Of The Mesozoic might be the world's hardest rocking chamber music
quartet. Their music is a unique mix of classical, rock, minimalism,
jazz, and free-form improvisational sounds. This eclectic aesthetic
has a broad audience appeal -- at a typical Birdsongs' concert,
ages range from eight to eighty, and musical preferences are as
different as rock and classical.
Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic began in 1980 as a side project by half
of Boston's now legendary Mission
Of Burma, Roger
Miller and Martin Swope. Miller and Swope joined forces with
Rick Scott and Erik
Lindgren for what was originally conceived as a recording
project only. In 1983, they released a self-titled EP, Birdsongs
Of The Mesozoic.
With the demise of Mission
Of Burma at about the same time as the EP's release, Birdongs
Of The Mesozoic became a full-time band for all members. In 1985
they released another LP, Magnetic Flip, and began extensive
touring to support its release. A year later they released another
EP, Beat Of The Mesozoic, and again set out on tour.
In 1987, Roger
Miller left the group to concentrate on solo projects and
was replaced by saxophonist Ken Field. Birdsongs'
new lineup recorded Faultline,
released on Cuneiform
(Rune 19). Their second Cuneiform
release, Pyroclastics (Rune
35), appeared in 1992. Shortly afterwards, guitarist Michael
Bierylo replaced Martin Swope, who moved to Hawaii. In 1993
a collection of previously unreleased material from 1980-1987
featuring the band's first lineup and accompanied by a written
history, The Fossil Record
(Rune 55) paid tribute to Birdsongs' early years.
1995's Dancing On A'A (Rune
69) is Birdsongs' eigth release. It is the first to feature the
current lineup of the group, which has been performing for the
past four years to widespread acclaim.
Birdsongs' instrumentation is as striking as its music: two keyboards,
guitar, and saxophone blend with electronic and acoustic percussion
(including a Mercury Cougar hubcap and a paint can) to produce
sound "...as meditative as it is physical, as rooted in classical
structure and jazz improvisation as it is in rock 'n roll." (The
Since 1994, the members of Birdsongs have been Aritsts-In-Residence
at Dartmouth College, Emory University and Massachusetts College
Of Art. Other recent notable performances have included the Knitting
Factory in New York City, the Honolulu Academy Of Arts, the Monadnock
Music Festival in New Hampshire, and Real Art Ways in Hartford,
1998, Birdsongs collaborated with David Greenberger of Duplex
Planet to create 1001 Real
Apes, in which Birdsongs provided the musical score for
stories read by Greenberger. The material was widely performed
and recorded in 1999.
sees the first actual release by Birdsongs in five years: Petrophonics,
as well as the launch of the official Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic
of the group also have gained attention by composing music for
film and television, including, most recently, work for the Children's
Television Workshop's highly respected Sesame