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. 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, or additional instrumentation used.
Summoning 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 transformative experience. 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 store’s sound system. The encouragement Fahey offered during that fortunate encounter has had a 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, and the Southworth Planetarium. His music has been used as the score for several independent films and has appeared in HBO’s “The Sopranos.” His songs have been included in a recent broadcast of NPR's nationally-syndicated program "Hearts of Space", and selected by the Editors of Spotify for their playlist "The Sound of Deep Ambient".