As 2011 ends and 2012 begins I'm happy to announce that the music label I own has released the final 2 releases in a series of compilations focused on the 2011 natural disasters impacting Japan.
In March 2011, an 8.9 level earthquake triggered a tsunami and massive damage to crictial nuclear facilities along Japan's Pacific coast. Shortly after the tsunami struck I began discussions with other like minded folks like Bauke van der Wal of the [law-rah] collective and Shannon Malik of Signifier. Was there something we could do to help those affected? Bauke and I discussed the idea of leveraging the "Natural Disaster Series" that Force of Nature has been doing for years to create a series of releases that we'd sell and donate any profits to charity. In parallel, my work (as in day job) announced a program where they would match donations. So, If we could sell some original music and donate the profits, I could get the donation doubled. Seemed like a good idea so we went with it.
To help us scale and diversify the series, we offered friends and colleagues that ability to curate their own release in the series. Big thanks to Bauke, Dennis Verschoor, Miguel de Sousa, Kate Turgoose, and Marjolein van Elteren for all their work helping to curate these releases.
The series is now complete and is available for sale via Bandcamp. I chose Bandcamp because it has the most flexibility for customers and allows us to let them name a higher price than the $5 USD if they want to donate more to the cause.
I think it would be disingenuous for me to say we did this entirely to raise money for charity though. I mean, given the current climate against paying for music, selling music is a pretty stupid way to raise money for anything. Even a cause as good as this one. Raising money was certainly a goal of the project but this is also about a base, fundamental need to rationalize disaster and participate in a collective expression of humanity. We are artists, that's what we do and how we deal with things. We make art.
Last night as the year changed from 2011 to 2012 I listened to each comp again on headphones. There really is some amazing work here. Outside of the benefit to charity, we have a lot to be proud of from the material alone.