Alternative folk duo The Portraits, who have played at four successive Glastonbury Festivals, recorded real peoples’ voices across the country throughout 2014 for a single they released in an attempt to save lives lost to blood cancers, in particular that of Emma Whittaker, then six years old, from Buckinghamshire, who was suffering from the rare genetic condition Fanconi Anaemia and needed to find a donor urgently to save her life. You can read an update on the story of little Emma and her brother James, who developed the very same condition as his sister, via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaAndJamesNeedYou/
At each of their 2014 concerts, The Portraits captured the crowd singing a part of the new song, The Rest Of Time, and at the end of the year put together a gigantic collage of 2,000 voices to add to their own playing and singing on the record. The track also featured acoustic duo Ethemia, regulars on Gaby Roslin’s BBC Radio London show, and Minnie Birch, selected for airplay by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1.
Each and every person who sang was credited in the single release (see here for the full list of contributors), and the song reached the iTunes Singer Songwriter Chart Top 30 in January 2014 and achieved airplay on BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and many local BBC and Independent Radio stations around the UK. This helped the song's creators to make an even bigger noise about the fact that not enough people have signed up to the blood stem cell donor registry. Today, this is a simple, painless and cost-free process. All it takes is a simple swab of the inside of your cheek and 15 minutes of your time. If you are in general good health, between the ages of 18-55 you can become a potential blood stem cell donor and pre-registration is possible from the age of 17. The charity Delete Blood Cancer UK say they’re not stopping until they find a matching donor for every person in need. Register at http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk
To mark the opening of preorders of the single in December 2014, we released this special Sgt Pepper-style photo montage featuring some of our greatest friends and supporters. Are you there? Let us know if you spot yourself.
THE REST OF TIME
For pianist and songwriter Jeremy Millington, the subject of the song and the cause are close to his heart following the death of his father Graham from Leukaemia a decade ago.
“My dad could have had more time,” Jeremy says, “if the doctors had found a bone marrow match for him, which they tragically couldn’t. I have always wanted to do something to raise awareness of the need for people to become donors to prevent others suffering the same loss that my family and I did.”
AN EARLY TEASER: VOCALS OF VERSE 2 FEAT THE PORTRAITS & ETHEMIA, BEFORE THE OFFICIAL RELEASE
THE REST OF TIME, OFFICIAL PROMO VIDEO
THE REST OF TIME, THE MAKING OF
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The image on the single cover is of little Emma Whittaker, for whom we co-organised a concert on Sunday 28th September 2014 in Buckinghamshire, and subsequently dedicated our single The Rest Of Time to her urgent search for a blood stem cell donor. Emma is beautiful, happy and normal and wants to be a vet when she grows up. Emma has now had a successful blood stem cell transplant and is living a normal life.
Many other children, and adults too, need urgent blood stem cell transplants, and doctors cannot find them a donor match because not enough people have signed up to the donor register. It is easy, free and painless to do - PLEASE take 15 minutes of your life to save another. If you are 18 to 55, click here right now to register: https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/register-now
You'll receive a kit in the post to swab your cheek and return it. Simple. Please help other loved ones see their family member live a normal life, by sharing this post amongst all your friends. Thanks and love from us.