The Heart Aid Project: A 9/11 Benefit Piano Collection
2002 / Spring Hill Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
This review is of a much more personal nature because it is about a project that is very close to my heart and one that I’ve been quite involved with on a very emotional level. In early September 2001, I sent out an email to a long list of pianist/composers asking for their definitions of what “music is...” for an article I was writing for my newsletter. And then 9/11 happened. A few days later, Eric Chapelle sent out another email using my mailing list, asking if any of the composers would be interested in donating their music to create a compilation CD to raise funds to help the victims of 9/11 and their families, and to also make it an album that would bring comfort and healing to the aching souls throughout the country and beyond. The response was incredible. More than thirty artists responded with songs that they wanted to contribute! At this point, I had to pull back a bit because a selection process was needed, and since all of the artists were my friends, I didn’t feel I could do that. Eric took a firm hold of the project, forming a Board of Directors and obtaining “Non-Profit Organization” status to move forward. It was a sometimes rocky road, but Eric’s drive and determination made it happen. And what an incredible album this is! Some of the artists are well-known, and some aren’t yet, but should be soon! Some of the tracks are from other albums, and some were composed specifically for this collection. Suzanne Ciani contributed a solo piano version of her wonderful “Turning,” Ray Lynch gave us “Ivory,” Spencer Brewer donated “Walls That Move,” and Robin Spielberg’s “Wherever You Go” opens the CD. Michael Hoppe and Ira Stein both composed stunning new songs for this collection, as did Eric Chapelle and Craig Casey. The other artists are Janie Campbell, John Boswell, Evan Gould, Zola Van, Dan Chadburn, Jeff Bjorck, Ken Pedersen, Karen FitzGerald, and Julie Rivers.
With so many different artists and composing styles, it is amazing how smoothly the CD plays. There is a mix of emotions that works really well, reflecting the range of feelings we all had in the days and months that followed the tragedy. Some of the pieces are dark and a bit brooding, but most of them are soothing and uplifting. A true tribute to the human spirit and to the power of music, this is a must-have collection, and I give it my whole-hearted recommendation and endorsement. All proceeds from the sales of this CD will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund. Because Robin Hood’s board of directors underwrites all administrative costs, 100% of the money raised goes directly to the most effective organizations aiding victims and their families. What wonderful gifts this CD will make, so let’s make it a huge success! You definitely won’t be disappointed! Heartfelt thanks to all of the artists who put so much into this project - most especially Eric Chapelle - and for showing once again what incredible human beings you are!
Heart Aid Project is available from Spring Hill Media and Amazon.
Now that we are approaching the 10th anniversary of 9/11, this wonderful collection of piano solos is a fitting commemoration of this life-changing event in our nation’s history and a loving memorial to those who lost their lives. If you missed this album the first time around, I strongly recommend it again.
March 3, 2002
with Blue Spiral Records