Andrew Bird first picked up a violin at age four and proceeded to spend his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear. As a teen, Bird mastered the sounds of early jazz, country, blues and gypsy music. All these influences still percolate within Bird’s brand of pop, but he has established a sound that is distinctly his own. Since 1997 the Chicago-based composer and multi-instrumentalist has released 11 albums, garnering a devoted following with his early band Bowl of Fire before venturing out with his first solo record, 2003’s Weather Systems. It was with this release that Bird began using a looping pedal to combine densely-layered symphonies onstage and revealed his unearthly talent for whistling. He has since played such prestigious venues as New York’s Beacon Theater and Carnegie Hall, Coachella, the Austin City Limits Festival, the Hollywood Bowl and Bumbershoot; in 2008 Bird had 15,000 fans overflowing from Chicago’s Millennium Park for his largestever headlining performance. Bird has gone on to record with the Preser vation Hall Jazz Band as well as collaborate with inventor Ian Schneller on the Sonic Arboretum installation at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporar y Art. He has documented his creative process for The New York Times, contributed music to the new Muppets movie and composed his firstever film score for the movie Norman.