Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger fight disease

Believe it or not, the average person doesn't know a damn thing about video game music. Even to the typical gamer it's background filler that could just as easily be turned down or blocked out. But for a growing number of people, game music is a legitimately powerful genre that is often overlooked - and a brand new charity CD, GAME, plans to introduce this music to the masses while simultaneously donating 20% of the profits to theNational Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Pianist Michael Gluck is spearheading this movement with his "Piano Squall" persona, the charity CD and other game-music events around the country. Last year the effort raised $9600 for charity, and in 2007 he hopes to blow that away. Odds are he will, as megapublisher Electronic Arts has again stepped in to match whatever donations Gluck turns in. Together, they hope to exceed $20,000.

So, how can you help? By realizing how cool this is and buying the CD:

It's a 10 minute medley of Final Fantasy music, and it's just one of 18 tracks on the GAME CD, releasing this weekend. For a mere 10 bucks you get 18 songs from games like Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy VII, plus a few anime goodies such as InuYasha. Shipping is free.

The songs have all been licensed from their proper owners, so fans weary of buying some random dude's music off the internet can rest easy. It's totally legit. Check his page www.PianoSquall.com here. You can also order the GAME CD from that page.

We spoke with Gluck about the effort, and he calls the album the "ultimate" way to contribute something to two separate audiences. Gamers get a knockout performance and a deserving charity receives the benefits. Gluck has a personal investment with the charity as well - he lost his grandmother to Multiple Sclerosis in 2006, and since been raising money and awareness for the disease that took her. Gluck's 17 concerts in 16 states have helped make a difference already, but with the new CD, anyone can help, regardless of their location.

June 29, 2007