By Melissa Jane Kronfeld & Megan Legband
A renowned violinist, composer and producer, Tim Fain combines exquisite talent with a cutting-edge mindset. Trained and educated at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, Tim now performs across the globe for hundreds of thousands of music fans, including, notably, the Dalai Lama. He also works closely with the world’s foremost living classical composer Philip Glass. A California native, Tim now divides his time between Montana and New York City.
In the fall of 2015, Tim collaborated with Google on a Virtual Reality music video for his song, Resonance which introduced 360 stereoscopic Virtual Reality (VR) capability for YouTube to the world and was recently shown at The Sundance Film Festival.
Featured in the Academy Award winning films Black Swan and 12 Years a Slave, Tim‘s innovative approach to the violin has been praised around the world for its incredible musicality, tone, and technique.
And it was through his work in film, and especially during his time working on 12 Years a Slave, that Tim discovered the existence of human trafficking, and became an advocate for abolition. Now, Tim focuses his acclaimed talent on the greater good, seeking to better the world by reminding us of the beauty that exists in it.
And in honor of #GivingTuesday, Tim has released a brand new, original track EXCLUSIVELY for our Profiles in Abolition series RIGHT HERE on Millennial Magazine! Proceeds from the sale of the track will support the anti-trafficking work being done by one of our favorite organization’s Made In A Free World, founded by our friend, rockstar-turned-abolitionist Justin Dillon!
Check out what happened when we caught up with Tim to talk about the fight to #EndSlaveryNow, why he’s committed his music to support the movement for #GivingTuesday, and how YOU can download his EXCLUSIVE track right now!
What is one fact that every person should know about slavery?
That it is illegal in virtually every country in the modern world, yet it exists everywhere around us.
How did you first learn about modern slavery & what did you decide to do about it?
My wife had just given birth to our first daughter, and I was finishing up work on the film 12 Years a Slave. I’d started scoring a documentary, Untouchable: Children of God, which told the stories of two young Badi girls who had been rescued from prostitution in India. I really had no experience with modern slavery before then – getting to know the girls and hearing their stories had a powerful impact on me.
In India, particularly for young women who live in impoverished communities, there are few choices. Representatives from prostitution rings will travel from village to village in the weeks before harvest, when people are literally starving to death, trading bags of rice for girls, toddlers, even as collateral for the future sale of unborn babies. I imagined if my daughter were ever taken from me. I started working with groups like Nexus and Made in a Free World, to inspire people through music to take action.
What is the most critical obstacle preventing us from having a slave free world?
Awareness. Many people are not exposed to modern slavery, and for that reason may not realize that there are likely far more slaves now than there were victims of the Atlantic slave trade. And that’s why it’s so important that we all start talking about this more. That’s a big step. How do I tell my daughter about the mica in her princess lip balm, which may have been mined by a child about her age who was forced to work underground in unimaginable conditions? These are difficult conversations to start, but so important.
What is the most important lesson you have learned while fighting for freedom?
Understanding the power of our action as individuals. Modern slavery can only exist if we allow it to. If we work with each other and our leaders to remove the conditions in which people are vulnerable to being exploited, then we can eliminate modern slavery.
Why do you believe the Millennial generation will be the one that can end slavery?
Millennials collectively have a profound desire to make the world a better place and are statistically more optimistic about the future than previous generations. And with the technology to expose and identify slavery, and the resource to enact positive change, I believe Millennials will be the ones to really take a look at the consequences of what we consume: the food we eat, the phones we buy, the coffee we drink, the clothes we wear, and demand that corporations stop using child and slave labor so we can put an end to the thoughtless practices that enable modern slavery to exist.
What does a slave free world look like to you?
This is about a change of mindset, something that must happen inside each of us. We have to believe it’s possible. Then we can work towards toward peace and freedom for all sentient beings. I imagine a world where everyone can live as freely as possible, without fear of exploitation. That’s the world in which I want my kids to grow up.
What is one thing every reader can start doing right now to help end slavery?
Support an organization that is working to end human slavery or check out Slavery Footprint.
But more importantly join my #GivingTuesday campaign in support Justin Dillon’s organization Made in a Free World, and purchase my newly released track FREEDOM, that I composed and performed exclusively for Melissa & Megan’s Profiles in Abolition series!
Proceeds from the sale of the track, from today to until January 5, 2017 will go directly to benefit Made In A Free World! So please consider joining the fight to #EndSlaveryNow and downloading my new track, FREEDOM!
Let’s raise our voices together!
Profiles In Abolition is an in-depth look at the influencers, innovators & thought leaders in the modern anti-slavery movement. An accompaniment to Millennial Magazine’s ongoing 10-part series exposing modern slavery – a project of the Nexus Global Youth Summit (catch up with Part One, Part Two & Part Three) – Profiles In Abolition will examine a diverse & inspiring array of advocates whose critical voice must be heard.
Want to learn more from the world’s leading luminaries in the fight to #EndSlaveryNow? Sign up for the Nexus Anti-Slavery Speaker Series, a weekly conference call with the men and women on the front lines of the modern abolition movement! This call is open to the public and everyone is welcome to listen in! Click here to register for free. Then learn more about modern slavery by following Nexus on Twitter, Instagram & Millennial Magazine!