A SOULFUL RHYTHM AND ELEGANCE OF THE SACRED MUSIC
Music is a universal language of humans. It can communicate across all cultural, religious, national and linguistic barriers and raise human heart and the spirit to a sparkling meaning that is at once ennobling, elevating and freeing. One might debate on the issue whether meaning is intrinsic or extrinsic to music but we cannot deny that music communicates meaning to humanity. Music does dynamize, crystallize catalyze and share meanings that are profoundly cherished by humanity and leads its listeners or audiences to a new horizon that immerses them into an awe experience that opens the intense mystery of the sacred through the very core of the corporeality of humanity. The impulse of music from the very process of its making to its performance as well as to its consumptions by the musicians and the audience generates a sense of self-actualization and a sense of fulfillment. Music remains ever open and explosive and cannot be easily encaged, domesticated and subverted to fit into sinister motives of some or other vested interest. The power of music is complex . It delights, soothes, excites, inspires, and even triggers violence and hatred and its effects largely depends on the context of its production and consumption. Hence, though music appears other worldly, it has its materiality that produces a pleasure of inhabiting its aura as musicians as well as their audiences, engage each other in a diverse and dynamic process of imaginative expansion of their aesthetic sense.
Within the framework, music as a bearer of meaning, we have to view the series of concerts on sacred music organized by Rachol Seminary. The standard, the form of the music and site of performance that has been part of this emerging musical tradition of Rachol Seminary embeds a message that is at the service of evangelization. That is, the series of concerts that have been performed, dynamically alphabetized the core Christian message through the exhilarating cultural codes of music. Music having the power to cross boundaries and being inflected with depth dimension, lends itself to an imaginative capabilities of the musicians to translate the message of Jesus Christ in modes that rhythmically resonates with man and women of today. This is exactly what the seminary tried to do on the wings of the grammar of ornamentation that is offered by music thus, swimming against the tide in an age dominated by visual culture. Thus, music readily imbricates the gospel in its free flowing harmonies and easily evokes parallel synchronies with our daily life.
As music allows us to say something profound and substantive, the Choir of Santa Cecilia of Rachol Seminary, dedicates her concert on 14th April 2014, at the Se Cathedral Church , Old Goa as a tribute and homage to the fond memory of Rev. Fr. Tomas d’ Aquino Antonio Sequeira, who himself was a great musician and its illustrious member. Besides, Rev. Sequeira, was an eminent biblical scholar, professor and Rector of Rachol Seminary. The link between music and memory is known to us from our first steps into the class room. Music certainly assists and facilitates learning and recall. Besides, music induces and triggers happy and sad memories of our past. Hence, it is easy for us to understand why the Choir of Santa Cecilia explores the evocative power of music to bring to memory the glittering life and work of Rev. Fr. Tomas d’ Aquino Antonio Sequeira through performance of two of his great compositions among other musical expressions set to a melodious polyphonic orchestration.
Music comes alive in its performance. Outside the context of performance music becomes abstract and boring. Indeed, music exists in a synchronous relationship of the musicians and the audience. Over these several years the Choir of Santa Cecilia of Rachol has developed a qualitative relationship with its audience. Music exists in two planes: the plane of succession ( Melody) and the plane of simultaneity (harmony). In the similar way, the Choir of Santa Cecilia of Rachol, has reached the plane of succession as the mantle and baton of the musical tradition is taken over by the Musician Rector, Rev. Dr. Alexio Menezes and Rev. Fr. Simon Mathew D’Cunha respectively while the plane of simultaneity remains firm as its members as well the audience by and large remains the same and can only grow by leaps and bounds from there. The concert promises to be a treat to the ears of music lovers with the melodious intonations of the sweet voices of the members of the choir as well as the sonic depth of the musical orchestra under the able leadership of its young conductor Rev. Fr. Simon Mathew D’cunha.
Music enters every aspect of our human life. Its elegance and rhythm affect several levels of human life. As it flows, it penetrates the depths of human heart and elevates the soul to contemplate the divine. The concert of classical music presented by Santa Cecilia Choir and Orchestra of Rachol Seminary promises a soul stimulating musical experience on 14th April 2014, at the Se Cathedral Church, Old Goa at 6. PM. The evening will dish out a relishing programme consisting of Requim, Lenten and Easter Music by musical stalwarts like Faure, Mozart, and our very own Rev. Fr. Romeo Monteiro and Rev. Fr. Simon D’cunha. Archbishhop Patriarch, His Grace , Filipe Neri Ferrao will be the Chief Guest and Ms Margarida Tavora e Costa will be the guest honour. It certainly will be a day that will stay green in our memory for many years to come.
Fr. Victor Ferrao,