Summer Nostos FestivalSummer Nostos Festival

Music

Andrew Bird

Contemporary Music

Monday June 24, 22.00, Great Lawn

Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird, a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter with a way of whistling his songs at his concerts that creates autonomous, powerful narratives, will be coming to Greece shortly after the release of his most recent album (his 15th), which draws heavily from Greek mythology while commenting on the political reality of our time. The title is My Finest Work Yet, a clear sign that the wry humor he is known for remains a central feature of his lyrics. One of the album’s first songs to be released is called Sisyphus and comments on the human addiction to suffering.

His whistling is also famous on the movie screen: he performed Whistling Caruso in Disney’s The Muppets. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Wall Disney Concert Hall and dozens of festivals around the world. He is constantly exploring his potential and pushing the boundaries of music through his collaborations with artists and scientists, for instance with inventor Jan Schneller for the Sonic Arboretum, an installation that was presented at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. At the same time, he is actively involved in social issues and supports Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit working to end gun violence.

It is obvious that he is an artist who never rests; who is always seeking out new roads and laying claim to new musical territories. Bird is in full control of his creations in terms of the lyrics, the music, and the content he wishes to communicate. This time he says that his new work is dominated by a spirit of optimism. A musical and lyrical genius, Bird has given thousands of concerts. And it all began when, at the age of 4, he picked up a violin and started, on his own, using the Suzuki method to learn how to play well-known classical repertoire songs.

With My Finest Work Yet, he enters a new creative phase where the role of the citizen in a deeply divisive social and political environment does not just affect him, but makes him want to take a stand, using his powerful loudspeaker: his art. The album was written between the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the events in Charlottesville, North Carolina. “And, I was trying to figure out a way to step back and look at everything that’s going on, and look at how we’re caught in this sort of death spiral.” It is decidedly his most political album yet. He made a conscious decision and is fully aware of the potential danger. He hopes that My Finest Work Yet will provoke fruitful dialogue and won’t discourage people from listening to it. “Do we really want our pop singers to be weighing in on this stuff?” He wonders.