion date is set, which is a nice situation to be in. However, we did prod ourselves to complete a couple of tunes by setting some deadlines. A few months ago we had Tony Finno arrange the horns, and we performed one of the songs — tentatively titled “Who” — at the end of Annie’s show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center. Now, having been approached by the Bang On a Can spinoff Asphalt Orchestra, with the help of Ken Thomson we’ve adapted another song called either “Two Ships” or “The Movie” for their group. This will be an instrumental version and we’ll do a vocal version later.

Asphalt Orchestra performs this and other commissioned works on August 7 outdoors at Lincoln Center.

And if that weren’t enough, Byrne’s comments were accompanied by a separate, equally awesome announcement: that the music of Byrne and his longtime collaborator Brian Eno will make up most of the soundtrack for the upcoming film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Because, you know, nothing says Michael Douglas and corporate corruption like new wave pop rock.

The soundtrack arrives September 21st via Todomundo Records. The tracklist follows.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Tracklist:
01. “Prison” (Craig Armstrong)
02. “Home” (David Byrne & Brian Eno)
03. “Life Is Long” (David Byrne & Brian Eno)
04. “Sleeping Up” (David Byrne)
05. “Strange Overtones” (David Byrne & Brian Eno)
06. “Money” (Craig Armstrong)
07. “My Big Nurse” (David Byrne & Brian Eno)
08. “Helicopter Reveal” (Craig Armstrong)
09. “Tiny Apocalypse” (David Byrne)
10. “Lazy” (David Byrne)
11. “I Feel My Stuff” (David Byrne & Brian Eno)
12. “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)” (Talking Heads)

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