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Bird's many projects

Andrew sets up travelling museum, scores a film and supports Sesame Street

  • 11/11/2009
  • Georgie Rogers
Andrew Bird

Amidst touring Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and whistler Andrew Bird has let us in on three projects he’s been working on; a film soundtrack, a special sonic art installation and a song to celebrate Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary.

Following in the footsteps of Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who has been at the helm of the Where The Wild Things Are soundtrack, Bird revealed he has taken on the score for a film, called Norman.

"It could do quite well," he told 6 Music News. "It’s got a fairly well known cast and it’s really well written and everything. It is more of a drama, it tackles high school drama without being lame."

However, it could be his first and last soundtrack as he added laughingly: "This is the first legitimate full length film that I did.

"I had the monitor of the film in the studio and I’m playing. It’s a lot of work. I don’t know if I ever want to do it again."

New songs showcased

With plans afoot to travel as far as Sydney, Australia to perform at the renowned Opera House, Bird continues his tour of churches tonight with a second show at London’s Union Chapel.

The jaunt was inspired by his childhood memories of performing Handel's Messiah in various churches across the US.

"It's like an arboretum of sonic sculptures. It'll be a travelling museum show. It's just getting started."

Andrew Bird

Bird will also be treating fans to new songs on the road, including one song he’s titled Lusitania.

The track is based on the ocean liner which was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915.

"I’m using different naval incidents that drew the US into conflict, like the sinking of the maine and the Lusitania is a metaphor for a wounded relationship or something," he explained. "It actually really works, but it took my like four or five years."

Sonic arboretum

As a performer Bird is hugely absorbing, looping music and switching between instruments - now he plans to go one step further, branching into the art world.

"I’ve been collaborating with this sculptor in Chicago who makes these horns that I play through - they are like speakers - to create a whole installation, a room full of these horns that are shaped like poppies, making loops that come out of different horns.

"It’s like an arboretum of sonic sculptures. It’ll be a travelling museum show. It’s just getting started," he said.

If that’s not enough, as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the hit children’s TV show Sesame Street, the prolific musician has recorded a cover of Jim Henson's It's not Easy Being Green.

The record is due out early next year and will also include covers by the likes of Weezer and My Morning Jacket.

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