Feature :: Tunes For Change

July 3rd 2012

Cast your mind back five years. To set the scene, 2007 was Year of the Dolphin and Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture. It was also the year Radiohead released In Rainbows and invited fans to pay whatever they wanted for the record. On average it fetched four pounds and the idea was quickly abandoned.

Sundae Sessions is the fifth album released by the Tunes for Change initiative which uses the same discretionary donation payment method. The only logical conclusion to draw is that Tunes for Change is More Successful Than Radiohead.

Richard Wilson is the driving force behind Tunes for Change. He experienced a moment of clarity while listening to Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!. A Nick Cave-induced epiphany is not unusual, but Richard’s response was.

“I was thinking about the way people connect to music and wondering how that could be transformed into a force for social change,” Richard explains.

An ambitious plan was hatched. Richard envisaged Australian artists donating tracks for an album that listeners could buy for a price matching the depth of their pockets, with all the proceeds going to charity.

“Ramen-eating students can contribute as much as they’re able and they still know their money is going to charity,” says Richard. As an avid appreciator of Mi-Goreng and Australian musical talent, I’m cheering. Of course, the amount you choose to donate is directly proportionate to the deposit into your karma bank.

Tunes for Change was met with skepticism but Richard’s persistence led to John Butler, Gotye and Missy Higgins seeing potential in the idea and jumping on board.

Richard says it made sense for him to engage musicians to help his worthy cause. He realised the emotional connection people have with music and musicians could be harnessed.

“Musicians have incredible hearts. There’s a great tradition of protest songs in folk music but I wanted to turn it into something tangible,” he explains.

‘Tangible’ indeed! Sundae Sessions is donating all its proceeds to OzHarvest – a ridiculously sensible charity that collects excess food from restaurants and cafes in Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane, and distributes it to charities helping vulnerable people in need of a meal.

Ambitious as always, Richard wants Sundae Sessions to raise $50, 000, which equates to 50, 000 meals through OzHarvest.

Having already raised $150, 000 for various charities through the past four albums, the goal for Sundae Sessions seems within reach, mainly due to the quality of the compilation.

“One of the primary purposes of Tunes for Change is to showcase a selection of exceptional emerging Australian artists alongside their more established peers,” explains Richard.

The result of this winning formula is a seamlessly relaxed combination of chilled tunes from Winter People and Jordan Millar, a charming track from Jack Carty and solid contributions from old-hands like Hungry Kids of Hungary, The Cat Empire, Kisschasy and Kate Miller-Heidke.

Sundae Sessions is the perfect combination of fresh talent and industry veterans.

Buy it to nourish our music industry, your conscience and Australians in need. One stone, a whole flock of birds.

What: Sundae Sessions
Who: Tunes for Change
When: Now
How Much: From $5. Pay as you feel!



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