MANTRA is a song for our times: A statement of intent to overcome prejudice through togetherness…
MANTRA is the closing track of Voices for Reconciliation, a Contemporary Requiem (see below). The track was especially written for Rodney Earl Clarke. ‘Mantra’ is a statement of intent to overcome prejudice through togetherness, a parallel to the unifying message promoted by the world of sport. The song explores Rodney’s extraordinary vocal range and allows him to express the message as a figurehead narrator, inspiring the audience to come together and strive to make a genuine difference at a crucial point in history; a time where we can build the World we wish to live in. Rodney’s voice calls for a ‘better world together’, a “safe and equal space” where all can “raise their heads with pride”. Sport has an essential role in realising the goal of creating a “Mantra” to live our lives by, elevating voices from throughout society in the process, Rodney is the ideal Ambassador to promote this message with his work, not only as a distinguished Musician, but also as an advocate for racial equality.
On Saturday 13th February, Rodney will sing the National Anthem at Twickenham Stadium ahead of the Six Nations clash between England & Italy.
Hailed by Gramophone as a “singer to be watched”, Rodney Earl Clarke is recognised for his versatility in performance. Born is South East London, Rodney enjoyed performing at an early age.
Encouraged by his Jamaican parents and surrounded by three brothers and a sister, Rodney knew from early on that his singing voice was to be a huge part of his life.
From his days as a choir boy at St. George’s Cathedral in Southwark to being a baritone at home with the music of 1930-1960 Broadway, Rodney has appeared in many shows including Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall, London, Jude Kelly’s award winning production of Bernstein’s On The Town, Kenneth Branagh’s epic film version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Sondheim’s 80thBirthday Celebration Prom, The Broadway Sound BBC Prom with the John Wilson Orchestra, Jake in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and Crown in Porgy & Bess under the direction of John Doyle with the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. He starred in Raymond Gubbay’s popular show Crazy for Gershwin which regularly toured the UK and also performed many times on BBC Radio 2 Friday Night Is Music Night, most notably in the David Jacobs Tribute Concert alongside Michael Ball, Gary Williams and Hannah Waddingham.
Having overcome the challenges of having a stutter, Rodney also devotes his time to helping others who face challenges in their communication and speech, using the power of singing to guide them towards greater fluency and confidence in his online platform Singing Speaking.
Anthony and Gaynor Sadler are one of the UK’s most renowned composing teams. Both are graduates of the Royal College of Music London. Anthony studied Composition & Harmony with Herbert Howells, Guitar with Michael Jessett, Advanced Composition and Improvisation Techniques and Aural Training with John Lambert and Conducting with Dr Ruth Gipps; Gaynor studied Singing with Redvers Llewellyn and Margaret Cable, Piano with John Lamport, Repertoire with Sir Roger Vignoles, Advanced Composition, improvisation Techniques and Aural Training with John Lambert.
During their career they have worked with many of the great film directors: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Mike Newell, Jon Amiel, Martin Campbell, John Dykstra, Ken Russell and Michael Radford, to name a select few.
Anthony & Gaynor have written the sound-tracks to over 3,500 Television Commercials and have won scores of awards for their work including 16 Golds, 36 Silvers and 24 Bronzes across D&AD, BTAA, LIAA, Creative Circle and Royal Television Society, several Clios and Cannes Lions, Gold & Silver Discs, an Ivor Novello (Nomination), a Sony Radio Gold and a BAFTA.
Anthony and Gaynor have worked on hit records as writers, producers and guest artists, with such British acts as Kelly Marie, Talk Talk, Spandau Ballet, ABC, Yes, Orange Juice, Brian Kennedy, Rock legend Suzi Quatro; French Stars Alain Barriere and Francis Cabrel; Spanish Superstar Juan Pardo, Japanese Chart Institution Seiko and the ‘Golden Voice of Prague’, Karel Gott.
Created by Award-winning Composers Anthony & Gaynor Sadler, Voices for Reconciliation is a Contemporary Requiem; an original recording and concert work mixing text, songs and poems spanning three millennia and drawn from different cultures, continents, and epochs. In line with its message promoting Universal Reconciliation, the music is a tapestry of sound woven from Classical, Contemporary and Global influences.
Voices for Reconciliation is of approximately 90 minutes duration and scored for 4 Vocal Soloists plus a Narrator, Chorus & Orchestra.
Voices for Reconciliation is ‘Accessible Opera’: Produced and performed to the highest standard, it is suitable for use in Education, with Youth Groups, Choral Societies, on the Concert Stage, in the Theatre and places of Worship.
Voices for Reconciliation is Classical music that is available to all.
Starring Olivia Newton – John, Gene Kelly & Michael Beck
Xanadu rolled into the 1980’s and inspired the roller disco era
Music by Electric Light Orchestra & John Farrar
Xanadu title track was a UK No 1 smash hit for Olivia Newton-John & ELO
Step into a magical world with superstars Olivia Newton-John (Grease) and Gene Kelly (Singing’ In the Rain and An American in Paris) as they take Xanadu! Xanadu was Gene Kelly’s last movie appearance.
A beautiful muse is sent from above to inspire struggling artist and help motivate him to open a roller-disco. The dazzling soundtrack includes songs by Electric Light Orchestra and John Farrar such as Magic, I’m Alive, All Over the World. Throw on your roller skates, turn up the volume and enjoy this out-of-this-world fantasy!
The films amazing choreography scenes were created by Kenny Ortega who was also responsible for the classic dance sequences in ‘Ferris Buller’s Day Off’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’. Kenny also worked with Michael Jackson on his tours and directed the ‘This is It’ Tour.
The Don’t Walk Away sequence in the film was directed by animation Director Don Bluth (An American Tail & All Dogs go to Heaven).
Gene Kelly involvement with the film the famous 1940’s dance sequence with Olivia was filmed after the film had wrapped. It was a closed set only for Gene, Olivia, Kenny and the cameraman and soundman were present on set no one else.
Olivia was thrilled and nervous to be dancing with the legendary Gene Kelly.
Kenny Ortega had to convince Gene to be in the film as he had doubts about being in Xanadu, this was to e Gene’s last appearance in a movie. Gene agreed to have a one-off meeting with Kenny. Kenny’s enthusiasm and knowledge of Gene’s dancing and movies won over Gene. After the meeting Gene became Kenny’s mentor and friend for the next 20 years. Kenny Ortega is now revered as one of Hollywood’s top dance choreographers.
Gene’s character name of Danny McGuire was the name of his character in one of his first starring roles from the 1940’s movie ‘Cover Girl’ which also starred Rita Hayworth and Phil Silvers.
The Film won Best Film Song, at the Ivor Novello Awards accepted by Jeff Lynne
Xanadu had a new lease of life in 2007 when the story was adapted to a new stage production which was premiered on Broadway in New York. Danny McGuire role was played by actor Tony Roberts who has appeared in many of Woody Allen films including Annie Hall. The production was nominated for several Tony Awards.
There was also a stage production of Xanadu which appeared in London at Southwark Play House in 2015.
· Going back to Xanadu: A retrospective documentary featuring the cast and crew discussing the making of Xanadu and its lasting legacy.
ALZHEIMER’S SOCIETY’S SPORT UNITED AGAINST DEMENTIA
Wills & The Willing Featuring Football Legends Petr Cech & Gareth Ainsworth
The rule of six doesn’t just apply to us mere mortals. Poor Rudolph has a real dilemma on his hooves this year. Three of Santa’s faithful reindeer are going to have to stay behind on Christmas Eve, and their drawing straws to find out who…
Rudolph says nine’s a crowd Even Santa’s bubble only six are allowed So the reindeers are busy drawing straws To see who’ll ride the sleigh this year with Santa Claus
It’s been quite a year for Ian Wills (described in The Times as “The Ian Dury of the 21st Century”) and his band The Willing. Their long-awaited album London Country was released in October to huge critical acclaim and the first two singles taken from it, Iceberg and Idaho, climbed high in the Country Music Charts and achieved mass airplay in the USA and elsewhere.
Known for his insightful lyrics, the highest of musicianship and perfect production, this special festive release is no different. Ian charts the events of the last 9 months as only he could. From Captain Tom, clapping at 8pm, protecting the NHS, masks and hand gel to Marcus Rashford and vaccines – all done with the most joyful, memorable and insanely catchy melody!
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Wills & The Willing record without a special guest star or two! This time Ian has again turned to his friends at football’s highest level and engaged the expert drumming of Chelsea FC legend Petr Cech and the perhaps surprising vocal talent of Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth. Everything comes together to make this a Christmas single LIKE NO OTHER!
And, most importantly, all profits are going to SPORT UNITED AGAINST DEMENTIA…
Sport United Against Dementia (SUAD) is a pioneering partnership between Alzheimer’s Society and the nation’s most loved sports that will shine a spotlight on dementia in a way that has never been seen before.
The campaign will help spearhead change by transforming the way the industry supports people affected by dementia, sharing best practice, and finding positive solutions for past and present sportspeople, their families and fans up and down the country.
Profits raised will help Alzheimer’s Society reach more people through the charity’s vital services such as its Dementia Connect support line, which have been used over 2.7million times since March. People with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus both in terms of deaths from the virus, but also because of the knock-on effect of lockdown causing isolation and interruption to health and social care services, with an Alzheimer’s Society survey revealing that more than four in five (82%) have reported a deterioration in people with dementia’s symptoms.
Alex Hyde-Smith, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and we know that several of the nation’s sporting greats have sadly been affected by the devastating condition. Like many charities, our fundraising income has taken a hit this year, so we’re hugely thankful to be benefiting from this fantastic track, so we can continue to harness the positive power and incredible reach of sport to ensure no-one faces dementia alone and without adequate support.”
Sport has a unique ability to connect people of all ages, races and backgrounds. It creates memories that last a lifetime and engages people with dementia like nothing else.