SILVASTONE teamed up with Fiona Brice, to compose a movement for the Oratorio of Hope. They worked together in person to build a rough demo using melodic aspects of Tarik O’Regan’s theme (rising and falling fourths) and took inspiration from the lyrics of For Us and We: an original poem by Shaniqua Benjamin, which celebrates the diverse communities of Croydon and shares stories of hope for the future.
After meeting, Fiona and SILVASTONE continued to exchange ideas remotely, then SILVASTONE produced the final backing track while Fiona wrote the orchestration (70 pages of A4 parts for the classical musicians and a 31 page score for the conductor).
This collaboration founded “There’s a Way”, a song about perseverance and overcoming hardship, inspired by the concept of hope. In writing the song, SILVASTONE tapped into his personal experience of coming from Sierra Leone to New Addington in Croydon, making a life as an independent musician and navigating challenges along the way. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” was a recurring piece of advice given to Silvastone by his late dad when he was growing up in Sierra Leone, and is the main refrain of the song.
One of the inspirations of the song for SILVASTONE was recalling being denied admission to the Brit School when he was younger as he was unable to read sheet music and hadn’t come from a western score-reading background. That “no” showed him his “next opportunity” and he had to find “a way” to succeed in his dreams. The collaboration between Fiona and SILVASTONE, highlights how diverse skill sets with a united musical talent can create incredible music.
SILVASTONE says ”My special message to us through this song is a reminder to “keep going” – despite our challenges, everything is possible”.
Highlighted as London’s Borough of Culture for 2023-24, London Mozart Players celebrated all things Croydon with two flagship performances of the Oratorio of Hope, commissioning and performing the movements composed by talent in the Croydon community. The double-bill concert showcased the very best of Croydon’s talent through music, spoken word, song, dance, film and visual art.
The Times wrote: “the Croydon based singer-songwriter Silvastone caught the celebratory mood perfectly with a song about perseverance in the face of adversity which sent Afrobeat rhythms zinging around the orchestra. Let’s hope those upbeat vibes can be sustained for the whole year in a borough that could really use some good news.”