When news hit in March that life as it was known to date would come to a halt, nobody could really have envisaged the extent of the challenge about to take place. It has proven a hard time for all global citizens.
Musicians and other entertainment and hospitality industry personnel are gravely affected and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
“What is so beautiful to see are the positive attitudes of our musicians – trying their best to create and innovate amid all the uncertainty and underlying anxiety. It is heart warming to see how these people who take care of the collective mood by entertaining their fellow citizens through whatever means are continuing along these lines,” local singer-songwriter Luna Paige said.
ClemenGold has supported Paige and her company Iluminar Productions for many years, and ClemenGold funds were recently allocated to the development of musical projects, which were scheduled to take place this year, and clearly will not be taking place as initially planned. Paige explained: “With all the uncertainty about when we will be allowed to hit the stage again, ClemenGold recommended these funds rather be allocated towards artists and/or industry persons who are now in need of income due to cancelled shows and projects. We focused especially (but not exclusively) on people who don’t have other sources of income to sustain them during this time.”
Iluminar Productions identified musicians, booking agents, sound engineers and venue owners with whom it often works, and considers part of its wider family and community, as needing financial assistance. Those who received a financial donation during the first five weeks of lockdown were 39 musicians, two music agencies, one sound engineer and four music venues.
As a thank you to ClemenGold, Iluminar Productions invited some of these beneficiaries to participate in recording and filming a motivational song aimed at all South Africans, which also featured ClemenGold, entitled “Reach the Sky”. Fourteen musicians took part in the recording and filming.
Paige wrote and composed the song, and invited singer-songwriters and musicians Frazer Barry, Sima Mashazi and Lumanyano “Unity” Mzi to translate and/or contribute their own lyrics to the song, in Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu.
The song features her, Lea Venga, Sima Mashazi, Marcia Moon, Nick Turner, Frazer Barry, Lumanyano “Unity” Mzi and Thandeka Dladla on vocals.
Nick Turner also plays acoustic guitar alongside Frank Freeman, who plays the electric guitar. The rhythm section consists of Schalk van der Merwe on bass and Kevin Gibson on drums. Piano, mixing and mastering are by Blake Hellaby. The organ is played by blues man Simon Orange, the African pipe by Jamie Jupiter.
The video was compiled and edited by Izette Mostert (Purple Pear Films). All audio recordings and visual footage of artists were done by them themselves from home. This was essentially a creative collaboration in which everyone invested their time, skills and talents to say thank you to a company that supports the arts, but also to motivate and inspire fellow South Africans to stay positive, hopeful, tolerant and kind in challenging times – and keep believing it is possible to create a future everyone is happy to be a part of.
“Reach the sky” was released this week, and members of the public will be able to purchase it for R20. The song can be purchased by using a fundraising QR code created by BUSQR (an exciting innovator and benefactor of the arts at this time), and 20% of the proceeds will go to a charity (feeding scheme) of Iluminar Production’s choice. The charity was expected to be announced on the day of the song’s release. The other 80% will raise funds for the 14 participating artists who are currently not able to perform in front of audiences, and so they can earn an income as they are accustomed to.
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