'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Andrew Bird Review

Andrew Bird

The two acts before Bird flew on stage highlight a lot about modern music. It’s not that it’s poorly performed; rather it displays a passive-optimistic repetitiveness which varies only slightly between songs. Definitely the foothills of the musical summit which the audience would be invited to ascend with Bird.

Still, as the stage clouds gathered and Bird walked on, the impression was not one of instant awe. Yet the sounds which he can produce are astounding. Tones, harmonies and melodies are built up through Bird’s guitar, violin and vocal talents. The use of on stage recording equipment allows Bird to create a tapestry of his own sounds to weave in and out of. It’s a creative fabric which sews folk, jazz and blues into the surface, as well as hints modern classical composers, such as John Adams.

From such varied influences Bird’s sound has a spiritual resonance with anyone remotely interested in music. It’s also nice that, despite his cooler than a bucket of ice voice, Andrew Bird doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s just as willing to write about eating meat as he is to cover ancient American folk melodies about life.

A landscape of sound from one of the United States’ most complex and gifted contemporary musicians.

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