Andrew Bird, the headliner of this years Rock the Garden, blogs on the New York Times music opinion page.
How to write a song and other mysteries: Words Will Tell
“In about a week I will load up my car with amplifiers and guitars and drive to Nashville to begin recording my next record. I don’t drive much anymore and I’m glad for that except that I used to write a lot while on the road. Solitude, boredom, and the desperate need to entertain oneself are ideal stimuli for songwriting.
I’ll spend days at my farm creating loops with my violin where I record a phrase and layer on top of it, often starting with pizzicato followed by multiple string lines. This is a handy compositional tool I also use in performance. I can follow any whim and instantly hear how it works in counterpoint with other ideas. It’s perfect for someone who plays by ear and improvises as I do and who is too impatient for notation. This helps keep ideas fluid and ephemeral but with an instant gratification playback option. I’ve found that I can be completely satisfied for weeks by the simplest four-bar phrase repeating over and over again. It’s a fragile thing where your perception of it can change it completely. You can reconstruct all the elements the following day, note for note and go by physical memory but the feel can be elusive.” – Andrew Bird Click here to read more.
Rock the Garden!
Featuring : Andrew Bird, The New Pornographers, Cloud Cult, and Bon Iver
Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Saturday, June 21, 2008 | 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm
For more information / tickets click here
Andrew Bird, playing in Austin 2007 | Photo by Gary Miller