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Fr. Tansi Ibisi astounds with the African hymn “Nani Chineke”

J-P Mauro - published on 10/03/17

"'Garden' is a chilled, cozy refuge for the soul."

Father Tansi Ibisi is an English-born Franciscan friar who was ordained a priest earlier this year. He is a part of the Renewal in Motion project, an initiative of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, which combines creativity and charity to spread the “word of love.” They also record Fr. Tansi’s fellow Franciscan, Brother Isaiah.

Along with his ordination, 2017 has marked the beginning of Fr. Tansi’s musical career, as he released his debut album, Garden, in July. The project was produced by Scott Mulvahill, the bassist for Ricky Skaggs’ band Kentucky Thunder, who brought Fr. Ibisi to Nashville where they recorded the whole album in one weekend.

Matthew Becklo perfectly described the album in an Aleteia profile that ran earlier this summer:

Garden is a chilled, cozy refuge for the soul, one that stands right alongside the work of other spiritual troubadours like Josh Garrels and Trevor Hall. The album enjoys a lush arrangement of keys, strings, percussion, and backup vocals that lift Tansi’s gentle voice and guitar without ever overwhelming them.

Alongside the release of Garden, Renewal in Motion created two new videos for Tansi’s “Nani Chineke,” which is a mashup of Nigerian songs (spiritual and traditional) and languages (Ibo and Yoruba). The first video, featured above, was recorded by the same team behind “Rising,” a piece by Brother Isaiah, which features Fr. Tansi on guitar.

The second video (below) utilizes the same recording, but sets it to scenes from Generation Hope, a documentary about the organization Mary’s Meals:

As Fr. Tansi noted to Becklo, this charity, “aims to provide chronically hungry children across the world with one meal every school day. It is named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who brought up her own child in poverty.” Throughout the first year of Garden, when the majority of album sales happen, all of the proceeds generated from online sales will go directly to Mary’s Meals.

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