robertjbyrd at yahoo dot com
Rob Byrd’s music explores the guitar’s capacity for melodic expression, and its ability to conjure spaces and textures. Melding sublime songwriting with expansive sonic settings, he calls forth shadowy vistas and veiled memories. He creates his music and all of its atmospheres by playing guitar in real time through his original sound design programs. There are no overdubs, backing tracks, looping, samples, or additional instrumentation used.
A desire to summon alluring musical environments with the guitar has always been important to him. This creative impulse came into focus through conversations with renowned light artist James Turrell at the University of Delaware, when Byrd was a student there and assisting Turrell with building his "Jida" installation. A chance meeting with guitar icon John Fahey was another watershed moment. Fahey, who happened to be shopping in the same record store as Byrd, bought an early demo copy of Byrd's first album as it played over the sound system. The encouragement Fahey offered during that humbling encounter has had lasting resonance.
Byrd performs in a wide variety of venues, from clubs and cafes to galleries and libraries. Some of his past shows have taken place at the legendary CBGB, the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert (at which he first performed his live guitar score to the 1928 classic silent film "La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc"), the Queens Museum of Art in New York City, and the Southworth Planetarium.
His first full-length album “The Bells of Tomorrow” was released on Rootsucker Records in 2006. The 2009 follow-up “My Ghosts and Yours” was released on Del Chapel Recordings. Released in January 2014, Byrd's third album "Soul Spaces" introduced melodic songwriting to his music. "Aurora Season," his latest album on Del Chapel Recordings, evokes wild expanses, haunted towns, and the people who inhabit them.
His music has been used as the score for several independent films and has appeared in HBO’s “The Sopranos.”