A Perfect Day for Perfect Earth

Roger Waters was backed on some songs by Taylor Barton and the Persuasions, who did a set of their own. Morgan McGivern

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame may have been the big draw for music lovers attending a benefit on Saturday for Edwina von Gal’s Perfect Earth initiative, but there was plenty of other talent on hand to support the cause and a sister effort, the Azuero Earth Project in Panama.

Through Perfect Earth, Ms. von Gal, a noted landscape designer, is encouraging people to take their lawns and landscapes chemical and toxin-free for the sake of their own health and that of their children and pets, as well as the environment. The organization in Panama, where Ms. von Gal owns property on the arid Azuero Peninsula, works with scientists and provides support for farmers in rebuilding depleted soil and developing sustainable, chemical-free land management practices. (Among the raffle items for the benefit was a four-night stay at the American Trade Hotel in Panama City and a tour of Azuero Earth Project efforts on the peninsula.)

The photographer Cindy Sherman hosted the party at her property overlooking Accabonac Harbor in Springs, and the various artists and musicians lending a hand that day made sure that everything from the thank-you speech to the raffle drawing had a little extra sparkle. The photographer Ralph Gibson was the master of ceremonies, with a camera around his neck throughout. And when it came time to thank sponsors and contributors, the musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson’s brought her soothing voice to the task. The actress Kim Cattrall took the stage, too.

The musical lineup, in addition to Mr. Waters, included a surprise appearance by Suzanne Vega, whose songs helped draw people from the expanse of Ms. Sherman’s lawn and into the tent for announcements before the performances. Jenni Muldaur, a singer-songwriter, who lives nearby, produced the concert and also took the stage, as did Teddy Thompson, the Persuasions, G.E. Smith, Taylor Barton, and Rufus Wainwright.

The Persuasions, an a capella group that has been performing since the early 1960s, have recorded a number of tribute albums including one of U2 music, talked about being introduced to U2 by their record label. Turns out, they joked, the band is “a Christian group masquerading as a rock group.” They’re gospel-infused rendition of U2s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” earned them a standing ovation.

The group also sang backup for Mr. Waters, who had the crowd listening reverently to an acoustic set that included “Wish You Were Here” and ended with a song he said had never before been performed in public. In an interview with Guitar World in 2013, he said that the “song’s working title has always been called ‘If I Had Been God,’ but it might be called ‘Lay Down Jerusalem.’ “

Information about the Perfect Earth initiative, including tips on having a healthy lawn without the use of chemicals, can be found online at perfectearthproject.org. Perfect Earth is also partnering with the Peconic Land Trust to offer free lawn and landscape advice on Thursday afternoons through Oct. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton.
 

Rufus Wainwright sang, left, and Kim Cattrall and Suzanne Vega also took the stage. David X. Prutting/BFAnyc.com
The crowd gathered in a tent for the musical portion of the party.Carissa Katz
Jennifer Rice won the raffle for a limited edition surfboard by Steve Miller.Morgan McGivern