Musica for Africa is a musical project created by Mariano Schiavolini, composer, music producer and member of the 70’s progressive rock group, Celeste.
Mariano wanted to bring to life a series of songs, combining the styles of soul and spirituals with progressive rock. The result is a unique blend of genres ordinarily worlds apart.
Mariano’s music is very dedicated, with each song channeling grand and often humanitarian themes. For this reason he was able to win the collaboration of various talented and influential South African artists who, in addition to sharing their passion for music, lent their own humanitarian sensibilities to the cause. For this the project was called Musica for Africa, being both for and by the people of the African continent.
The songs, whose lyrics are written by the English lyricist, Nikki Turner, touch on important themes, one of which being the freedom of religion.
The song “Where Will it End” is a hymn dedicated to the victims and their families of the Garissa University College attack of April 2, 2015, in which 148 people were killed and 79 were injured.
Mariano Schiavolini made two versions of Where Will it End. One of the versions was sung by New York City soul artist, Clayton Bryant, over a magnificent backdrop by the Soweto Gospel Choir, world-renowned for their international collaborations with the likes of groups like U2.
Bryant himself has collaborated with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.
Both versions of Where Will it End will be released for the two-year anniversary of the Kenya tragedy, and will each feature a music video, filmed in the USA and in South Africa.
The second song to be released is titled “Because You Are There”. It is an ensemble piece with a total of six South African singers and the Soweto Gospel Choir. A classic spiritual, it has a repeating refrain, and a steady crescendo of various musical elements. Beginning with a simple lead vocal, it grows to include influences of Dixieland jazz and a triumphant chorus.
The lyrics tell a poignant story of different people suffering the hardships of poverty, yet who manage to hold on to their smiles, hope and joy for life because of the everlasting presence of God. Despite being destitute, they remain rich in their hearts.
To learn more about Mariano Schiavolini and his music group Celeste, please check out our May 2017 print publication.