For the Birds: The Birdsong Project today releases Volume IV of its wide-ranging collection of 242 recordings inspired by birdsong and supporting the conservation of birds and their habitats. Now available for streaming on all platforms, Volume IV features 48 recordings---songs, instrumental pieces and experimental works---across the stylistic spectrum along with compelling literary interludes. The volume’s musical artists include Sam Amidon, Andrew Bird, Mark Mothersbaugh, Arturo O’Farrill, Midori Hirano, Julian Lage & Bill Frisell, Robert Ames, Juliette Commagere, Haley Fohr feat. Rob Frye, Julia Holter, Angélica Negrón, Doug Wieselman, Steve Gunn, and many more. Spoken word recordings interspersed among the musical contributions feature performances by Suzan-Lori Parks, Toni Collette, John Lithgow, George Saunders, Jarvis Cocker, Sam Mendes, Olivia Wilde, Cazzie David, and others, reading works by authors including E.E. Cummings, Philip Larkin, and Jane Hirshfield.
Watch singer-songwriter Andrew Bird’s Volume IV track “Rare Birds” music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ_wSKpOvLU
And watch/share the video for harpist and experimental composer Mary Lattimore’s “Your Birthday at The Huntington,” created by Birdsong executive producer Rebecca Reagan, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa3AcF2q_Ss
Additional tracks with visualizers include: Carlos Niño & Nate Mercereau feat. Kamasi Washington - “Wild Birds in an Imagined Canoga Park With Lakes and Trees in Place of Streets and Buildings” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzNiVYan_U
Written by Ada Limón. Read by Olivia Wilde - “Lies About Sea Creatures” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtuZ8NZDGl0
“It was an honor and delight to participate in this beautiful project. This is truly a singular collection of music and poetry that has never before been collected on this scale. Reading the poetry of Ada Limon into a microphone at Electric Lady Studios was a dream. It’s a thrill to be a part of the Birdsong creative collective” - Olivia Wilde
“Randall asked me to contribute to his endangered bird project last year and I decided to use the recording of the last. Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō Song (before it went extinct) as the basis for the melody. I know it sounds crazy obvious but since I started whistling at age 5 I have often attempted to imitate bird calls and see if I can get them to respond to me. At best they’ve probably just been humoring me all these years. Anyway I think what Randall has put together is incredible and obviously a labor of love. He is proving to be the rightful heir to the Hal Willner school of music curatorial brilliance” - Andrew Bird
“Music and poetry often help to express our relationship with nature and in that way, we learn more about ourselves. And, we are already seeing how these brilliant volumes from The Birdsong Project are inspiring people to better understand the conservation movement. Birds tell us we must act decisively to protect the places that they - and we all - need. By doing so, we are safeguarding our natural resources, and our way of life. The songs and poems in these volumes carry their message. Everyone has a role to play and sometimes that begins simply by building on an appreciation for the birds that sing to us from our own neighborhoods. We are incredibly grateful for this partnership with Randall, all the artists involved, and I can’t imagine another project like this existing on this scale,” said Sean O'Connor, the chief development officer for Audubon.” - Sean O'Connor, Chief Development Officer, National Audubon Society
“From the spirited dance of a Greater Prairie-Chicken to the intense gaze of a Snowy Owl, there’s nothing more captivating than watching birds being birds—especially when set to the soundtrack of Andrew Bird’s melodious whistle, itself a nod to the song of the last Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō,” said Jenny Bogo, vice president of content for the National Audubon Society. “This music video features footage from Audubon sanctuaries and other sites essential to supporting birds throughout their migrations, and it also includes many clips of bird behavior filmed by the talented photographers who share their joy of birds through the Audubon Photography Awards. Each moment is a reminder of the amazing diversity of avian life and the imperative of acting to protect it.”
The Birdsong Project was produced by Randall Poster, the Grammy Award-winning producer and music supervisor known for his longtime work with Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese. It was conceived and inspired by Executive Producer Rebecca Reagan, who brought a grand creative vision and wisdom to the project. Additional executive producers are Elliot Bergman, Stewart Lerman and Lee Ranaldo.
Since the May release of Volume I, The Birdsong Project has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, New Yorker, CBC, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Apartment Therapy, Cool Hunting, WNYC, Uproxx, Brooklyn Vegan and more.
The final volume of The Birdsong Project (Volume V) will be released in September. The full collection is also available as a limited edition 20-LP deluxe box set, which features a 60-page book including an essay by musician-ornithologist Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater and a package bursting with paintings and illustrations of birds by well-known artists.
The project’s expansive collection of 242 recordings represents a remarkable assemblage of diverse talent from across the creative community in support of an important cause, including GRAMMY, Oscar, Emmy, Pulitzer, Peabody and James Beard Award winners: Ad-Rock, Laurie Anderson, Animal Collective, Beck, Cassandra Jenkins, Dan Deacon, Daniel Lanois, Elvis Costello, Esperanza Spalding, Flaming Lips, Haden Triplets, Jeff Tweedy, Jim James, Julianna Barwick, Kamasi Washington, Karen O, Kurt Vile, Atlas Sound & L’Rain, Makaya McCraven, Hania Rani, Mark Ronson, Nick Cave, Stephin Merritt, Terry Riley, Tyondai Braxton, UNKLE, Yo-Yo Ma, and many more. The majority of the recordings were made specifically for this project.
Spoken-word contributions recorded and donated to the project feature an array of writers and actors including Jonathan Franzen, Maggie Smith, Ocean Vuong, Alice Waters, Bette Midler, Florence Welch, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Jelani Cobb, Matthew McConaughey, Natasha Lyonne, Regina King, Robert Pattinson, Sean Penn, Tilda Swinton, Tim Blake Nelson, Bobby Cannavale, and more.
All proceeds from The Birdsong Project will be donated to the National Audubon Society, the world’s oldest environmental society dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats.
In a project partnership, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has mounted a multidisciplinary exhibition and program series in collaboration with exhibition creative director and Birdsong Project producer Randall Poster—running now through October 23. It includes an outdoor exhibition of birdhouses created by international artists and inspired by Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s resident birds as well as The Birdsong Project's recordings.
To help foster an awareness of—and love for—birds in future generations, The Birdsong Project has also partnered with eyewear brand Warby Parker to donate 20,000 limited-edition "Birdoculars" to numerous cultural institutions that support the conservation of the natural world and its avian inhabitants.
Additional gala and educational events will take place with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (in conjunction with the re-opening of the Hall of Oceanic Birds in 2023).
VOLUME # 4 TRACK LIST:
1. Not-Yet - Written by Jane Hirshfield. Read by Victoria Legrand
2. Monteverde September 08 - Performed by The Album Leaf
3. Birdsong Call - Performed by Nick Zinner
4. Rare Birds - Performed by Andrew Bird
5. Bobcats, Beetles, Owls - Written by Jane Hirshfield. Read by Jane Alexander
1. Diary - Performed by Juliette Commagere
2. Cuckoo - Performed by Sam Amidon
3. Sorrow Is Not My Name - Written by Ross Gay. Read by Suzan-Lori Parks
4. County Route 41 - Performed by Cassandra Jenkins
5. Birdsong - Performed by Steve Gunn
1. Bye Bye Birdy - Performed by Mark Mothersbaugh
2. The Sparrows of Butyrka - Written by Irena Ratushinskaya. Read by George Saunders
3. Alula - Performed by GEORGIA
4. Mourning Dove in Buoyancy - Performed by Haley Fohr feat. Rob Frye
5. The Ayaymama Bird - Performed by Elvis Perkins
6. Boy With a Headset - Written and read by Edward Hirsch
1. Wild Birds in an Imagined Canoga Park With Lakes and Trees in Place of Streets and Buildings - Performed by Carlos Niño & Nate Mercereau feat. Kamasi Washington
2. Intone - Performed by Midori Hirano
3. In Wiry Winter - Written by James Schuyler. Read by Graydon Carter
4. Avi Sinistra - Performed by ROB
5. Central Park - Performed by Doug Wieselman
6. Birdy - Performed by Daniel Blumberg & Billy Steiger
7. BIRDSLAND - Performed by Arturo O'Farrill
8. To This May - Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Cazzie David
1. Aure, Deh, Per Piertà - Performed by Anthony Roth Costanzo
2. Hope Is a Thing with Feathers - Performed by Angela McCluskey & The Cantelon Ensemble
3. Coming - Written by Philip Larkin. Read by Sam Mendes
4. Many Worlds - Performed by Robert Ames
5. I Put on My Fur Coat - Written by Jane Wong. Read by Sofia Subercaseaux
6. Planeaciones - Performed by Angélica Negrón
1. Wingspan - Performed by Briana Marela
2. Poems - Written by Ruth Stone. Read by Edwina von Gal
3. Jacob Riis - Stuart Bogie and Domenica Fossati. Performed by Domenica Fossati
4. Used Beak - Performed by Craig Wedren
5. ‘sweet spring is your - Written by E. E. Cummings. Read by John Lithgow
6. Pettirosso - Daniele Luppi. Performed by Giacomo Bianchi
1. Voice & Birds - Performed by Anton Pearson (Squid)
2. Lies About Sea Creatures - Written by Ada Limón. Read by Olivia Wilde
3. The Owl of Cranston - Performed by Julian Lage & Bill Frisell
4. Tanager Time - Performed by Mac McCaughan
5. Montezuma Oropendola - Performed by Chris Watson
6. In the World - Written by Brigid Lowry. Read by Toni Collette
1. Tweetstorm - Performed by Chilly Gonzales
2. Abide - Written by Jake Adam York. Read by Jarvis Cocker
3. Keep Me Warm (Crèche) - Performed by Julia Holter
4. Migration - Performed by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
5. Kría - Performed by Jana Winderen
6. The Wild Geese - Written by Wendell Berry. Read by Michael Pollan