The 2009 Creativity 50: David Byrne

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David Byrne
David Byrne Credit: Danny Clinch
The 56-year-old silver-haired former Talking Heads frontman continued to build on his iconic career of music, art and experimentation in 2008. He took instrumentation to unprecedented levels with last summer's "Playing the Building," in which he and his crew used a single piano and a horde of tubes to turn the entire, barren structure of the Battery Maritime Building in downtown Manhattan into a musical instrument. The project was actually a New York recreation of a similar installation Byrne did in Stockholm in 2005, commissioned by Fargfabriken. Byrne, a NYC bicycling enthusiast, discovered his Manhattan venue during one of his two-wheel sojourns through the city.

His love for cycling also inspired other efforts. Byrne saluted his New York stomping ground by teaming with the New York City Department of Transportation of New York and art gallery PaceWildenstein to design nine unique bicycle racks that were installed in various locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Last year, he also took some time to hook up with some old friends. He famously reconnected with pal and legendary music producer Brian Eno to record last year's well-received Everything that Happens Will Happen Today, the duo's first collaboration since 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Additionally, Byrne collaborated on tracks with hip indie artists like Dirty Projectors and performed for buddy Paul Simon at the latter's "You Can Call Me Al" retrospective at Brooklyn Academy of Music.

After a busy 2008 filled with eclectic projects, the creative chameleon continues to move, having returned to the stage for a world tour performing selections from his extensive discography.

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