To mark ten amazing years of celebrating sound and story, we’re closing out this year’s Conference with something a little different - a special conversation about inspiration, collaboration, creativity, and storytelling that will leave your ears ringing... in a good way.
In 2005 songwriter/performer Andrew Bird and print artist Jay Ryan collaborated on the artwork for Bird's highly acclaimed record, "The Mysterious Production of Eggs." Here Bird and Ryan take the stage to describe - through conversation and performance - the creative efforts that infused the project. They explore the narrative depth of Ryan's illustrations in relation to Bird's songs, and talk about why, despite working in distinct mediums, they're drawn to collaborate with each other. And they do this all while employing the tools of their trades - microphone, paper, guitar, and pencil.
Note! Jay Ryan is not from St. Louis! We regret the misinformation (in the intro), and blame the internet.
Since age four, Chicago-based songwriter/performer Andrew Bird has been playing music ranging from classical to early country blues. He’s spent the past 13 years writing pop music infused with unconventional violin, glockenspiel, guitar, and his trademark whistling. Bird has released 11 albums, most recently the widely lauded Noble Beast (2009) which has won praise from Esquire, the New York Times Magazine, and NPR, among others. Amazon.com recently named Bird’s Mysterious Production of Eggs, including original artwork by print artist Jay Ryan, one of the "100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of All Time."
Jay Ryan has been screenprinting posters in Chicago since 1995, first at Screwball Press, and then at his own print shop, The Bird Machine. Known for his humorous animal subjects and computer-free design techniques, Ryan has worked for hundreds of bands, including Shellac, Fugazi, the Flaming Lips, Andrew Bird, and the Decemberists, as well as his own band, Dianogah. He lives and works just barely outside of Chicago, has published two books documenting his favorite poster work (both by Akashic Books), and rides his bicycle as often as he can.