Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2011

When Tokyo expats Mark Ferris and Kim Forsythe’s young son Tyler died of leukemia, they transformed their grief into an effort to give his brief life lasting meaning. The Tyler Foundation for Childhood Cancer supports children with cancer in Japan, and since 3/11 has also been utilizing its expertise in treating stress to help children in the northeast recover psychologically. ShineOn! Songs Volume One was created to help give the gift of hope for a better future, with inspiring songs by, among others, Alan Menken, Amber Lily, Julian Lennon, Maxi Priest, Monday Michiru, Sir Tim Rice, Tin Cup Gypsy and Wendy Parr. Making the album even more personal is the fact that Ferris himself composed many of the tracks, while children in Tohoku contributed some of the chorus parts. Flavors range from Monday Michiru’s big band jazz to the soaring political-pop of Maxi Priest to intimate ballad that is the Sakari Elementary School featuring Rie Fu’s “Who I Want To Be.” As producer Gordon Goodwin of the Big Phat Band says, “To know that your music is touching someone on a real level, there’s nothing better than that. A Grammy Award…is not better than that.”

100% of all CD sales from the website benefit the Tyler Foundation. www.shineonsongs.org