Monday, October 26, 2009

a sound relief

Hello All! A while ago, I wrote this post about donating to the flood victims in the Philippines. Though the news coverage has died and many of you have moved on, relief efforts are still needed. Everyone is doing everything they can - from the various organizations in the bay area collecting money and food donations, to everyday folks like you and me donating money and spreading the word, even the folks at Heroes Martial Arts hosted a charity event. (I noticed the announcement on the One World Jiu-Jitsu Academy website. I don't know you, but yea to Heroes!)

Anyway.... I wanted to point your attention to a project that my dear friend Erick Fabian organized. It's called A Sound Relief: In Aid To The Victims Of Typhoon Ondoy. Here's a little about the project:

Dear friends, former classmates, relatives, family friends, fellow zinesters, artists, musicians, church friends, and online acquaintances:

Greetings and Peace!

I am writing this message as if it was addressed only to you. If I had the strength and time, I would have addressed you all individually. Apologies.

I am Erick A. Fabian Sr., one among millions of social-networking entities, right now a practically unknown musician playing in an electronic rock band called CERUMENTRIC. I have also written in and published several independent zines, among them TicTiger! Zine, and have drawn comix on the side. I am 31 years old, a father and a husband, a freelance web designer, content writer and digital sound designer/editor by trade, an illustrator and musician by vocation. But that is not what I'm writing you for. Some of you reading this have probably known me as that strange kid from Olongapo City, and have seen me grow up, some of you I went to high school or college with, and some of you were former town-mates. I am appealing to all of you now in the name of compassion, for the less well-off.

Most of you have probably seen on TV, read or heard about Typhoon Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng ravaging the Philippines and flooding practically 80% of Metro Manila and surrounding areas. Millions were displaced from their homes, and many lost their lives.

On September 28, 2009, two days after the Ondoy onslaught, a group of Internet-based musicians in Facebook discussed the idea of creating a digital music compilation album, of which the benefits will go to the relief fund to help out those affected by Typhoon Ondoy. Here is the origin of the thread.

To our elder readers, this digital album is the equivalent of the 'various artists' records or what we call in the Philippines as 'selections' that you used to buy in your younger days. :) These days, digital downloading is fast becoming the most popular way to buy music.

It was decided by common consensus that all participating bands and artists will donate a song each to this project. We didn't expect much from this endeavour; after all, most of us were unknown musicians. We do not earn anything from our music. We had to work in other trades just to be able to pursue our desire to realize our musical dreams.

But we do not want to feel helpless about helping out those whose homes were taken away by the flood; we believe that we had something to give from what is our passion: our music. As if heaven-sent, Siva Chandran of VOIZE, a premier entertainment and lifestyle website in Asia, and well-known talent manager Ms. Lizza Guerrero Nakpil helped out by calling out to other bands in the Philippines and across the globe to contribute songs to this cause. Their assistance to this project is priceless.

After several deliberations, discussions and email exchanges, we launched A SOUND RELIEF: IN AID TO THE VICTIMS OF TYPHOON ONDOY Vol.1, last October 15 in

It features 25 artists and bands from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the United States.

So here's my point (whew!): You can listen to the whole compilation before you decide to buy it. If you want to buy a song, you can download any one of the 25 songs in high-quality format for a minimum of US$1. If you want to purchase the whole album, you'll get all 25 songs for a sweet deal of US$10. All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross, who will use the money to help those who are still in relief centers. PayPal, MasterCard, VISA, and American Express is accepted.

We are appealing to you to help us musicians HELP the flood victims. We are not going to profit from this benefit compilation (well, maybe free promotion, but nothing else.).

Many organizations ask for donations as well, but here, we're asking you to buy and support music that will benefit the flood victims. You have something to keep for doing an act of charity. It's your choice. :)

The genres in this album are very diverse: RnB, pop, electronica, dance, hiphop, rock, metal, instrumental, practically every genre is represented. It makes for an unusual listening experience. All the acts featured worked hard to contribute their songs to this compilation out of a desire to help those in need.

Now is your chance to help out as well. According to recent estimates, the relief operations will not be over for several months until next year. Many families will be spending Christmas and New Year without a home, and some will find it hard to celebrate, having lost a family member to the flood.

Please help us uplift their spirits and give them hope.

Thank you very much.

At your service,

Erick A. Fabian Sr. and all the musicians, artists, photographers and discussion group members who helped out in this music compilation.
PS: There will be a follow-up compilation to be released this November 2009, featuring more bands and music from all over Asia and the world. Wait for it! :D

Erick and his wife Miam are dear friends of mine. When I lived overseas, their friendship made the trip a lot less lonely. I'll never forget the laughter and generosity. I urge each and everyone of you to at least check out the site. If you're a music lover, do purchase a song or the entire album ($10 for 25 songs is a total steal!). Every little bit helps the flood victims.

Below is a photo taken at a music festival with Erick and Miam. Oh how I miss these two and their adorable son Sil!

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