August 6, 2010

Paper Mag

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Andrew Bird + Victrolas at the Guggenheim’s Dark Sounds
By Matthew Russell and Madeline McCarty
Photographs by Matthew Russell and Madeline McCarty

“I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Andrew Bird said last night, as he stared upwards at the hundreds of fans peering down at him from the spiraling walkway of the Guggenheim above. “You all look like very nice people!” The very definition of a one-man-band (singer, songwriter, and virtuoso at nearly every instrument he’s ever picked up), Bird, a Chicago native, was the second musician to perform in the “Dark Sounds” series at the Guggenheim on August 5th, following Beirut’s show the previous month.

Paper Mag reviews Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller's Sonic Arboretum at the Guggenheim Museum NYC 2010Surrounding Bird on stage was the artwork of Ian Schneller; an installation called “Sonic Arboretum” which consisted of a collection of speakers-built to resemble Victrolas-that were used to amplify Bird’s music. The show was mostly instrumental; with Bird largely playing the violin but also displaying proficiency at the electric guitar and the glockenspiel. Bird gave an excellent performance and held a captive audience, most of them, like Bird, having never seen anything like it before either.

see more images from the Guggenheim show