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Andrew Bird booked for ICA’s annual gala

David T. Kindler

The Institute of Contemporary Art has announced that singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Andrew Bird — whose music is featured with sculptor Ian Schneller’s horn speakers in the show “Sonic Arboretum” — will appear with Schneller at the ICA’s annual gala on May 16.

Bird recorded the ethereal music used in “Sonic Arboretum” in a canyon in Utah. He’s performed live with the installation before, including a gig at the Guggenheim Museum, which he admits was a strange experience. “People were on that spiral — just a couple of feet behind me,” Bird told us by phone on Sunday. “It was a little bit like busking. I felt like they might tap me on the shoulder.”


Bird’s show at the ICA should be more traditional. He’ll perform during the dinner portion of the gala, before the ICA’s Party on the Harbor, which is the museum’s afterparty with music and dancing. We expect that Bird will stick to the canyon compositions during the night, but he said that his fans are usually supportive, even when he doesn’t play his hits.

“They tend to be quite young and pretty articulate and artistically inclined but also very wholesome,” Bird said, of his followers. “They think about what they’re going to say to me before they come up to me. I feel pretty lucky about that.”

Asked whether he’ll stick around for dancing at Party on the Harbor, Bird told us, “We’ll see. It depends on what kind of jams they’re playing.”