Andrew Bird-Essence of place

In a dazzling and dynamic dance of sounds, film, moving topography, and light displays, Bird immerses his audience in a transcendental experience that is effortlessly nostalgic.

By | Michelle N. Meyer

Andrew Bird takes the audience on a journey to places far beyond the reach of the concert hall. For a night, we are here experiencing these places and their essence- in their entirety. In a dazzling and dynamic dance of sounds, film, moving topography, and light displays, Bird immerses his audience in a transcendental experience that is effortlessly nostalgic.

Before the performance began, seats are quickly filled, and murmurs were promptly hushed. A deafening silence fell over the entire venue, no beat was to be missed. Only the sound of Andrew Bird’s footsteps were heard as Bird makes a hushed entrance onto the stage.

Bird bent down to pick up his violin, then placed it carefully underneath the base of his chin. All the lights went black. For a moment, there was nothingness. Then the sooth, serendipitous sounds of a violin rang out.

“I felt healthier as I was listening,” HSU student, Andrew Heise said.

Bird began his performance with songs such as “Down Under The Hyperion Bridge” and “Gypsy Moth”, from his newest album, part of his Echolocations Solo Series- Echolocations: River, which released Oct. 6.

Part of Bird’s Echolocations Solo Series are each recorded at an individual location and feature site specific pieces. These unique locations allow for sound quality that is not easily, or at all replaceable in a studio setting. In addition to the recordings, the works are also accompanied by film of that location.

Bird recorded the eight track instrumental LP, Echolocations: River, while wading ankle deep in the Los Angeles River underneath the Glendale Hyperion Bridge.

Echolocations: River:

1 The Cormorants

2 Ellipses

3 Lazuli Bunting

4 Gypsy Moth

5 Black-Crowned Night-Heron

6 Down Under the Hyperion Bridge

7 Dear Killdear

8 The Green Heron

The second portion of the performance included songs from his first album in the Echolocations Solo Series, Echolocations: Canyon. Echolocations: Canyon is an instrumental album recorded inside Coyote Gulch in Utah.

During the performance, film was shown of Bird as he meandered down the winding, hollow corridors of the canyon.

Echolocations: Canyon:

1 Sweep the Field

2 Groping the Dark

3 Rising Water

4 Antrozous

5 The Return of Yawny

6 Before the Germans Came

7 The Canyon Wants to Hear C Sharp

The Illinois born, L.A. based film-score composer, multi-instrumentalist and lyricist, Andrew Bird, picked up his violin at the ripe age of four and promptly began immersing himself in classical composition. As a teen, Bird found an interest in early jazz, country blues, and gypsy music. Soon the sounds of his violin began to drift and morph into something unique to himself.

“The Violin didn’t have to be in an orchestral setting,” Jett Hagerty, a fellow violinist and HSU student, said.

While Birds main instrument is the violin, he also plays guitar, glockenspiel, and has supposedly refined the art of whistling.

Before pursuing a solo career in ’97, Bird was also a member of the bands Squirrel Nut Zipper and Bowl Of Fire. Since perusing his solo career, Bird has released 12 albums.

For the final portion of the performance, Bird was accompanied by bassist, Michael Lewis and drummer Abraham Rounds.

Rounds is a multi-instrumentalist that hails from Sydney, Australia. He started playing drums when he was just one year old. Rounds, now 25 and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Currently, he is a member of his musical mentors Meshell Ndegeocello’s band. In addition, he has also recorded and toured with artists such as Seal, Trevor Horn, Justin Stanley, My Brightest Diamond, Susanna Hoffs, Doyle Bramhall II, and Andrew Bird.

Rounds says he began playing with Bird last year.

“He saw me playing with another artist called My Brightest Diamond,” Round said. “[Bird] reached out to me by email when he needed a drummer.”

Before Rounds began playing with Bird, he said that he didn’t know any of his music. So far Round described the experience of working with Bird has been pretty.

“It’s a good crew and a good bunch of people,” Round said.

The Van Duzer marks the last stop on the band’s tour and they have a 600-mile drive ahead of them. Yet, in his last few moments in Humboldt County, Rounds said that he feels great to be here amidst the sounds of the redwoods.


October 12—Los Angeles, CA—Zebulon

October 13—Mesa, AZ—Mesa Arts Center

October 14—Santa Barbara, CA—Campbell Hall

October 16—San Luis Obispo, CA—Christopher Cohan Center

October 18—San Francisco, CA—SFJAZZ, Miner Auditorium

October 19—San Francisco, CA—SFJAZZ, Miner Auditorium

October 20—Stanford, CA—Bing Concert Hall

October 22—Davis, CA—Mondavi Center

October 23—Arcata, CA—Van Duzer Theatre

December 8—Nashville, TN—Downtown Presbyterian Church*

December 9—Nashville, TN—Downtown Presbyterian Church*

December 11—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*

December 12—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*

December 13—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*

December 14—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*

* Gezelligheid Performance

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