SOURCE: Warner Bros. Records

June 21, 2005 15:21 ET

New Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan Single "Unplayed Piano" to Be Released June 21 in Support of Free Aung San Suu Kyi 60th Birthday Campaign

Rice's "O" Is Certified Gold® by RIAA

BURBANK, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 21, 2005 -- On the heels of the Gold® certification of Damien Rice's debut "O," he and Lisa Hannigan are releasing a new single, "Unplayed Piano," via DRM/Vector Recordings/Warner Bros. Records June 21. The song -- together with a video for the song -- will be available exclusively through iTunes. Proceeds will go to the U.S. Campaign for Burma and Burma Campaign UK for their Free Aung San Suu Kyi 60th Birthday Campaign, a global initiative to free the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize recipient on her 60th Birthday, June 19. Rice and Hannigan wrote "Unplayed Piano" for Suu Kyi following a visit Rice made to Burma in July 2004.

About his efforts Rice has said, "I prefer not to interfere too much with what is going on in the world, but when someone has been thrown into a hole and they ask you to throw down a rope, I am happy to look for a rope, especially for a woman of such grace."

Aung San Suu Kyi is the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The new efforts of a number of organizations to free her are modeled on the Mandela at 70 Campaign, which took place in 1988. These efforts include scores of events around the world, from the USA to Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Since 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong Sawn Sue Chee) has led an international campaign to end over 40 years of brutal military rule in the Southeast Asian country of Burma. After a nationwide uprising was crushed in 1988, she led her political party, the National League for Democracy, to an 82% victory in a national election in 1990. The ruling dictatorship refused to recognize the results and has kept her locked up for nearly ten of the past 15 years; on June 19, Suu Kyi will have spent 9 years and 238 days in detention. In the meantime, Burma's regime has recruited up to 70,000 child soldiers -- far more than any other country in the world -- instituted a nationwide system of modern-day slavery, and imprisoned over 1,400 political activists. Over 2,000,000 refugees have fled their homes in Burma -- many to neighboring Thailand, where they eke out a living in rudimentary camps.

Always a peacemaker, Suu Kyi and her movement have called on Burma's regime to agree to negotiations aimed at a transition to democracy. Since the regime refuses to talk, she has called on individuals, nations, and the United Nations to impose political and economic sanctions as an incentive to begin the dialogue. Even though hundreds of her supporters have been killed, Suu Kyi never calls for violence. Said Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize recipient from South Africa, "As long as she remains under arrest, none of us is truly free."

Born in Dublin, Damien Rice achieved international success with the release of his debut album "O," which has now sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. Prior to reaching Gold® sales status Stateside, "O" achieved triple-Platinum sales status in the U.K. and spent over 80 weeks on the U.K. Top 75 Album Chart. In 2003, Rice was awarded the prestigious Short List Prize in the U.S. as well as being nominated for a BRIT Award and an NME Award. The album includes the songs "Volcano," "Cannonball," and "Blower's Daughter," the central piece of music in Mike Nichols' recent, Oscar-nominated film "Closer." Rice has spent much of the last year on tour, playing sold-out shows throughout the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. He has taken time out on recording the follow-up to "O" to support the Aung San Suu Kyi campaign.

Contact Information

  • For more information on Damien Rice, please contact

    Blake Zidell or
    Carla Sacks
    Sacks & Co.
    212.741.1000
    Email Contact
    Email Contact

    For more information on the Free Aung San Suu Kyi 60th Birthday Campaign,
    please visit www.actionburma.com.