Massive Compilation ‘For The Birds’ Ft Everybody from Beck and Nick Cave to Bette Midler and Matthew McConaughey


Stereogum
New 242-Track Birdsong-Inspired Comp For The Birds Has Beach House, Beck, Animal Collective, & Of Course Andrew Bird
BY JAMES RETTIG
MAY 20, 2022


Bette Midler: Massive Complication For The Birds: The Birdsong Project
Bette Midler: Massive Complication For The Birds: The Birdsong Project

The First Of Five Volumes To Be Released Each Month


On the first volume, which is out today, we have original music from the likes of: Beach House, Beck, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Jarvis Cocker, Karen O, Karen Elson, Jim James, Mark Ronson (featuring Damon Albarn and Wale), Kurt Vile, Josh Kaufman, Alex Somers, Alaska Reid and A.G. Cook, Lee Ranaldo, Mike Campbell, Blake Mills, Richard Reed Parry, UNKLE, Tyondai Braxton, Emily Cross. There are also pieces of writing read by Bette Midler, Danielle Haim, Sean Penn, Tilda Swinton, Wally Wolodarsky, and more.

That list doesn’t even scratch the surface of the star wattage in the whole project. A whole lot of people were inspired by birdsong! You love to see it. All proceeds from the compilation will be donated to the National Audubon Society. Check out volume one and the whole tracklist below.


Spotify Playlist For First Volume Of “For The Birds”


Normally we like to format tracklists to fit our house style but, come on, I have a life. Here are all the contributions to expect in the coming months, song title first and performers after that:


For The Birds – Volume 1 – Out Now, May 20


VOLUME #1:
ALBUM #1

SIDE A

1. Wood Dove – Performed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
2. Archangel – Performed by Beck
3. Seeds – Performed by Alaska Reid and A. G. Cook
4. The Morning – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Danielle Haim
5. Fly On – Performed by Karen Elson
6. Fly Away (With the Songs) – Performed by Michael Rother & Vittoria Maccabruni

SIDE B

1. On the Wing – Performed by Jim James
2. Honey, in the Wild – Performed by Josh Kaufman feat. Annie Nero
3. Unbroken Wing – Performed by Mike Campbell
4. Migration of Birds – Written by Gary Snyder. Read by Wally Wolodarsky
5. May 18th 1929 Lost – Performed by Alex Somers


ALBUM #2

SIDE A

1. Bird Calling – Performed by Mark Ronson feat. Damon Albarn & Wale
2. One for Sorrow – Performed by UNKLE
3. Once Let Free – Performed by Emily Cross
4. Kyoto: March – Written by Gary Snyder. Read by Jelani Cobb
5. Sanctuary – Performed by Beach House
6. Welcome Morning – Written by Anne Sexton. Read by Natalie Bergman

SIDE B

1. Mine Is Not Your Beauty – Performed by Uwade
2. Birds for Phil – Performed by Spring Summer
3. Una Melodía – Performed by El Búho feat. Emilie Basez
4. Bone’s Lament – Performed by Darius Christian & Reginald Chapman
5. Nouns of Assemblage – Performed by Blake Mills
6. Elsewhere Bird – Performed by Richard Reed Parry
7. The Garden – Written by Mark Strand. Read by Tennessee Thomas

ALBUM #3

SIDE A

1. Counting Birds – Written by Jim Harrison. Read by Sean Penn
2. Kachofugetsu – Performed by Kaoru Watanabe
3. St. Francis and the Birds – Performed by Terry Riley
4. Birdsong – Performed by Tawiah
5. Crow Dialectic – Performed by Elliot Bergman

SIDE B

1. A Grandchild’s Song for Robins in Year Two of Pandemic – Performed by Ray Young Bear
2. When the Birds Were Banished from the Palace – Written by Saoirse Stice. Read by Jack Kornfield
3. Birds Return – Performed by Hatis Noit
4. Salt Point – Performed by Tyondai Braxton
5. Forty Songs – Performed by Lee Ranaldo. Lyrics by Michael McClure
6. Wounded Bird – Performed by Kurt Vile

ALBUM #4

SIDE A

1. Cuckoo Song – Performed by Jarvis Cocker
2. Cuckoo Bird – Performed by Haden Triplets
3. Hummingbird – Written by Raymond Carver. Read by Donald Ray Pollock
4. Hum Hum Hum – Performed by Karen O
5. Whistling in the Dark – Performed by Molly Lewis
6. Sparrow – Written by Norman MacCaig. Read by Tilda Swinton

SIDE B

1. Oreals – Performed by Rudresh Mahanthappa
2. Fly Catcher – Performed by James McAlister
3. State Bird – Written by Ada Limón. Read by Mickey Sumner
4. The Calling – Performed by Nick Rhodes & Wendy Bevan
5. Bluebirds (2021 Acoustic Version) – Performed by Adam Green
6. Why Does the Girl Bird Sing – Performed by Suzzy Roche


For The Birds – Volume Two – Out In June 2022


VOLUME #2:

ALBUM #5

SIDE A

1. Birdsong for Randy – Performed by Dan Deacon
2. When the Sun Explodes – Performed by Very Nice Person
3. Weird Bird – Written by Shel Silverstein. Read by Bobby Cannavale
4. And Your Bird Can Sing / The Birds Will Be Singing – Performed by Elvis Costello
5. Lucifer Hummingbird – Performed by The Flaming Lips
6. Who (Don’t Look Back) – Performed by Andrew Wyatt
7. California Towhee – Written and read by Jonathan Franzen

SIDE B

1. Open Window – Performed by Michael Uzowuru
2. tori no uta – Performed by Aska Matsumiya
3. Two Arms – Performed by Le Ren
4. Sparrow, Sparrow, What Did You Say? – Written by Ada Limón. Read by Molly Rosen
5. Your Birthday at the Huntington – Performed by Mary Lattimore
6. Are We – Written and read by Jorie Graham

ALBUM #6

SIDE A

1. The Hawk & the Crow – Performed by Olivia Chaney
2. Bell Minor – Performed by Jeff Tweedy
3. Broom – Written by Jim Harrison. Read by Matthew McConaughey
4. Godswits – Performed by Mark Mulcahy
5. Red Tailed Hawk – Performed by Inara George and Van Dyke Parks
6. Great Blue Heron – Performed by Calexico

SIDE B

1. Trying To Get Out – Performed by Siddhartha Khosla
2. Hope Is a Feather – Performed by Ganavya
3. Birdsong – Performed by Ramesh & Jason Chronis
4. Black Cherries – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Alice Waters
5. Stations Parallel – Performed by Sam Prekop
6. Kwitaro Backbone – Performed by Shearwater

ALBUM #7

SIDE A

1. Wild Geese – Written by Mary Oliver. Read by Florence Welch
2. Overview – Performed by CUP (Yuka C. Honda & Nels Cline)
3. The Gospel of Oke – Performed by Ebe Oke
4. One Eye Open – Performed by Douglas Dare feat. EERA
5. Theme for Flight – Performed by Cecile Believe
6. Hyper Happy – Performed by Eleanor Friedberger
7. Good Bones – Written by Maggie Smith. Read by Natasha Lyonne

SIDE B

1. V Formation – Performed by Buzzy Lee
2. The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write – Written by Gregory Orr. Read by Ann Beattie
3. TINSELTOWN – Performed by Girlpool
4. If I Were a Kookaburra – Performed by Stephin Merritt
5. Ostrich Walk – Performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks
6. The Hidden Singer – Written by Wendell Berry. Read by Bob Balaban
7. Birds and Piano – Performed by Michael Penn

ALBUM #8

SIDE A

1. A Dark Thing inside the Day – Written by Linda Gregg. Read by Robert Pattinson
2. Tomorrow – Performed by Hania Rani
3. In the Gale – Performed by Yo-Yo Ma. Composed by Anna Clyne
4. Winter’s Blessing – Written by John Kelly. Read by Brady Corbet
5. The Maddening Hour, or Ode to Owl – Performed by Isabella Summers
6. Evening Chorus (Live in the Bluebell Woods) – Performed by Cosmo Sheldrake
7. LSD – Written by Alex Dimitrov. Read by Jeff Goldblum

SIDE B

1. Strong but Fail – Performed by Roddy Bottum
2. Love High Noon – Performed by Claude Fontaine
3. Good To See – Performed by Seu Jorge & Flor
4. Wefoch (Birds) – Performed by Dexter Story
5. The Sparrow – Written by William Carlos Williams. Read by Tim Blake Nelson


For The Birds – Volume Three – Out In July 2022


VOLUME #3:
ALBUM #9

SIDE A

1. Turiya (For the Birds remix) – Performed by Alice Coltrane
2. The Bird – Written and read by David Cale
3. Of Mere Being – Performed by Thomas Bartlett
4. Hanover Birds – Performed by Poppy Ackroyd
5. The Day Is Done – Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Read by Chelsie Diane

SIDE B

1. Hymn for Four Birds – Performed by Paul Cantelon
2. Dawn Chorus – Performed by SQÜRL
3. Sonic Woodland: Dawn Chorus (excerpt) – Performed by Hidden Orchestra feat. Tim Southorn
4. Wild Swans – Written by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Read by Lorrie Moore
5. Birdies for RP – Performed by Emile Haynie
6. To the New Year – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Regina King

ALBUM #10

SIDE A

1. The Conditional – Written by Ada Limón. Read by Wendell Pierce
2. Strictly for the Birds – Performed by Hawley & LOZAC’H
3. The Little Bird – Performed by Natalie Bergman
4. Pinions of a Dove – Performed by Rayna Gellert
5. Little Birdie – Performed by Loudon Wainwright III
6. Black Cherries – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Greta Gerwig
7. my dove, to sleep – Performed by Vanbur

SIDE B

1. Carolina Turtledove – Performed by Joachim Cooder
2. The Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska – Written by Billy Collins. Read by Conor Oberst
3. Thornbird – Performed by Daniel Lanois
4. Ka – Performed by Devendra Banhart
5. Highway Psithurism – Performed by Meg Baird
6. Far Rockaway – Performed by Stuart Bogie
7. Looking for Mushrooms at Sunrise – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Antonio Campos

ALBUM #11

SIDE A

1. Seven in the Woods – Written by Jim Harrison. Read by Jason Schwartzman
2. 136 Syllables at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center – Written by Allen Ginsberg. Read by Larry Ratso Sloman
3. Perth to Melbourne – Performed by Stella Donnelly
4. Flight to the Sun – Performed by Koa Kalish
5. Skylark – Performed by Wyldest
6. They Ask Me – Written and read by Jorie Graham
7. For Octavia Butler – Performed by Atlas Sound & L’Rain
8. Pasadena Parrots – Performed by Adrock

SIDE B

1. Morning Maggie – Performed by Carla dal Forno
2. Noah’s Raven – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by John Burnham Schwartz
3. Diamond Dove – Performed by Gyða Valtýsdóttir
4. Kookaburra Boogie – Performed by Thurston Moore & Wobbly
5. Nightbird – Performed by Marcelo Zarvos
6. In May – Written by Adam Zagajewski. Read by Sandor Katz
7. For the Birds – Performed by Makaya McCraven

ALBUM #12

SIDE A

1. Before the World – Performed by Laurie Anderson
2. Mr. Sparrow – Performed by John Cale
3. Dawn Revisited – Written and read by Rita Dove
4. Altamira Oriole – Performed by Woodkid
5. Baepholus – Performed by Ben Lukas Boysen
6. How Many Nights – Written by Galway Kinnell. Read by Michelle Williams

SIDE B

1. Goldfinch Yodel – Performed by Arthur Jeffes
2. Birds – Performed by Koreless
3. Feather – Performed by Masayoshi Fujita
4. Loon Song – Performed by Eluvium
5. Secret Life – Written by Li-Young Lee. Read by Nana Mensah
6. Arada – Performed by Meara O’Reilly


For The Birds – Volume Four – Out In August 2022


VOLUME #4:

ALBUM #13

SIDE A

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

SIDE B

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

ALBUM #14

SIDE A

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

SIDE B

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

ALBUM #15

SIDE A

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

SIDE B

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

ALBUM #16

SIDE A

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

SIDE B

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


For The Birds – Volume 5 With Bette Midler – Out In September 2022


VOLUME #5:

ALBUM #17


Bette Midler: Massive Complication For The Birds: The Birdsong Project

SIDE A

1. For the Robin on My Porch – Written by Andrea Potos. Read by Bette Midler
2. May Birds – Performed by Nico Muhly
3. Etude No. 2 (Thomas Bartlett remix) – Composed by Philip Glass. Performed by Maki Namekawa
4. Beginning – Written by W.S. Merwin. Read by Stephen Park
5. Passerine – Performed by Balmorhea

SIDE B

1. Here – Written by Kim Addonizio. Read by Odessa Young
2. Mourning Dove – Performed by Holland Andrews
3. One Heart – Written by Li-Young Lee. Read by Christiane Amanpour
4. Perched – Performed by Anna Clyne feat. Nathalie Joachim
5. Syrinx – Performed by Daniel Thorne
6. Toy Boat – Written and read by Ocean Vuong

ALBUM #18

SIDE A

1. I was popular in certain circles… – Written and read by Gabrielle Calvocoressi
2. Strange Signals From Jerry the Wood Pigeon – Performed by Peter Broderick
3. Birdbrain – Performed by David Van Tieghem
4. Ode to the Hummingbird – Written by Pablo Neruda. Read by Daryl Hannah
5. Bells and Birds – Performed by Alexandre Desplat

SIDE B

1. Skylarks & Magpies – Performed by Bibio
2. End-of-Summer Haibun – Written by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Read by Winslow Bright
3. Screech for Scratch – Performed by Annie Gosfield
4. Rørsanger – Performed by David Rothenberg and Benedicte Maurseth
5. Sandpiper – Written by Elizabeth Bishop. Read by Michael Keaton
6. Silver Horns – Performed by Sarah Davachi

ALBUM #19

SIDE A

1. An Exercise in Love – Written by Diane Di Prima. Read by Riley Keough
2. Brown Thrasher – Performed by Animal Collective
3. Chant for the Swinging Swallows – Performed by My Cat Is An Alien
4. Coast – Written by Alice Jones. Read by Grace Gummer
5. In Her Secret Garden – Performed by Julianna Barwick
6. emu808 – Performed by Sam Gendel

SIDE B

1. Now Is the Time – Performed by Money Mark
2. Cocoa Morning – Written by Bob Kaufman. Read by Adrien Brody
3. Calthra – Performed by Tommy Guerrero
4. Morning Rituals – Performed by Shabaka Hutchings feat. Esperanza Spalding
5. Redbird Love – Written and read by Joy Harjo
6. The Ruined Spring – Performed by Zander Schloss

ALBUM #20

SIDE A

1. I Love You Earth (Thomas Bartlett remix) – Performed by ANOHNI & YOKO ONO
2. Murmuration – Performed by Robert M Thomas x Daisy Chute
3. St Kevin and the Blackbird – Written by Seamus Heaney. Read by Liam Neeson
4. Thirow Dio – Performed by Mamadou Kelly
5. Grus Grus – Performed by Evan Parker & John Coxon
6. Star and Crescent – Written by Kenneth Rexroth. Read by Elliot Bergman

SIDE B

1. Mockingbird Song – Performed by Saunder Jurriaans & Danny Bensi
2. Morning Calls – Performed by Carter Burwell
3. [“Always in the distance”] – Written by Wendell Berry. Read by Randall Poster
4. [“The cherries turn ripe, ripe,”] – Written by Wendell Berry. Read by Lili Taylor
5. Serenade at 2 – Performed by Anne Müller
6. paired: unpaired – Music by Oliver Coates. Performed by Rosa Arnold and Jeanita Vriens of the Ragazze Quartet
7. Re: Happiness, in Pursuit Thereof – Written by C. D. Wright. Read by Hailey Benton Gates


For The Birds: The Birdsong Project will be released in five volumes over the next five months, ending in September. The collection will also be released as a limited edition 20xLP set.

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