Andrew Bird on Performing

Tumblr's Storyboard posted a nice interview with musician Andrew Bird in February. I've loved Bird's music since I first heard it. His music is eclectic, polished, emotional, and unpretentious. My favorite songs include "Cock o' the Walk" from the Bowl of Fire album and "Measuring Cups" from The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Some may know him from the recent movie The Muppet's, where he performed the whistling for Walter's performance. He also performed a sweet and touching version of "It's not easy being green" for the movie album. He plays violin, sings, and dabbles in many other instruments.

In this interview he focuses on why he tries to capture an amateur spirit in his performances. If I understand him correctly, he's talking about when a performance becomes so highly polished that it lacks personality and emotion. I tend to agree with him that many modern performances lack spontaneity and genuine feeling. Instead of treating each performance as a new opportunity, many musicians tend to try to recreate the exact sound from a studio album. On the other hand, I think his training and skill as a professional give him far more choices when communicating with the audience. Without that skill set any mistakes he made would be awkward, and he would not be able to "use the mishap as fuel to bring the whole performance to even greater heights."

For a little more background on the interview, see the original post at Storyboard.