It's been quite a while since my last post here, due to a combination of being a little busier than usual and not being able to decide what to write about, as I am still listening to just as much free music as I always do. I'd actually like to pick things up right where I left off, though, with more music for the benefit of Haiti. Songs of Hope for Haiti is a free compilation album from Jamendo. While the album itself is free, listeners are encouraged to make a donation to Partners in Health, a Boston-based organization that helps to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries, including Haiti.
I have to admit, I would most likely have given this album a pass were it not for the inclusion of an unreleased track by Allison Crowe (actually, I might not have even heard of it otherwise, since I read about it on her blog). But while her "Aquarius Rising" may be my favourite song on the album (and deservedly so - it's a beautiful acoustic ballad that is reminiscent of some of the material on her last album, the excellent Little Light), it is far from the only highlight. The entire album makes for a very interesting listen, all the way from the opening track, Celia Slattery's bouncy, upbeat, and irresistibly catchy "Seaglass" (which includes some very well-placed quotes from "All You Need is Love" and "What the World Needs Now is Love" near the end), to the closing track, Dennis Moser's beautiful ambient guitar piece, "Sunrise of Hope" (which, at 12:20, is by far the longest song on the album). The range of styles featured on the album is very diverse, even including such things as a solo violin improvisation (Yael Bat-Shimon's "Black Prison Song Meets Jewish Soul") and a choral piece (Zefiro's "Ave Regina caelorum").
Songs of Hope for Haiti makes a nice indie companion to Download to Donate for Haiti, another free album that encourages donations; you can read more about that one over at Feedback (formerly Music Musings). Download one or both of them, enjoy, and please remember to donate if you are able to. Happy listening!
http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/60529 (Songs of Hope for Haiti)
http://act.pih.org/page/outreach/view/personal/SongsOfHopeForHaiti (Partners in Health)
http://musicddm.blogspot.com/2010/01/free-download-friday-43-music-for.html (blog post about Download to Donate for Haiti)