Heavenly voices


In continuing with its mission to reconstruct choral tradition in the state, the Goa University Choir will
put up a concert titled ‘Tearing the Veil of Silence’
today at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Christian Art, Old Goa. NT BUZZ gets you the details


The Goa University Choir under the baton of maestro Santiago Lusardi Girelli will present a concert titled ‘Tearing the Veil of Silence’ today at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Christian Art, Old Goa. The occasion marks the closing of the first choir and orchestra conducting course. The evening will see people of all ages and from different walks of life participate in the concert.

The concert is based on the idea of a requiem, which is a liturgical chanting that is sung to celebrate death. “The concert goes around the concept of death that is why we are doing a requiem – to celebrate death. It’s more of a requiem mass so that the dead can rest in peace,” says Girelli, adding that the idea behind the name of the concert is the silence that comes after death and how the chanting breaks that silence, hence ‘Tearing the Veil of Silence’.

“The idea of tearing the silence comes through death in a nice way. Just how we celebrate life, it’s also about the mystery of sound, and how it breaks silence and brings one to life,” says Girelli adding that the concert is a connection between life and death thus it starts and ends with a requiem which is Latin for ‘rest in peace’.

Explaining the idea behind the theme, Girelli says that the requiem has a dramatic and theatrical text and it is a common chanting that is used in many western musicals. “Most famous composers like Mozart have requiem masses which is not exactly a mass or a religious celebration, it’s a musical piece, because the text is so rich it talks about eternity, coming to life, celebration of God’s mercy among other things,” says Girelli adding that the theme is an interaction between silence and music and the metaphor between life and death.

The concert will also feature maestro Jose Carlos Carmona from Spain who has been invited to conduct the choir, as he was in India to conduct a conducting class at the Goa University. ”We are doing a collaboration between Goa university and the University of Seville, where I was previously a professor. He did an international conducting course at Goa University recently and that is how he became part of this concert,” says Girelli. The concert will also have students of the international conducting course, conduct parts of the concert.

The choir will also feature choral sacred music by versatile artistes such as Faure, Lauridsen, Guastavino and Puccini. The choir will sing these compositions in various languages like English, French, Spanish, Latin and German.

Girelli admits that singing in these many languages is not a big challenge. The choir has also previously sung songs in over 22 languages.

Speaking about the response of Goans to classical music, Girelli says that Goa is an interesting place and Goans have a love for such kind of music. “I think the connection that Goa has with choral music is special. And even though there are no professional choirs, there are many church choirs,” says Girelli.

The concert’s aim through an academic approach is to help students with their musical careers. He further stated that the concert also aims at making the society a better place to live in as music has that power to do so. “We do believe that the reality of music can help us be better human beings as it is a sense of art. People have to be aware of what music can do and have an open heart and open mind,” he says.

(The concert will take place on September 15, 6 p.m. at the Museum of Christian Art, Old Goa. Entry is free and open to all.)