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10 janvier 2007

Autographed Fairlight Goes For $100,000

CMI signed by 44 well-known artists raises money for WITNESS

We brought you news of the forthcoming auction in December and now we can tell you the vintage Fairlight CMI keyboard, signed by 44 artists, received a winning bid of $100,000 US at the WITNESS Focus For Change Benefit Dinner and Concert in New York City on December 11, 2006. Proceeds from the winning bid will be dedicated to WITNESS, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to empowering individuals to use video technology to expose human rights violations around the world.

The WITNESS Focus For Change Benefit Dinner and Concert was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and was co-hosted by WITNESS founder Peter Gabriel and actor Gael Garcia Bernal. The event featured performances by Paul Simon, Angelique Kidjo, and Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider of the B-52’s.

The Fairlight CMI Keyboard was autographed by 44 artists who brought the instrument to prominence in the 1980s, including David Bowie, Bono, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler and Sir George Martin. The Fairlight CMI was the world’s first digital sampler and featured other radical advances for the time, including a light pen interface and menu-driven GUI. It was used in numerous hits from the 1980s, including “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and “Rocket” by Herbie Hancock.

John Lancken, CEO of Fairlight had this to say, “The generosity of 44 Fairlight users to sign the CMI keyboard speaks to the importance of bringing human rights violations to the surface. It is an honor to have played an integral role in raising money for the WITNESS cause and Fairlight is proud that the CMI keyboard not only symbolizes a pivotal era in the history of rock and roll, but has now taken on an even greater significance.”

Gillian Caldwell, Director of WITNESS added, “As an organization focused on the use of technology to bring about worldwide change, WITNESS applauds the remarkable steps Fairlight has taken to support our cause through its own technological innovations. The impact of the Fairlight CMI on the music industry, and the recognition of that impact by the world’s most influential musicians, has translated into a major donation towards the fight to end human rights abuses.”

WITNESS uses the power of video to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. By partnering with local organizations around the globe, WITNESS empowers human rights defenders to use video as a tool to shine a light on those most affected by human rights violations, and to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools of justice.

Since its founding in 1992, WITNESS has partnered with groups in more than 60 countries, bringing often unseen images, untold stories and seldom heard voices to the attention of key decision makers, the media, and the general public -- prompting grassroots activism, political engagement, and lasting change.

About Fairlight:
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia Fairlight designs and manufactures media creation tools including digital audio recording, editing and mixing systems for standard and high definition audio post, broadcast and music production applications.

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