'Trippy' video in push to canonise Pope
* Ben Dowell
* Guardian Unlimited
* Thursday October 25 2007
... The Vatican's record label is orchestrating an online campaign to push a DVD celebrating the life of the late Pope John Paul II to move public opinion in favour of canonising him, MediaGuardian.co.uk can reveal.
The release of the DVD, which is being produced by St Paul Multimedia, the Vatican's record label, will be accompanied by a website, www.santosubitoonline.com, on which the faithful will be encouraged to register their support for his sainthood.
Santo Subito means "Make him a saint quickly" ...
"What better way to do it than by a music film like this and using the internet to push his canonisation?"
The DVD and online campaign are aimed at appealing directly to the young and the choice of British composer Simon Boswell was also a factor, according to Vatican sources.
His work features digitally enhanced recordings of John Paul II's voice alongside "trance-like drum grooves" and "trippy" images of the late Pontiff.
It is also a first for the Vatican because it has allowed Boswell to work musically with the Pope's voice, which is the copyright of the church, in some case altering its rhythms.
"The images, celebrating many moments from his life, have been digitally enhanced and are quite cutting edge," said Boswell, the composer of innovative soundtracks for films such as Hardware, Shallow Grave and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
On the DVD John Paul II is heard singing on at least two tracks. In one section he is heard recalling Isaiah's cry to "Go up on a high mountain" and to "Shout without fear" accompanied by images of the Pope not out of place in a rave video and also the kind of music not normally associated with the Catholic liturgy.
In another section of the DVD, John Paul's visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp is accompanied by a piece for solo guitar and strings and featuring his cry, "No more war".
The Pope DVD is released worldwide next month by Universal Video. Record company insiders say they hope to sell many millions of copies.
"They are marketing the Pope with the same verve that they would market any popular artist," one insider said.
The DVD release is also expected to be followed by a series of stadium concerts around the world, involving a full orchestra conducted by Boswell and featuring John Paul II as a virtual presence on a large screen. The first concert will be held in Milan near the city's cathedral ...