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Interview Portuguese Spanish    
Year 8 - N° 366 – June 8, 2014
Matão, SP (Brasil)
Leonardo Rocha - l.rocha1989@gmail.com

Clayton Cesar Donato Prado: 

“Spiritist art is still walking its first steps”

The well-known musician and songwriter talks about the importance of music for human being and the role it
plays in the dissemination of Spiritism

Clayton Cesar Donato Prado (photo) is a professional musician and music teacher. He was born in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná and lives in the city of Americana, in São Paulo state. He became a Spiritist some 12 yeas ago and is the Director of Arts of the Nova Odessa Spiritist Centre. In  this  interview,  he  talks  about  his  work with

music and Spiritism: 

Where does your interest in music and the arts in general come from? 

I began studying music at the age of 15. Since then I moved from traditional Brazilian music to jazz and classical music. In 2002, when I was 21, I left the Catholic Church and began to study Spiritism. That was a watershed in my work as a songwriter, musician and singer. I stopped producing music to be sold and started writing songs focused on specific themes, usually themes that I was planning to study within Spiritism. 

Did you change your taste or choices in art since becoming a Spiritist? 

In 2002, when I came into contact with Spiritism, I began to find out through publications and the Internet about the work of so many Spiritists in the fields of music and the arts in general. After setting up a choir and performing a few songs, including some of my own, at the opening of a Spiritist lecture in the city of Americana in 2003, I was invited to reactive the Department of Arts in the Spiritist Centre Nova Odessa. I had been a Spiritist for only a year, but I began to gather as much material as possible: articles, CDs, website links etc. for my new activities here at the Nova Odessa. 

What is your assessment of the integration between the arts and Spiritism in Brazil? 

Abrarte, the Brazilian Association of Spiritist Artists, has done a good job by encouraging the production of material to disseminate Spiritism. Or, as many argue, they help artists who are inspired by the Teachings so they can produce an art form that transcends the boundaries of ordinary human conflicts and address more Spiritual matters. Many artists criticise such approach, arguing that there is a risk that the artistic product become propaganda. But we should always bear in mind what the great maestro Rossini said in his Posthumous Works when addressing the influence of Spiritism on music: “The influence of music on the soul, on its moral progress is widely accepted; but the reason why music influences the soul is generally ignored. It is due entirely to one fact: that harmony put the soul in the realm of a force, a sentiment that dematerialises it.” Therefore, this is not about converting people, indoctrinating people or making propaganda, but it is part of an effort to go deeper into Spiritism, to try to fully understand the Teachings, so they can be the platform for our transformation. Rossini says in another passage of the book: “Oh, yes, Spiritism will indeed influence music! And it could not be otherwise. Spiritism will transform art, making it purer. Its origin is divine, its power will take it to every corner where people are prepared to love, to reach higher spheres and to understand other people. Spiritism will become the goal, the ideal of every artist. Painters, sculptors, songwriters, poets will look in the Teachings the inspiration for their art, and Spiritism will provide it, as it is a rich, endless source of inspiration.” 

What from your experience as a singer, songwriter and musician would you like to share with our readers? 

I would like to say that we cannot miss any opportunity to do good. More than that, we need to look constantly, endlessly for such opportunities, to be prepared to help others. I also believe that we must follow the ethics that we learn with the study of Spiritism before we get engaged in any work of dissemination of Spiritism or before we take up any high profile jobs in the Spiritist Movement. We know that the more in evidence we are, the biggest our responsibility towards the Teachings will be. 

What lessons and experienced have you learned from your work both as a professional musician and a volunteer in Spiritism? 

The main experience is the presence of the friendly Spirits, the Benefactors, who do help us in our task. 

Do you think music has played an important role in the dissemination of Spiritism? 

Music must always be an art form. It cannot be written or produced as a straightforward narrative, something that sounds like it is being read by someone. It helps disseminate Spiritism, first and foremost, through the behaviour of the artist, his detachment from all excesses, if he is serious and also a humble person. The message must be of a higher note, providing edifying advice to the listeners. And finally, it must be technically well crafted, beautiful and harmonious. 

Finally, what would you say about the current stage of development of art forms connected to Spiritist themes? 

We are going through a very special phase in Brazil, but the truly special time is yet to come. We are just preparing the ground for the artists who will come in the future. They will need to find better ground in order to fully develop their potential. Spiritist art is still walking its first steps. I am immensely glad to be able to play a small part in this huge structure connecting Arts and Spiritism, which is getting stronger day by day. And thank you very much for the opportunity to let me talk here about my favourite subject.


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