Worldwide Relief Effort by Musicians to Benefit Citizens of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Kicks Off in Hartford
Moved by the desire to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by the devastating oil spill disaster in the Gulf, a small group of four entrepreneurs and musicians from Connecticut and Maryland have come together to create an innovative online fundraising campaign.
Musical artists from across America have joined forces through the Give To The Gulf Web portal, which was created in just three short weeks to help to rebuild lives and communities reeling from the latest man-made disaster to hit their shores.
Give To The Gulf is about taking action locally to be part of the global solution. The idea and name is the brainchild of Eric Knight, a musician, inventor, and founder of Remarkable Technologies, Inc. Working together with Paul Lombardo and Tom Russo of L&R Productions Inc., and Mike Sokol of JMS Productions Inc. in Maryland, the team developed the online model for the Web site portal, collaborated with musicians from around the country, and established relationships with corporate partners including iTunes and TuneCore to make Give To The Gulf a reality.
“All over the country people are asking how they can help their fellow Americans in the Gulf. We thought it could be as simple as sharing music and downloading a song,” said Knight, from Farmington, Conn. “The project was an intense collaboration. We worked tirelessly to find the perfect lyrics, the perfect music, and the perfect sound to capture an anthem that will resonate and inspire people to action.”
Give To The Gulf, Volume 1 features eleven original songs by accomplished musicians including the title track, Give To The Gulf.
When visitors download music from Give To The Gulf through iTunes, 100 percent of the monies that musicians would normally receive goes directly to the United Way Gulf Recovery Fund. The Fund provides emergency assistance, such as help with food, rent and utilities, and supports long-term recovery efforts to rebuild lives through educational, financial and health-related programs.
The concept of Give To The Gulf is simple – by giving money, people get great music. Musicians from around the world who submit their music to be part of the fundraising effort retain all ownership and copyrights to their music. Once submitted, the Web site acts as a conduit to Apple’s iTunes system under the Give To The Gulf music label umbrella.
“I simply could not be more proud of what we’re accomplishing for Gulf-coast residents,” said Knight. “What started as a simple phrase – ‘Give To The Gulf’ – that popped into my head about six weeks ago has blossomed into a wonderful collaboration of people with very generous hearts. Fueled by technology, it is refreshing to see how the power of people and ideas can accomplish great things for our fellow citizens.”
Tom Russo commented, “In three short weeks, our team has moved mountains to bring this effort to life. Writing the lyrics for the title track has been an inspiring labor of love motivated by the desire to help those truly in need. And just as the clean-up will take an on-going effort, we have created a model through the Give To The Gulf Web portal that will keep giving. We encourage songwriters and artists from around the world to contact us as Volumes 2 and 3 are already in the works.”
Paul Lombardo added, “The music in Volume 1 is quite diverse, and as we continue to reach out to musicians and songwriters globally, the diversity will grow richer. This is all about people helping people. The quality of the songs and productions that artists have generously donated to the cause is outstanding. Now, all Americans can engage in this effort with us by enjoying great music while supporting a very worthwhile cause.”
Mike Sokol followed by saying, “Music is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Since pre-history, it’s been used to calm or uplift or call us to action. But there was little opportunity for individual musicians to reach beyond their own circle of listeners – until now. Give To The Gulf leverages technologies such as TuneCore and iTunes to allow songwriters from every walk of life to come together and help raise both awareness and funds in a global effort to save our environment. It’s a great privilege to be part of this initiative.”
Give To The Gulf is an all-volunteer effort. Partners who have donated their time and talents to launch this campaign include: Remarkable Technologies, L&R Productions, JMS Productions, TuneCore, Parkinson Design, Patton Media, and MAD Communications.
It should be noted that Give To The Gulf is Eric Knight’s second contribution to help with the oil spill catastrophe. In May, he designed an innovative method to stop the oil flow, which gained attention early on in the disaster, as seen here www.remarkable.com/oil_spill_solution.html.
The United Way name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, individual, or political position. For more information about the United Way, please visit www.unitedwaynola.org.