Sound, deconstructed

How Music Works

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne brought his own talented contingent of co-conspirators to UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre a few years ago for an amazing fusion of music, dance and performance art, so I pounced on his recent book with the skeletal title of How Music Works (McSweeney's, $32) to decipher just how he wove such magic, and why and how music has become such an integral part of my own life. I was not disappointed. Rummaging through personal experience, history, philosophy, anthropology, technology and science, Byrne took me on a quest of understanding that was entertaining but also made me feel smarter.