Here is the DVD of the live recording and premier of the gospel oratorio 'the Unseen Hand' performed at the Jazzaar Festival in Aarau in April 2013. While the work presents a touch of African ethnic and musical variety, the music employs the elements of orchestral writing, choir and soloists that are expected of a traditional oratorio. Much room is also given for the improvisational traits of jazz and gospel music, African percussion and chorus elements and vocal ad-libs allowing this composition to be interpreted uniquely with every subsequent performance.
The old and the new testaments of the Christian Bible inspire the message of the Unseen Hand’s libretto. The comforting insight that God is gracious and active in the lives of human kind though seemingly unseen should be meaningful for anyone who finds themselves in the throes of life clouded by confusion and doubt. The lyrics convey the realities of hardship and the certainty of solutions that the bible promises will be revealed to the true seeker.
The work was performed by the Swiss Youth World Music Ensemble directed by Fritz K Renold. The ensemble is enhanced by these top professional artists that also functioned as coaches and role models to the young musicians as they rehearsed together for a week.
Valérie Ekoume, vocals
Michael Bradley, vocals
Rashad McPherson, vocals
Chico Freeman, saxes
Max Helfenstein, tpt
Vernon 'Ice' Black, g
Etienne Stadwijk, kbd
Kai Eckhardt, b
Dana Hawkins, dr
Olivier Serigba, perc
The Swiss Youth World Music Ensemble: Lydia Renold, v; Nora Wernli, v; Leila Erdin, v; Gabriela Grossenbacher, v; Yannick Berner, v; Mirjam Harzenmoser, v; Thea Simpson, v; Hevin Karakurt, v; Lukas Setz, tp; Daniel Gieger, tp; Michelle Suess, tp; Jeannine Hersche, fl; Fabian Tschopp, fl; Alex Schneider, as; Raphael Frey, ts; Kevin Sommer, bcl; Demian Coca, kbd; Ani Wollstein, kbd; Barbara Schumacher, kbd; Sharon Renold, b; Benjamin Renold, dr/perc. & Christian Carisch dr/perc. with featured guest Christian Spiegelberg, g.
This 12 piece oratorio plus the encore tune were written by Fritz K Renold while arranged and orchestrated for the Swiss Youth World-Music Ensemble by the acclaimed and prolific writers Jamshied Sharifi, Corey Allen and Bob Freedman.
The lyrics were penned by Helen Savari, co- founder and organizer of Jazzaar Festival.
The Unseen Hand is a ‘Bandstand Learning with Role Models’ production at Jazzaar Festival, Aarau, Switzerland.