The album “Chosen: Songs from an Original Musical,” was launched before a warm and spirited group at the Areté, Ateneo de Manila University on May 8, 2018.
The 16-track concept album was produced by the Ateneo SALT Institute, in cooperation with ABS-CBN and the Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM), is the brainchild of author, educator, and lyricist Fr. Johnny Go, SJ.
The collection of songs portray scenarios in which biblical characters’ lives intertwine with each other’s, resulting in fresh, re-imagined narratives for God’s chosen people.
As he introduced Kapamilya talent Jed Madela’s rendition of the song “No More Music,” Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ, spoke glowingly of Fr. Johnny’s gift for writing engaging songs. “Fr. Johnny’s lyrics resonate with real life experiences. We become conversational with God as though we are with our own friends. They are earthy as they are poetic. They have the capacity to be sung yet hit deep.”
JesCom sound engineer and singer-songwriter Toto Sorioso’s performance of “Hey You Fool,” composed by APO Hiking Society vocalist Jim Paredes, conveyed Cain’s dialogue with his own shadow. Members of the Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADS) then grooved to the pop and R&B beat of “Theory of Everything,” Sorioso’s personal addition to “Chosen.”
Xavier School-Nuvali faculty member Marvin Ong, writer of three songs in the album, serenaded the audience with “Hard to Get,” an insight into God’s mysterious works and ways.
Before contemporary folk artist Noel Cabangon’s rendition of “Better Angels”, esteemed liturgical composer Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ shared the uniquely Jesuit spirituality behind the final track of “Chosen.” “It was St. Ignatius who taught us that we must allow God to speak to us through our deepest desires. As we listen to God, we need to purify these desires, sort through their many motives, and sift through them, until we finally arrive at our better angels.”
In his closing remarks, Fr. Johnny Go, SJ expressed his sincere gratitude for indeed a dream come true. “It is every Jesuit’s dream to make God’s presence very accessible in the simplest of ways. We are very lucky to have developed great partnerships with all of you in this project.”
“Chosen: Songs from an Original Musical” is a fitting tribute to the “first teachers” in the Society of Jesus, the retired Jesuits who are currently under the care of the Jesuit Health and Wellness Center. All sales proceeds of the album will go toward their medical needs.
CDs available at Tanging Yaman Store of Jesuit Communications, Ateneo de Manila University & Tanging Yaman Kiosk at @SM Megamall near the chapel for P300 each only, 15 brand new songs, featuring Kapamilya artists, courtesy of ABS-CBN.