OPEN Remix is a charity album conceived by the partnership of renowned African vocalist Youssou N'Dour and global non-profit organization IntraHealth International. IntraHealth's primary mission is to create sustainable, accessible health care by mobilizing local resources. The purpose of the OPEN Remix album is to put a spotlight on open source technology and how it can be used to advance health care in Africa. As the press release states:
"IntraHealth OPEN is a global initiative that engages technology, health leaders and students to develop and sustain software applications tailored to meet urgent health care needs. The project will strengthen African health professionals' ability to identify and implement appropriate technology solutions that make health services more cost-effective and accessible."
It's a noble cause and something that not only interests me on a technological level but also an effort I can totally get behind on a humanitarian level. Thus I was honored to be asked by N'Dour and the project's organizers to do a remix of the flagship song "Wake Up".
You can listen to my remix here:
I had a blast with this mix and worked on it for a solid month, adding many of the instruments and endlessly tweaking the sound in an attempt to help it live up to the gravity of the project. You'll hear my trusty Fender Stratocaster and Jazz Bass guitars, a bit of tape echo, some Roland Juno-106 action, and the gentle backing vocals of Neneh Cherry. I think you can tell I'm quite proud of this and I think it's safe to say this production may foreshadow some of the future music you'll be hearing from me.
Another fascinating aspect of this project is that since it is rooted in the concept of open source technology N'Dour and IntraHealth have opted to give the songs away and to encourage sharing. In other words, you are more than welcome to download my remix for free and pass it around, post it, Tweet it, embed it, etc. In fact, I'm encouraging you to do just that. I've also got the remix on my MySpace music page in the player so you can add it to your MySpace playlist if you'd like.
On top of that, there are some other great people involved who have done excellent remixes for this project. Both my friends Hawke (Gavin Hardkiss) and Beef Wellington (featuring Swamburger) have turned in terrific and very different versions, and you can also find mixes from artists such as Nas, Duncan Sheik, Toubab Krewe, and Afrissippi.
You can download the remixes for free by going here: http://www.intrahealth.org/open/. The free downloads are sponsored through iLike, Amazon, and Rhapsody ... you can get the tracks for free by clicking on the corresponding link below the artist's picture.
I hope you enjoy my remix, and the remixes by the others. I also hope you'll investigate this project a little bit to learn what it's all about ... it's good stuff.
Lastly, here's a video featuring my mix and Youssou N'Dour himself speaking about IntraHealth OPEN: