Friday, 22 January 2010

Free Download Friday #43: Music for Relief - Haiti Earthquake

The earthquake in Haiti has devastated a country that was not short of troubles to begin with.

Musicians and the music industry, like many others, are doing what they can to help. For example, I heard on the news that the Prime Minister has asked Simon Cowell to put together a Band Aid style single to raise money and the government will waive the VAT charges so that more money can go to where it is needed. Also, over on the Totally Free Music blog, Jeff has posted a link to a charity song from Haitian-American artist Melissa Pierre-Louis and I found a charity download from an organisation called Music for Relief. I was not previously aware of this organisation but apparently it was set up by the band Linkin Park and is:
"dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Since its inception in 2005, Music for Relief has raised over $3 million for victims of multiple disasters across four continents and planted over 810,000 trees to help reduce global warming."
In response to the Haitian earthquake, they have made ten tracks available for free download:

The ideas is that you download the music and then send off a donation. I suspect few people will abuse their trust and take the tracks and run without sending any money but I like that the download is an incentive to give rather than a bribe.

And what an incentive! The first track is, not surprisingly, from Linkin Park and it gets the collection off to a noisy and very Linkin Park start. Also on there is a surprisingly mellow but excellent track from Slash; a jazz/rock epic from the Dave Matthews Band and some Latin pop from Enrique Inglesias. However, for me, the stand out track is a cover of Bowie's Heroes by Peter Gabriel. I have loved Gabriel since his early days with Genesis and he delivers a beautifully vulnerable performance. I put it on repeat!

Use the widget above to preview the tracks but don't forget to go to Music for Relief, download and most importantly, donate!


Jeff said...

Wow, nice find! "Heroes" is one of my favourite Bowie songs - I'm looking forward to hearing what Gabriel does with it. I donated before I even downloaded the music, but you're right - it's definitely cool of them to do it that way. I'd love to see some stats on the number of downloads vs. how much money they manage to raise.

Also, I have newfound respect for Linkin Park after having read this.


David said...

Hello Jeff

I think it's from his as yet unreleased cd: Scratch My Back which is an album of covers set against an orchestral backing.

When I first heard about the project, I wasn't sure what to make of the idea but if this is an indication of the quality of the rest of the tracks, I can't wait to hear it in full.