The Birdsong Project
A Community Inspiring Bird Conservation Through Art and Culture
June 2, 2022
Birds are some of the greatest musicians, and, believe it or not, their mastery takes practice. Nearly half of the world’s 10,000 bird species are songbirds, and their rich and complex songs are learned, performed using a specialized voice box only they possess. Their music plays over every landscape, on every continent, bringing joy and mystery. A whole lot of people began listening to them in 2020, when the normal roar of daily life turned quiet; the birds, in a world of their own, never quit singing. It wasn’t hard to also hear the message they have been sending for years: that they are in serious decline worldwide and need our help.
Randall Poster, a Grammy award-winning music supervisor behind films from the likes of Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes, and Kathryn Bigelow, was listening in those early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. So were musicians and artists he kept in touch with during lockdown; everyone seemed to have birdsong pouring into their homes. Poster, a New York City native whose credits as a music supervisor began with the 1995 indie hit Kids, was inspired; with his friend Rebecca Reagan, an activist and producer, they dreamed up the idea of an original collection of music that would celebrate birds and raise awareness to the environmental threats they face. In North America, researchers say that two-thirds of birds are at risk from climate change. Poster began calling musicians; he also got in touch with us at Bird Collective about designing apparel for this fledgling project.
The creative result, after many months, is For the Birds: The Birdsong Project, an inspiring collection of over 200 tracks of original music and bird-related poetry created and performed by some of the world’s greatest musicians, artists, and actors. The first volume of music and poetry is already available for streaming on Spotify, with additional releases coming monthly. A limited-edition box set of 20 LPs will follow in November, featuring original artwork and a 60-page book of essays and companion materials. The National Audubon Society, a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting birds and the places they need, is the main beneficiary of the project.
And it doesn’t stop there. The Birdsong Project has partnered with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to inspire bird conservation through art and culture, with an exhibition of artist-created birdhouses, educational programs, and live events of music and poetry.
Here at Bird Collective, we’re honored to be part of the community. We’ve created The Birdsong Project collection, which features artwork from New York-based artist Sabrina Bosco, who also created one of the album covers. The collection is for everyone, whether you’re a connoisseur of the dawn chorus, a captive audience member of midnight mockingbird monologues, or an everyday listener of backyard bird calls. Together, we all want to see the same thing, a world full of birds – a world with birdsong.
You can visit the official site of The Birdsong Project here. To learn more, try these articles in Audubon, The New York Times, and Spin.