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LIFE OF MUSIC

Victim recalled through his songs

Daniel O'Neil graduated from Rhode Island's Lincoln High. Daniel O'Neil graduated from Rhode Island's Lincoln High.

PROVIDENCE -- The songs Daniel O'Neil posted on his MySpace page have been played more than 63,000 times since he was slain along with 31 others at Virginia Tech, and many listeners have left messages to say how touched they are by the music he wrote and recorded.

His friends said yesterday they would honor O'Neil with a memorial fund and CD of his music -- acoustic songs about love and the range of human emotion, delicately sung by O'Neil with occasional backup vocals by his friends.

O'Neil, 22, was among those killed in Virginia Tech's engineering building by gunman Seung-Hui Cho in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history. O'Neil graduated from Rhode Island's Lincoln High School in 2002 and from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., in 2006, and was a graduate student in environmental engineering at Virginia Tech.

He loved music and played guitar. Several of his songs are posted on his MySpace page, and many more are on his own website, residenthippy.com.

The details of the memorial fund and CD are still being finalized, but friends said they are touched by the response to his music.

"It's amazing. I can't even believe it," said Amanda Burbank, one of the people organizing the CD and memorial fund. "It just means a lot to us. . . . It's really helping people heal."

Steve Craveiro, a high school friend of O'Neil's, said if O'Neil knew how many people had listened to his songs this week, he would be pleased, but modest.

O'Neil's friends also organized a remembrance and celebration of his life for this evening . His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.

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