One-Man Band; Singer-Songwriter; Plays the Violin, Guitar and Glockenspiel
Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of 4. Actually, it was a Cracker Jack box with a ruler taped to it, and the first of his many Suzuki music lessons involved simply bowing to the teacher and going home. He spent his formative years soaking up classical…
Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of 4. Actually, it was a Cracker Jack box with a ruler taped to it, and the first of his many Suzuki music lessons involved simply bowing to the teacher and going home.
He spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear, so when it came time for a restless teen-ager to make the jump to Hungarian Gypsy music, early jazz, country blues, south Indian etc., it wasn’t such a giant leap. It’s fitting that now, though classically trained, he has instead opted to play his violin in a most unconventional manner, accompanying himself on glockenspiel and guitar, adding singing and whistling to the equation, and becoming a pop songwriter in the process.
Since beginning his recording career, Andrew has released nine albums: six studio albums, both solo and with his former group the Bowl of Fire, and three live albums. 2007’s Armchair Apocrypha brings the tally to ten. It is an album that sums up where Andrew’s career has taken him, yet is very much of his artistic present.
Though Andrew’s voice has been compared to such eminent company as Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke, and Rufus Wainwright, like those performers, it has a quality all its own. He also adds to the mix his unnatural whistling ability, rendering him capable of adding organically generated yet otherworldly, Theremin-like sounds to the mix.
The live setting is where he becomes one with his songs. At first, it is a curious attraction – one man, generating the wealth of sound normally produced by an orchestra. Each night, song parts are constructed on violin, guitar, and glockenspiel, layered, then looped over themselves in a tangled and textured layer cake of sonics. Each night, songs shape shift within their loops – Andrew rarely replicates a song’s perfect structure as it lives on the album, but rather lends an improvisatory aspect to the performance. More recently, the scope and range of the live show has been expanded to incorporate songs from Armchair Apocrypha, with Andrew’s main live collaborator Martin Dosh also joined by multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Ylvisaker.
His first band, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire, recorded three albums for Rykodisc from 1997 to 2001: Thrills revisited early 20th century jazz and folk forms and made them fierce again; Oh! The Grandeur pulsed with dark undertones and gypsy balladry; and The Swimming Hour fused rock and soul predilections into a mixture that drew comparisons to such diverse predecessors as the Beatles, Talking Heads, obscure European folk, and country blues (The Onion).
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
An Evening With Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)
1 HOUR OR LESS