Enjoy an evening listening to this Contemporary Christian rock band

Mar 03, 2018, 10:11 IST | Shunashir Sen

There's more to church music than just choirs and gospel, as we find out after talking to a city-based contemporary Christian rock band

(Top pic, from left) Ian Enthiado, Macklin Lacerda, Stephen Frank, Jeremiah D'silva, Jason Fernandes and Vivian D'souza of Open Secret
(Top pic, from left) Ian Enthiado, Macklin Lacerda, Stephen Frank, Jeremiah D'silva, Jason Fernandes and Vivian D'souza of Open Secret

Contemporary Christian rock (CCM) is a genre of music that has its origins in the Church, and is deeply rooted in religion. But it's not hymn-based choral music. Nor is it gospel. It is, instead, a different medium of spreading God's message through the use of guitars, drums, a keyboard and rousing vocals. That's what we learn at a jam pad in Malad on Thursday, while listening to a band called Open Secret rehearse for its upcoming gigs.

The band rehearsing
The band rehearsing

It's a six-piece group founded by Macklin Lacerda. The first track they rehearse is called Good Good Father. It was sung originally by Chris Tomlin, one of the biggest names in CCM, and is the sort of tune that reaches fever pitch before the music drops a bit, only for it to rise even higher again. And the lyrics in the chorus are, You're a good good father/ It's who you are/ And I'm loved by you/ It's who I am. Those words encapsulate the essence of the purpose behind this genre, which is to instill a sense of religiosity in the listener. It's a modus operandi that lies at the heart of the music, and that's why all the concerts that Open Secret plays is routed through the Church, an institution that, over the years, has become more and more open in employing this handy tool to spread its message.

In fact, it is the Church that lays the very foundation on which CCM is based, Lacerda tells us. "I think what we have learned from the institution forms the seed for what comes later. So, even though church music is more choral based, in my case, that formed the basis for taking the same medium and applying it to a more specific genre, which I personally love. And had it not been for my experience playing at mass, I may never have had the grounding and the perspective that helped Open Secret bloom into what it is today," the singer says.

He credits Father Savio de Fales who organised the band's first ever concert, back in 2008. And a decade later, it's now reached a place where the band has a series of 11 concerts lined up for this month alone, coinciding with the Lenten season. But since most of these performances either have no entry fee or a nominal one if at all, it isn't economically viable for the musicians to sustain a career out of CCM alone. That makes retaining players somewhat problematic, Lacerda explains. "So a very important part of my future direction is to create a pool of musicians I can tap into when needed. For example, we have six concerts lined up next month, and maybe three more months down the line, some of the musicians I'm playing with now won't be available. In that case, somebody else can step in, because the journey never stops. It keeps going on," he ends.

On: Tonight, 7.15 pm
At: Holy Cross Church, Kurla.
Call: 25042167

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