Music project 'For the Birds' seeks to celebrate and save birdsong - petsitterbank

Music project ‘For the Birds’ seeks to celebrate and save birdsong

During the height of the pandemic, Randall Poster found solace in birdsong. As the music supervisor for some of Hollywood’s most prestigious directors, he’s used to listening to melodies. But he hadn’t paid much attention to nature’s music.

The more he noticed birds and their songs, the more he realized that climate change threatened both. Then, a colleague, Rebecca Reagan, conceived an idea: Mr. Poster could invite notable musicians to create music built around birdsong. The result, produced in collaboration with the National Audubon Society, is “For the Birds: The Birdsong Project.”

Why We Wrote This

The beauty around us can be an inspiration, if we pay attention to it. A new music project hopes to bring that kind of attention to birds and birdsong – and the preservation of both.

Thirteen hours of music featuring a wide range of musicians, the 20 LP box set will be available in the fall. For now, the tracks are being released to streaming platforms, with the hope that they will encourage people to listen to nature – and preserve it.

The universality of bird sounds explains why “For the Birds” encompasses so many musical styles, from minimalist composer Terry Riley, to jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, to hip-hop artist Wale.

“For the Birds” also includes a partnership with eyeglass retailer Warby Parker for a line of inexpensive binoculars for underserved children.

“It’s nurturing another generation … of concerned people,” says Mr. Poster. “Ultimately I think that’s going to be the legacy of the project.”

Randall Poster spends many hours each day listening to music. It’s his job. Some of Hollywood’s most prestigious directors – Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Nancy Meyers – hire him to pick out the perfect songs to pair with scenes in their movies, so the music supervisor is on a continual quest to find remarkable melodies.

Then in 2020, Mr Poster discovered something extraordinary. The New York resident cottoned on to something he’d heard innumerable times but had paid scarce attention to. Its emotional resonance floored the man with the golden ears.

It was the sound of birds.

Why We Wrote This

The beauty around us can be an inspiration, if we pay attention to it. A new music project hopes to bring that kind of attention to birds and birdsong – and the preservation of both.

“During this dark moment of the pandemic, when we didn’t know what was ahead of us, … you look out the window and nature was still going,” says Mr. Poster in a Zoom call. “I took a lot of solace in the fact that the birds were vocalizing and basically sort of saying, ‘We’re here. We’re still singing.’”

As Mr. Poster’s newfound interest in avian life developed, he became more aware of how climate change threatens birds. A colleague, Rebecca Reagan, conceived an idea: Mr. Poster could invite notable musicians to create music built around birdsong. The result, produced in collaboration with the National Audubon Society, is “For the Birds: The Birdsong Project.”

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