Another year, another Christmas #1 campaign
07 Dec 10
Just like last years “FUCK TALENT SHOWS, LETS HAVE REAL MUZIK HERP DERP” Rage Against The Machine campaign* last Christmas in the UK, this years alternative comes in the form of a massively backed but ultimately too high brow/worthy attempt courtesy of John Cage’s hyper minimalist composition (read: silent) 4’33. Yes, the country demands four and a half minutes of silence for their Christmas number one, and they might actually get it.
More importantly than the anti X-Factor sentiment though is that the funds from it reaching number 1 will be distributed among four incredibly worth charities which you can read about below along with some back story and a link to the Facebook page, because well, I’m nice like that.
Cage Against The Machine was started by London-based artist Dave Hilliard in summer 2010 as a grassroots Facebook campaign to get John Cage’s famous “silent” composition 4’33″ to number one this Christmas. The idea soon reached tens of thousands of people and attracted media attention from all the national daily newspapers and radio stations around the world including The Sun, Mail, Guardian, MSN, Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff to name a few. The campaign stepped up a gear in October 2010 with the help of Eddy Temple Morris (XFM broadcaster and ambassador for BTA), Joe Hutchinson (Ou Est Le Swimming Pool) and Mark Jones (Wall Of Sound) who joined forces to rally some of the most influential artists, producers and directors around today to make Hilliard’s vision a reality.
All the proceeds from sales will go to five charities. These music-related charities were chosen by the Cage Against The Machine Facebook community’s organisers as something they feel John Cage would have whole heartedly approved of. These are not fluffy or ‘sexy’ charities but five charities who are pitifully underfunded and desperate for funds to help research cures and improve awareness: Specifically:
1. The British Tinnitus Association (BTA): When Cage’s 4’33″ begins, anyone with Tinnitus will just hear their own dreadful ringing. This condition can drive people suicidal and affects musicians more than any other illness. BTA can’t even afford to fund a single phone line 24 hours a day to help cope with suicidal calls from sufferers. We can change that.
2. Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): When Chazz Haddon, singer of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, tragically ended his own life at Pukkelpop festival in August, a spotlight was put on the fact that the biggest killer (aside from road accidents) of men under the age of 35 in the UK is suicide. Men are 4 times more likely to kill themselves than women. CALM is the only charity to soley focus upon addressing young male suicide.
3. Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy: Nordoff Robbins brings music’s transforming power to children and adults in need, through the delivery of music therapy services.
4. Youth Music: Youth Music is the leading UK charity using music to transform the lives of disadvantaged children and young people.
5. Sound And Music: Promotes challenging new music and sound art. “Your support enables us to conceive, experiment and pioneer programmes to engage and inspire audiences of all ages.”
*Ironically, Rage Against The Machine are signed to Sony, in which Simon Cowell operates as an executive, so it was something of a win/win for him anyway.