8 December 2023

Improvised musical performances bringing Solace to Port Melbourne

Performer Galliano Sommavilla is starting a new musical venture at Holy Trinity Port Melbourne. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

8 October 2022

A Melbourne musician is seeking to offer parishioners at a bayside parish a glimpse of peace and calm amid the busyness of life.

Pianist Galliano Sommavilla, along with guitarist Dave Miles, has begun playing 45-minute reflective musical pieces once a month at Holy Trinity Port Melbourne as part of a program called Solace.

Mr Galliano was raised in the Catholic church but said that he met the locum minister at Holy Trinity Bishop Philip Huggins about 30 years ago and wanted to help Bishop Huggins’ work flourish.

“He’s a lovely bloke, he’s got a heart of gold,” Mr Sommavilla said. “The idea [for Solace] was to bring people in to his lovely little church.”

He said his dream was to see such performances in churches across the world, as it provided a non-judgmental, non-denominational space for people to feel as if they belonged.

Read more: Jazz vocalist offers gift of understanding to those with serious illness

“I just hope it makes people chill out a little bit,” Mr Sommavilla said. “That’s all I want.”

“I play for 45 minutes straight [and] make it up as I go. People can come in, relax, sit quietly, listen and think.”

Bishop Huggins said the performances came from an incredible vulnerability on the part of Mr Sommavilla.

“It’s just astonishing,” he said. “People are starting to come to it not just for the solace [of the experience].”

“Rather than coming to me for what I can do for him, he’s come with what he can do for the community.”

To find out more about Galliano Sommavilla or the Solace events, contact him here.

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