Goans join group from across borders to express solidarity in music

A simple request for an audio recording with two, went on to evolve into a group project of a video with 14 members from varied backgrounds, age groups, religious identities and diverse talents and potentials.

| AUGUST 03, 2020, 07:41 PM IST
Goans join group from across borders to express solidarity in musicthe goan I networkPANAJIInterestingly, the endeavour also had the collaboration of ‘Yadah’, a Pakistani gospel band which leads worship in Pakistan and the UAE. The online version of the video ‘Jesus – You are My All in All’ was released by Fr Adrian Fernandes on his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-UaQqPvA-I) on July 24.The hymn is an original composition of the American singer-song writer of contemporary Christian music, Dennis Jernigan.“Co-ordinating personnel and data virtually, and from different parts of Goa, India and abroad was a herculean task. Moreover, the lockdown restricted some of us to utilise recording studios and to even come together as a team,” said Chriselle Mendes, teacher at Fr Agnel HSS, Pilar, who co-ordinated the entire venture.“Brian Colaco from Tivim accepted the task of mixing and mastering the audio tracks that were sent to him. Without the benefit of clean audios, which could be achieved from an acoustically treated studio, the process was challenging as he had to refine data from curtailed modalities due to the pandemic which forced restrictions and at times, severe lockdowns as well,” said Chriselle.“The task was difficult, but I gave it a try” said Brian, who runs a music school in Tivim and who had a life-changing episode when he experienced the love of Jesus and found a purpose and meaning to living.The video attempted to present key moments of the life of Jesus – his reaching out to people, his sufferings, death and resurrection.School Counsellor Cleon D’Souza from Merces did the video editing and was glad that his efforts could succinctly present Jesus to many viewers online.The project also included the original art work by Bhajan Lal, art teacher at St Xavier’s school, Mansa-Punjab.“I am grateful to Fr Adrian for the opportunity to be a part of such a special project”, said Bhajan.Besides, Nayanjyoti Saikia from Mariani-Assam and Cassandra Rodrigues from Merces also contributed with their paintings.Nayanjyoti, who holds a degree in Tourism Management, were pleased to be part of the project even though he and Bhajan Lal are Hindus.“We actually conveyed a message of communal harmony. Such projects highlighted the hopeful elements of how working together with different religious backgrounds could bring in so much joy and amicability,” said Nayanjyoti.Alifa D’Silva (keyboardist) from Velim and teacher at Government high school, Zuarinagar-Vasco, was very glad that the video is dedicated to the loving memory of her late mother, Daisy D’Silva.“The loss of our mother was and is painful to our family. Such a beautiful gesture by the team came as a surprise and will be cherished forever by us. Our family was so glad that the virtuous and loving life of my mother was celebrated through a video-hymn dedicated to prayer, to praise God and express solidarity with our suffering humanity,” said Alifa.The video has its forte in the melodious singing of twin sisters, Chrisanne and Chriselle from Merces.Chrisanne Mendes, lead singer of the hymn, also had a stint as music instructor at Kala Academy, Panaji.“My liaison with music began right from my childhood. Regular Church choirs, music contests, etc. in my younger days with my twin sister (Chriselle) have continued till date. I thank God for gifting me with talents in singing and music” said Chrisanne, a teacher at St Theresa’s school, Candolim.Aldo Gregory Michael, senior-most member in the team, teaches at Sacred Heart Educational Complex, Vashi, Navi Mumbai.Recalling the series of life-threatening sicknesses he had in life, he considers being still alive is a miracle and a precious gift of God for him.The cancer survivor, presently stranded at his in-law’s place at Bangalore where he prepares daily online classes, expressed his joy to be part of the project and to give praise to God.Seven-year-old Malaika Crasto from Navelim is the youngest in the team and covered the initial seconds of the video.The project also included Fevan Cruz, the talented musician and music teacher from Raia, who rendered scores on his flute and bass guitar.Aaron Rego, a BCom student at Dempo College, Bambolim, was the lead guitarist and Ryan Rego, an accountant at CompScope Verna, helped out with the percussions.“The director, Fr Adrian Fernandes, hailing from Assolna and member of the Pilar Fathers, was efficient in helping us grasp the concept and organising the entire project. Whenever we expressed our fears and apprehensions, he would respond saying that “this project should primarily proclaim Jesus, so don’t worry, but pray and trust in Jesus – He will make it happen”,” said Chriselle.“At present doing his research at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Fr Adrian’s prayer life, interpersonal and organisational skills, efficiency, commitment to hard work, etc. are an inspiration to others.”Fr Adrian said the project “was like a small seed when it initially came as a request from university students, who appealed to fellow students from different nationalities to contribute some form of expressions of solidarity to the Italians and humanity at large who were suffering with the coronavirus pandemic.”With students from 116 nationalities, the endeavour from the university seemed a rather extensive proposal. What was initially a simple audio recording with 2-3 participants, was later suggested to Fr Adrian to evolve with an online video.Saul Bhatti, the founder of the Pakistani gospel band ‘Yadah’ was glad he contributed to the team.The composer and vocalist from Islamabad-Pakistan said it was a delight to collaborate with a group from India and share the constructive dynamism of together praising God with the gifts of talents in music across borders.This band of spirited Born-Again Christians collaborated with members of a different Church to convey an exemplary message for ecumenical bonding across different denominations and Churches within Christianity.
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