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Watch Andrew Bird perform at The Current Day Party in Austin, Texas

Andrew Bird performs on the outdoor stage at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival.
Andrew Bird performs on the outdoor stage at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival.Mary Mathis | MPR

March 16, 2019

Andrew Bird began his journey with music at a young age and has been sharing his versatile talents with the world since. At age four, Bird learned violin through the Suzuki method, an immersive training which imitates the linguistic environment of acquiring a native language. Continuing on from that unique creative development, he picked up other instruments while obtaining a degree in violin. Throughout the years, he immersed himself in genres like early jazz, country blues, folk, and pop, eventually pulling from them to create his own distinct sound.

Bird has released 11 albums thus far, with one coming out next week, humbly titled My Finest Work Yet. His catalog consists mainly of complex folksy compositions, which often employ sophisticated electronic looping, glockenspiel, and violin, among other additions. This instrumentation, combined with Bird's impeccable whistle and echoing melodies, sounds like playful shadows from a bonfire dancing on a canyon wall. His lyrics bolster that impression with imagery that often ties back to the nature's mystique and humans' interaction with it.

Another iteration of Bird's connection with nature, and taste for innovative projects, are his Echolocation albums. Created in acoustically unique spaces, these site-specific short films and recordings document music-making in natural environments. Thus far, Bird has created albums in a remote Utah canyon and in the middle of the Los Angeles river, with more in the works.

Bird also has many creative endeavors outside of his recorded music. In recent years, he's scored the FX series Baskets, various films, and even whistled in The Muppets movie. He has also collaborated on installation projects like Sonic Arboretum exhibited across the country, including in New York's Guggenheim Museum. To make this all more accessible, Bird also hosts an ongoing Facebook live video series called Live From the Great Room, to discuss his creative process with viewers in an casual setting.

Andrew Bird's influences range far and wide, and with his talents and spirit for experimentation, it will be fun to watch his journey continue.

     – Darby Ottoson

Song By Song

Songs Performed

improvised instrumental
"Cracking Codes"
All titled songs are from Andrew Bird's album, My Finest Work Yet, releasing March 22, 2019, on Loma Vista.

Video Credits

Video Director: Nate Ryan
Camera operators: Patrick Galbreath, Devon Quick
Audio: Corey Schreppel

Andrew Bird - official site