Andrew Bird: Echolocations: Canyon

andrew b echoAndrew Bird
Echolocations: Canyon
(Wegawam Music Co.)

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Andrew Bird is one of the most dynamic, productive artists working today. Echolocations: Canyon is the beginning of a new music and film project in which Bird records in inspiring environments. Canyon came together in Utah’s Coyote Gulch canyons, and Bird employs his classical violin background to take advantage of the setting’s echo to create gorgeous instrumentals.

Canyon is less an album and more a grand experiment, a piece of art crafted as Bird plays his violin and whistles his way through the canyon to find the best way to work with his surroundings. Though there are technically seven tracks on the album, each with a slightly different feeling, it’s difficult to tell them apart. You can sense the sheer amount of space through the echo Bird captures, but he also builds warmth to keep the music from becoming too isolating or lonely. This isn’t a record you would tend to listen to for your favorite song. Instead it’s about crafting mood and setting a scene.

If you’re a fan of Andrew Bird’s work or experimental classical, then this is well worth a listen. If you’re intrigued but not sure whether you should buy, then it may be best to take a trip to Boston. At the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, the music is part of a special exhibit called “Sonic Arborteum,” which features Canyon playing through dozens of speakers crafted by Ian Schneller. The exhibit is in the West Gallery through May 10.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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