Live Virtual Session: Andrew Bird celebrates the silver linings of being at home

From his home in Los Angeles, Andrew Bird connects with The Current's Sean McPherson for a live virtual session. (The Current)

"It's not an unfamiliar feeling making music by myself," says indie rock multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird in a conversation with The Current's Sean McPherson. While stay-at-home orders are forcing musicians to explore their creativity in solitude, Andrew Bird reflected on the even lonelier days he had spent living alone in a barn in western Illinois.

When asked about how he has been holding up during this public health crisis, Bird notes that he, like many others, experienced anxiety and dread for the first couple weeks. He now has found a rhythm and a routine, which he claims has made life much more manageable. Now, Bird is at home making music and spending time with his family, and he is celebrating the silver linings in the midst of tour cancellations and the general pause on the music industry. "I've been either coming or going for the last 20 years," he says, "so it's kind of nice to stay put for a minute and be with my family."

Bird sometimes even includes his family when he is making music at home; however, he more often plays by himself, creating a lush soundscape by looping and layering his vocals, guitar and violin. Bird has taken this quarantine as an opportunity to really dig back into his catalog of music. He has been playing one song of his per day, which he films and shares on social media.

"I try to use [social media] for good rather than evil," he says. "It's a powerful tool and it creates a reason for me to get my musical fix.

"It gets people to gather," Bird continues. "If not in the same room together, they're still gathering."

Andrew Bird's daily performances from his living room are reminiscent of his "Live from the Great Room" series, where he has invited musicians such as Fiona Apple, Dan Wilson, Lucius and others into his living room in Los Angeles to collaborate by sharing and playing on each other's songs. He notes the importance of collaboration, as it gets himself out of his own comfort zone, and his desire to kickstart this project again. All of these videos can be found on YouTube.

Songs Performed

00:50 "Near Death Experience Experience"
10:20 "Capital Crimes"
20:08 "Lull"
Song 1 is from Andrew Bird's 2012 album, Break It Yourself, available on Bella Union; song 2 is a newly released single; and song 3 is from 2003's Weather Systems, released on the Wegawam Music Co. label.

Hosted by Sean McPherson
Produced by Jesse Wiza
Engineered by Erik Stromstad
Article by Sylvia Jennings
Web production by Luke Taylor

External Link

Andrew Bird - official site

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  • Andrew Bird performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
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