Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thank You and Congratulations!

With the closing of the donation page, I am announcing the official end to this project's status as a fundraiser. At the same time, I'd like to encourage people to continue with their efforts in helping Japan. There may no longer be a page for donating on GlobalGiving, but Red Cross is still accepting donations. It probably doesn't need to be said, but the important thing is donating (time, effort, money), not donating through this project.

So! I am extremely pleased to announce the final numbers on donations and the download count at the time of this posting.

$306 (USD) to charities for general relief efforts, animal rescue efforts in Japan, and relief specifically for the disabled and elderly, and 1154 total downloads! And the download count just keeps going up.

Fair warning - I'm about to launch into a gratuitous and exhaustive thank you/group hug.

My personal gratitude goes out to every person who has donated to these charities - your financial contributions are helping now to improve and/or save lives (both animal and human). Be proud of yourselves.

To every person who downloaded this compilation, who tweeted or retweeted about it, who shared it on a Facebook page, who told coworkers or family, this could not have been the success it is without your help.

Every artist who contributed a song or graphic - whether or not it made it to the final compilation - should know that the selfless giving of your work made this a reality. Your willingness to give your creations to help make the world better is inspiring and laudable. You are the the heart of this project.

Every individual who posted this compilation to his or her label, website/blog, or discussed or played some of its music on a radio program both traditional and internet-based, I cannot thank you enough for your work in spreading the word about this effort. In the same way that an artist gives his or her creative work, you have used your platforms built with immense amounts of time and effort to help create a better future for Japan. And, I have to say, I have developed a deep respect for every one of you - I had no idea how much work a project like this could be, and all of you have chosen to do this regularly! If any people think that you're of secondary importance to this project, they are greatly mistaken.

And, of course, the volunteers. There's a list of each of them in the 'About' tab at the top of this blog. Please show them your gratitude by visiting their respective websites (each linked on that page) and giving them your time and attention. I could not have possibly done all of the work on this project by myself. They donated hours of their time - work that many of them normally get paid for - to taking care of crucial and difficult tasks. Every song that was submitted was evaluated by five separate individuals (Jim ButlerAyoze GarcĂ­aJason GeorgeDavid Nemeth, and Allen Thompson), and there were lots of submissions. They spent their time over weeks going through those. And after that was done, the selected tracks had to be mastered. I've said this before: mastering is very hard work that requires a lot of time. As much as I am saying thank you, I almost feel like saying sorry to Steve Pahl and Tom Whittaker for putting them through this! To ask someone to master a compilation in as short a time as we asked is almost ridiculous, but for them to actually do it is just incredible and exceptionally generous. Really.

Curating this compilation has deeply affected my perspective on how much of an impact art can have in the world. With this, I have seen that music can have be a tangible force for positive change in this world - and yes, this means free music, too. I have had people tell me that free music is free because it has no value, that it is only free because it couldn't be sold. I think that this has clearly shown how wrong that is.

The Sun Will Rise is a testament to the generosity, compassion, and general altruism of our species. Every person that I thank for helping with this compilation, I thank for helping Japan and the people who live there.

Oh, and congratulations! We've made this a huge success - it's not just that we made the compilation; we fulfilled its mission. This is deserving of celebration, so celebrate!

Thank you so much.

Kevin Stephens

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Final push!

This is it - the home stretch. At 10:00 PDT tonight, I will be ending the fundraising portion of this project and will no longer be posting to this blog. The Facebook page and Twitter accounts will be defunct. Due to numerous offline obligations, I'm unable to manage this project infinitely. Which is fine, really, because we've made this such a success. We being everyone who's contributed in any way, not the royal we.

Download pages will remain online for as long as the services that host them exist. Just because the official fundraising portion is over doesn't mean that the compilation is dead. It is my hope that people will continue to discover this and follow links to donation sites to contribute to the ongoing efforts in Japan.

The last blog post will be made later tonight. In the meantime, tell as many people you can about this. The download count is already fantastic, but I want it to dwarf everyone's expectations. Remember, links to the compilation:

Ten hours!

Kevin Stephens