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Rome Reports

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The friar who uses music as an instrument to proclaim the Gospel

He started bringing his passion for music to the monastery and has just been signed by one of the major record labels in the world. Giacomo Brustenghi or Friar Alessandro is a 38-year-old Italian priest of the Minor Order of the Franciscans, who lives in Assisi in Italy. He has been touring the world with his prodigious voice since 2011. He has liked music since he was a child and was inspired by the most diverse styles. FRIAR ALESSANDRO "Since I was little, I was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach. That is why I wanted to be a composer and organist. I also liked Michael Jackson. They seem very different, but to a child's perception, music is music, so it was nice to hear the great energy and inspiration from both of them.� Later, his musical vocation was united with his religious vocation in the monastery, until a friend took him to an audition. An executive from Universal Music heard his voice and immediately signed him to their record label. FRIAR ALESSANDRO "It was December 2011 and the record label asked me to make a record. I initially did not want to because it was not my wish, I wanted to live a quiet life. Although, I was assured that it would not disrupt my lifestyle. Then I asked my superiors and I thought that they would say no. Yet, to my surprise, they gave me permission, so this soon became a mission that they wanted me to take on.� And the mission has resulted in three albums: 'Voice of Assisi', 'Voice of Joy' and now 'Voice of Peace'. Thanks to them he has had the unique opportunity to record at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, where musical legends like The Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2 recorded albums. Now, he speaks of God with his music in cities throughout Europe and has also come to the United States and Canada. He is juggling his hectic concert-filled schedule, a moment that sometimes makes it hard for him. Yet, he manages to be useful in his mission of Evangelization. FRIAR ALESSANDRO "For me, the concerts are like a cross, but I understand that people are waiting, love them and seek to witness them. It is an experience to share, exchange love through music, and a moment of prayer.� His sacred music mixes are refined with popular musical styles. Perhaps the secret of Friar Alessandro, the monk who convinced record labels that sacred music could also be a success. IPC/YA MG VM -PR Up:AC