I recently reconnected with music supervisor Randall Poster, decades after we were in school together, about his latest flight of fancy, “the Birdsong Project.” It encompasses more than 180 newly created songs, visual art, live music, and lots of interstitial artistic tissue.
The Birdsong Project ignited in Randall’s brain during the early months of the pandemic, when for the first time he appreciated the birdsongs surrounding his home in the Bronx—he heard them as hymns from heaven’s gate during an otherwise quiet and lonely time. They inspired him—and executive producer Rebecca Reagan—to enlist scores of musical artists to compose, record, and donate songs inspired by birds and birdsong to his project. Those tracks, along with celebrity readings of bird-themed poems, are now being released for the benefit of the National Audubon Society.
As if that weren’t enough, he worked with me, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Museum to commission 33 visual artists and architects to design fanciful birdhouses that will be displayed as part of a major exhibition, “For the Birds: The Birdsong Project,” on display at B.B.G. from June 11 through October 23.
This playlist, composed completely of existing songs inspired by birds and their music, is a tribute to Randall’s extraordinary project.
Adrian Benepe is the president of Brooklyn Botanic Garden