WBEZ | Andrew Bird http://www.wbez.org/tags/andrew-bird Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller transform the Museum of Contemporary Art into a ‘Sonic Arboretum’ http://www.wbez.org/content/andrew-bird-and-ian-schneller-transform-museum-contemporary-art-%E2%80%98sonic-arboretum%E2%80%99 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-12/resize__575__575__5__exhib_images__full_1319232331thatcherarboretum-6036.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33539648?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ff0000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601"></iframe></p><p>Walk into the <a href="http://mcachicago.org/" target="_blank">Museum of Contemporary Art</a> Chicago’s atrium, and visitors are immediately saturated by the physical and aural art. <a href="http://mcachicago.org/exhibitions/now/2011/288" target="_blank"><em>Sonic Arboretum</em></a>, a collaboration between sculptor and instrument maker <a href="http://www.specimenproducts.com/" target="_blank">Ian Schneller</a> and musician <a href="http://www.andrewbird.net/" target="_blank">Andrew Bird</a>, features Birds’ hauntingly melodic and eloquent tunes channeled through Schneller’s equally compelling horned speakers.</p><p><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> caught up with Schneller as he was installing the exhibit. It runs through the end of the month with a couple of special live performances by Bird. Schneller began by talking about where the idea for his creations came from. <em>Sonic Arboretum</em> will run through Dec. 31, with special performances by Andrew Bird on Dec. 21 and 22.</p></p> Mon, 12 Dec 2011 15:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/andrew-bird-and-ian-schneller-transform-museum-contemporary-art-%E2%80%98sonic-arboretum%E2%80%99 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' returns http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-30/harold-and-purple-crayon-returns-94448 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/HSD101013_266.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>“It’s great to see a six-year-old have their own moment with what’s onstage. Kids are great audience members—when they’re having a wonderful moment of catharis or immersion, they don’t care what they sound like.”</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/HSD101013_266.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p><p>Matt Miller, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s lighting director, is reveling in the vociferous responses to Hubbard Street 2’s <em>Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure</em>, based on Crockett Johnson’s 1955 picture book and set to music by Andrew Bird. After sold-out performances a year ago, when the show debuted in Chicago (it opened first at the Kennedy Center), <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/2011-2012-season/harold-and-the-purpl"><em>Harold</em> is being remounted this weekend</a>—with some tweaks Miller made to his own lighting. “The audience probably didn’t care,” he says. “But it didn’t meet my standards.”</p><p>“Ryan [Wineinger] did the projections and scenery,” says Miller. “And he drew a lot of wonderful inspiration from the idea of folded paper, with the stage like a big white open book. The projections are the focus of the show, what the kids pay attention to the most. It’s like TV, but they also interact. They stay involved, seeing lines getting drawn, creatures taking shape.”</p><p>However, he says, “a white set is sort of a death trap for lighting. When you’re lighting a dance, you usually use black masking—the thing that keeps people from seeing backstage. But with <em>Harold</em>, the masking was brighter than the dancers. It gave me an interesting palette, and there were great moments where it worked, but… the design choices on the dancers were minimal.”</p><p>This year, Miller is putting the same scenic elements in a purple frame instead—“still like the book, but also like the crayon. In this business, you don’t often get a second chance! Now the colors are on the dancers, not the background.”</p><p>Wineinger says that, in some ways, his “set and projections were easy because they were a re-creation of the children’s book. But they also provided an opportunity to travel through the book, doing it through video. Harold travels through the landscapes, and sometimes draws them. He’s creating all these places, and the dancers are the spark.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/Matt-Miller.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 229px;" title="Miller working tech">“We wanted the scenic elements to be huge,” Wineinger adds—not only the projections but the oversize bed and window he designed. The result: the six HS2 dancers playing Harold, some of them pretty tall, look child-size.</p><p>Miller started out at Hubbard Street as the production manager for Hubbard Street 2. “I was a one-man song-and-dance,” he says. “I did the lighting, the stage management, driving the van, washing the costumes…. ” In his current job, as lighting director for both companies, he estimates that 60 to 70 percent of his work is adapting the lighting designs of pieces that HSDC has acquired. But he will be designing<a href="http://mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2012/744"> Hubbard Street’s January show at the MCA, “danc(e)volve,” </a>a showcase of new works by HSDC and HS2 dancers.</p><p>A self-described art geek, Miller says, “Whether it’s great design or choreography or cinematography, art that can move you is just so fantastic. Everyone can understand it, but we can almost never put our finger on it. Someone once told me, ‘Bad lighting is easy to see, but good lighting is not.’ At the end of the day, the goal is to make art.”</p></p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 15:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-30/harold-and-purple-crayon-returns-94448 The Hideout owners talk cops who love Thurston Moore, the perils of owning a bar and their 15th anniversary http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-09-22/hideout-owners-talk-cops-who-love-thurston-moore-perils-owning-bar-and-th <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-22/Iron &amp; Wine at Hideout_Flickr_Joshua Mellin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com">The Hideout</a> is the best bar/music venue in Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p>OK, I'm biased, as that's where we do <em>The Interview Show</em>. But I don't think I'm alone in my opinion. For those who don't know The Hideout, this description from the bar's website explains the place far better than I ever could:&nbsp;</p><p>"It’s where Jack White threw up in the alley, due to a terrible flu, taped up a black and white bed sheet behind Meg’s drum set, put on some red polyester pants, and then flew onstage and played his pants off. It’s where Phantom Planet filmed their first low budget video for 'California' which became the theme song for some cancelled TV 'dramedy.' It’s where Robin Hitchcock got drunk on red wine and sang classic rock covers with local power trio kings Mr. Rudy Day. It’s where Joe McFee, Ken Vandermark, Areyellah Ra and their friends will blast out Free Jazz every Wednesday night. . . . It is the place where bands play their first shows ever. It is where they come back, in another band later. It is where they play in nine different bands in ten years. It is a community where every bartender, door person and sound tech is in a band. Where no one quits, they just go on tour."</p><p>This Saturday, The Hideout celebrates 15 years with its annual block party. As long as you forget that 24 hours beforehand, the parking lot where you'll be hanging out was filled with garbage trucks, it beats the zillion other block parties in the city hands down. This year, Andrew Bird, Mavis Staples, Jon Langford and White Mystery are among the performers.</p><p>Here, the four owners of The Hideout, Tim and Katie Tuten and&nbsp;Jim and Mike Hinchsliff, talk everything Hideout and, in a very Hideout moment, buy everyone a shot.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/363DO5Jm_yI" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-09-22/hideout-owners-talk-cops-who-love-thurston-moore-perils-owning-bar-and-th Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/19 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-19/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-519-86757 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-19/209885_216872291662341_216294275053476_999832_6895127_o.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1.&nbsp;The MCA has released&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mcachicago.org/performances/index.php" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">their full line-up for 2011-12</a>, the 15th anniversary of the Museum of Contemporary Art Stage. One highlight: musician Andrew Bird joins Ian Schneller/Specimen Products for&nbsp;<em>Sonic Arboretum</em>&nbsp;from Decemeber 6th to 31st. The project consists of an installation open to the museum-going public, but there will be two other performances by&nbsp;Bird and Schneller. <em>Sonic Arboretum</em> was also performed <a href="http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/support/join/dark-sounds">last summer at the Guggenheim</a>. No word on whether Bird will bust out his impressive and famous whistling.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="208" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-19/Julieanne Ehre Interview.jpg" title="" width="200"></p><p>2. <a href="http://www.2amtheatre.com/2011/05/17/spotlight-julieanne-ehre-director/">Director&nbsp;Julieanne Ehre told 2amt</a>: "I’m drawn most to work that is unrealistic. As Blanche put it in <em>Streetcar Named Desire</em>: “I don’t want realism, I want magic!” I go to the theater to be transported into another reality — I love fiction, I love being immersed into imaginary worlds."</p><p>3.&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/05/19/the-rapture-list-some-of-my-top-theatrical-memories-of-all-time/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Chicago Theater Addict has a list</a>&nbsp;of some of his top theater moments ever, and a few of the selections are more than surprising: <em>Cats&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em>Phantom of the Opera</em>. His reasoning is solid, but I still can't get past <em>Cats</em>...</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-19/209885_216872291662341_216294275053476_999832_6895127_o.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 385px;" title=""></p><p>4. <a href="http://www.gorillatango.com/cgi-bin/public/gttv2.cgi?location_number=2&amp;shows=yes"><em>Vonnegut Shorts</em></a> is wrapping up its run at Gorilla Tango tonight at 11pm and Sunday at 2pm; for this play, Vonnegut's short stories have been adapted for the stage by <a href="http://www.timesthreechicago.com/">Times Three Theatre</a>. It's the premier production from this new group made up of mostly young recent college graduates.</p><p>5. Some say don't mess with a good thing, but the guys over at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/dueling-critics-original-grease-returns-stage-86156"><em>The Original Grease</em></a> disagree; they're <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/05/18/original-grease-minus-the-fat">"tightening" up the hit production</a>. What does this mean?&nbsp;Artistic director PJ Paparelli says ten to twelve minutes of the show have been cut, by reducing the scenes of the older, adult Taft High students. This means five cast members have been cut, though <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/05/the-original-grease-yet-more-original.html">Paparelli claims</a>&nbsp;that "They were very understanding. They understood that it has changed."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Thu, 19 May 2011 14:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-19/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-519-86757