Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
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 1984 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) was the first Birdsongs release to feature the current lineup of the group, which has been performing ever since 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 Boston Globe)
Since 1994, the members of Birdsongs have been Aritsts-In-Residence at Dartmouth College 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, Connecticut.
Members 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 Street series.
One of America's most original bands. --Honolulu Star-Bulletin
...a virtual reality that is both primordial and ultramodern. --The Boston Phoenix
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic has found a common ground amid garage band rock, classical, minimalism, British progressive rock, and its own favorite noises. --Jon Pareles, The New York Times