Modern Prodigal Son
THE BIRTH I was born in a particular year, 1969, when the first man landed on the moon and when took place the historic Woodstock's concert. I was born in Ostia Lido - Rome - the 3rd of January, from a German mother and Neapolitan father. But in my veins flows blood even more confused because my grandmother was Croatian and my grandfather was Czechoslovakian! Although I grew up pulling balls from morning to evening, the music overlooked in my life at regular intervals. I started with an electric piano to which my father, for desperation, cut off the plug, and then with a classic guitar, huge for my little hands, which I admired at my uncles' home. And with which I played improbable compositions. All by ear! Our parents led me and my brother Francesco to an evangelical church which was doing evangelization campaigns that take place in our neighborhood. If today I'm a son of God it is also thanks to them, who left the seed of faith grow up in our hearts! After completing the elementary and middle school I had the first problems with the high school. I gave up during the second year of the Polytechnic School because it was not for me. I've been always reluctant to everything that is technical and practical. Still today I have difficulties with practical things: often, when I repair my car's wheel there are always pieces left... In the meantime I played and listened to music. I did like to translate songs from English to Italian, in order to understand the content. This was a boost in learning this foreign language. My teen years were characterized by doubts and fears which brought me to a (wrong) decision: God doesn't exist! I gave an extremely rational interpretation of the world's birth and neglected the existence of a superior being. I rather considered myself superior to others because I could tell to know the truth about the God that doesn't exist and tricks people. But I remembered that my life was taking a turn for the worse, even though I didn't show anything outside. My life was getting more and more sad, dark and full of uncertainties. One question was leading this period of my life: Why am I sad, even though I know the truth? THE NEW BIRTH By attending the church I was in contact with other young people who have "received Jesus in the lives". "What an absurdity!" I thought. But, while they were happy, I was sad. As I said before, I was very rational and believed that everything we know came out by chance in a certain time and space. But what, if I was only a mistake or a bad number? While my life was marked by these life problems, in my mind were always running the words listened in the church about a God who so loved me to let His son to die on the cross instead of me and Who wanted to transform my life. On the night of 5th April 1987... I was in bed full of thoughts but one of them was pressing me: "Try! It costs nothing!" I didn't want to try out God, but inside me I thought that I could "test" Him So I closed my eyes, prayed the Lord to forgive my mistakes as I realized to be away from God because of my sin. I asked Him to enter my life and to change it. Then, I fell asleep. The morning after I awakened with a strange sensation, I was suddenly felling happy, free, full of joy. So I realized that this was the very truth! God exists and has just entered my life! Suddenly my existence had taken a new meaning, I was able to put in order my thoughts, my priorities and able to see all things under a new light. The same day I wrote my first song. For the first time I was able to express in words my gratitude to God Who found my in a corner and made me his son. The year after I was baptised at Ostia's see with other 6-7 people among those there was one who changed my life again... but I'll tell you later! These are the years when I know a lot of people very important for me and with them I have so many sweet memories. Brothers and sisters I grew in life and faith with. PASSIONS The soundtrack of these years were songs of Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Rick Cua, Keith Green, Petra, Dc Talk who definitively fixed my music tastes In the meanwhile it's time to be in the army, mandatory at that time. My fears about it quickly went away and I have a good memory of that year with the uniform. I go to school again, language school this time, obtaining a diploma in 1992. Beyond music another passion are foreign languages, maybe because I was always charmed by cultures different from ours and wanted to know different way of living. As a consequence of this, my third passion are travels. Among travels I remember those in Germany (Hamburg above all), Austria, Nederland, where I went to attend conferences and know young believers. I also remember the three weeks spent in Rumania after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Comunism, in order to bring the Gospel and make disciples with an American missionary society. When I travel I like not only to get to a place but even how I get to it! I like the noise of the train and the car which runs over a highway. I like to see how the landscape changes before my eyes. I like to know that thousands of miles away there are people who live the same life but in a different manner. I like different houses, different foods, different smells and flavors THE WEDDING 1991 is another important year. It's the year when Norma, the special girl met in 1987 makes a change in my life. I met her in our church and for me she has always been the most beautiful girl, sweet and with a smile that can light up the place where she is. Nevertheless I was attracted by foreign girls...! But, day by day, she was stealing my heart.... To the extent that the 24th of December of that year we got engaged and the 11th of September 1994 we got married. FAMILY LIFE God has greatly blessed our union giving to us the privilege to enjoy His gifts: Aurora (13), Alessia (15) and Erika (25) who is now tha mum of our little granddaughter Kristine (2). Yes, we are grandparents! It was and it's even today a great joy to see them all growing up day bay day. I'll never stop to thank the Lord for the family He gave me. My daily prayer is that He can makes me a good husband a father. Between 2000 and 2001 our dad and mum went with the Lord, leaving an empty space into our life and a big regret of not having full appreciated their presence and their love. Not a day goes by without my thinking of them. Thanks for all! TODAY At the present time I'm an employee in a company of Italian Post and I work in the technical assistance (life is strange...wasn't I reluctant to it?) but my more challenging project is becoming an employee in God's company. We just need a bit of courage...! I attend the local community of "Church of God" in Ostia Lido - Rome -, ministered by pastor Daniele Santonocito. As the community is applying the "Purpose driven church" principles, I'm in charge of the "Adoration" department, especially in everything that has to do with music, that is worship leader, choir, etc. In addition, I'm having some part in the teaching ministry with sermons and Bible studies. Thank to our community we could grow up as believers and persons in a healthy, spiritual and challenging environment. I had some opportunities to work with the Italian Continental Singers for songs translation and text arrangement from English to Italian. In addition I play piano in a Christian band with members coming from three different churches and we play Spiritual style and CCM music. In the meanwhile I'm also attending the branch Bible School of IBEI in order to get the Certificate of Divinity. TOMORROW If you ask me "what's the best song you wrote?", I'd say without doubts "The song I still have to write...!". My work as songwriter is not ended now and this album it's not the realization of a dream but the beginning of a dream... I'm already composing my next album. Only if our plans are God plans, of course. Me and Norma want to submit to His will in a manner that we can tools in God's hands as He wants, not according to our own desires or will. In our hearts we want to serve God with our talents and skills and we leave open a door to every kind of cooperation with churches in Italy and abroad. We're facing a growth in our community that we can consider as the fruit of the past and today commitments for God's sake as we're going toward 100 people attending Sunday service. There are a lot of activities which involve different groups of people: children, teens (up to 30 boys and girls at the meeting!), youth, adults, men, women with Bible studies, Sunday school, prayer meetings. We have also big events as prize draw, charity bazaars, donations and child sposnsorships through which the community can help needy people, orphanages, schools and poor lands like Lebanon, Egypt, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Above all I want to thank God, whose gifts we are administrator of, but not owners! A big thank you goes to Daniele Palladino and his all staff because you guys have made this project so precious with your talents: arrangements, graphics, voices, instruments, etc. Then I'd like to thank you my daughters Erika, Alessia, Aurora and my granddaughter Kristine because you've been so special, and I've neglected you a bit whilst working on the CD! And finally, a special thank you goes to my wife Norma, who believed in this idea more than me: without your enthusiasm and your love this recording would have never come to completion. I'd like to remember all the people who had a role in this project: Recorded to 'MusicaViva Studio Recording' in October 2010; Arrangement and Musical Director: Daniele Palladino; Drums: Davide Frezza Bass: Mario Bellini; Electric and Acoustic Guitars: Daniele Palladino; Keyboards, and Programming: Daniele Palladino; track 7,9: Daniele Iaccarino; track 3: Daniele Pirozzi; Piano, Hammond track 3,5: Gianni Cuciniello Backing Vocalist: Carmen Fasano, Gabriella Di Lena; Sax: Rocco Di Maiolo; Trumpet: Giuseppe Fiscale; Trombone: Alessandro Tedesco; Double Bass: Dario Spinelli; Drum track 7: Nicola Orabona; Cover, Web Site, Spot Designer: Daniele Pirozzi. Mixing and Mastering: Massimo D'Ambra. In different manners, the people who helped me with English: Monet Beardsley, Gabriella Di Lena, Daniele Pirozzi's sister.