Lotusland benefit features feathered friends
“Lotusland Celebrates: Birdsong,” which takes place from 3:30 p.m. to sunset Saturday, celebrates Lotusland’s world-renowned botanical garden and was inspired by honorary co-chair Randall Poster’s “For The Birds: The Birdsong Project.”
An astounding collection of top names in music, film, literature and beyond have contributed to “For the Birds: The Birdsong Project,” a 242-track album assembled by Grammy-winning music supervisor Mr. Poster, who is perhaps best-known for his long-running film and music collaborations with director Wes Anderson.
All proceeds from Saturday’s event at the Montecito garden will benefit the Audubon Society’s work to preserve bird habitats.
Mr. Poster began work on the project during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when the quiet New York streets began to amplify the sounds of nature.
Reaching out to his wide array of friends and collaborators, he discovered many of them were experiencing the same realizations as they quarantined around the world, and he began formulating a way to channel these feelings into birdsong-inspired music.
Among the contributors are Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Damon Albarn, Elvis Costello, Beck, Mark Ronson, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ frontwoman Karen O, Yo-Yo Ma, The Flaming Lips, The Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz, Kurt Vile, Terry Rile, UNKLE, Jarvis Cocker, Neu!’s Michael Rother and Kamasi Washington.
Writers such as Jonathan Franzen, Maggie Smith and Mary Oliver are present as well, with their work recited by everyone from Bette Midler, Jeff Goldblum, Matthew McConaughey and Olivia Wilde to Sean Penn, Robert Pattinson, Tilda Swinton and Florence + The Machine’s Florence Welch. “I’m awed by the overwhelming artistic response to this unique project,” said Mr. Poster. “Their creation of so many thoughtful and distinct recordings, united in birdsong, is a wonder unto itself. My hope is for the project to increase awareness of threats to bird populations, and I’m honored to support the Audubon Society’s essential work in conservation.”
Mr. Costello added, “This should be so very obvious — without birds we would be knee-deep in worms, swarmed by bugs, the trees bereft of song. The least we can do is raise our voices in praise or lament. I’m grateful to Randall for asking me to join his magnificent flock.”
As part of the rollout, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting a For the Birds-themed exhibit through Oct. 23, and Warby Parker is donating 20,000 limited-edition “Birdoculars” to cultural institutions supporting bird conservation.
“Birds are a vital part of every healthy habitat and ecosystem. Lotusland provides sanctuary to nearly 100 species of birds, from hummingbirds to herons, finches to flickers, and warblers to wrens,” said David M. Jones and Joseph Marek, co-chairs of the event, which will include dinner on Lotusland’s Great Lawn, musical performances and viewing of contemporary art and entertainment installations in the garden.
Belle Hahn is also an honorary co-chair.
During the cocktail hour, Geoff Green will auction four items – a custom diamond pendant by Silverhorn, a Rosewood Miramar Beach staycation, a Wellness Day at Lotusland and a hand-forged brass “Conference of the Birds” chandelier by Mehera Blumera, founder and designer of Blumera.
Ms. Blumera’s special “Conference of the Birds” pieces, in concert with the Lotusland event, were featured in a trunk show July 20 at Cabana Home in the Funk Zone. Included were lacquered wood carved handbags, “Conference of the Birds” natural wood handbags and brass handbags and wooden and brass vases.
Twenty percent of the sales benefited Lotusland.
“Across California, bird populations have been ravaged by fire and drought with some habitats losing more than 40% of their species, according to studies by the National Academy of Sciences. We come together for an event in the garden to raise awareness of bird conservation and to raise critical funds for the education and conservation programs at Lotusland,” according to Mr. Jones and Mr. Marek.