Why David Byrne is hijacking a high school tradition

David Byrne explains why he's recruiting top musicians, including Nelly Furtado, St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs, to compose new music for 10 high school colour guard teams.

Have you ever seen a "colour guard"? They're the flag, sabre and rifle spinning dancers seen during half-time shows at U.S. football games, backed by recorded music or a booming marching band.

Well, how's this for a spin: Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has taken an interest in this high school classic. He's recruited ten other musicians — including Nelly Furtado, St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs — to work with real high school colour guard teams. 

Byrne joins Shad to talk about Contemporary Color, his upcoming performance piece at the Luminato Festival, and how he found himself invested in this strange little niche. Can he increase the vibrancy of this American staple ... maybe do for it what Glee did for glee clubs?

WEB EXTRA | Watch the stylised promotional video for David Byrne's Contemporary Color project as well as an brief color guard explainer. 


Plus, to give you an idea of a real colour guard show, here are two of the teams that will participate in David Byrne's project (including a Canadian team).  



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.