Many people attribute possessing exceptional talent as a God-given gift, and celebrated Canadian singer Tonia Evans Cianciulli is acknowledging hers with high praise in return on this, her new, original hymn, “My Voice Belongs to Him”.
“My Voice Belongs to Him” is the first single and sole original song from Cianciulli’s upcoming album of classic spirituals, Hymns of the Heart — due out on October 1, 2021. The new album is a personally significant and very meaningful collection for the Toronto-based, Newfoundland-born vocalist.
Experience this beautiful song on YouTube here:
A collaboration between Cianciulli and Canadian poet Vaughn Harbin, “My Voice Belongs to Him” came together during a time when the global pandemic had largely been keeping loved ones apart; the lingering periods of grieving over cancelled concerts, live events and ‘what once was’ had Cianciulli feeling the need to reconnect with the spiritual music of her past: hymns.
“One day last summer, I received an email from my dear friend and poet, Vaughn,” Cianciulli recalls. “He was inspired to write lyrics for me on what it means to sing hymns.”
That He spoke beauty into life,
And love from deepest space,
Anoints the voice of one who sings
Sweet hymns with heaven's grace
“Vaughn's lyrics were so meaningful, I was worried I wouldn't come up with a melody to do it justice.”
It turns out Cianciulli had to look no further than Divine providence to find the music she was afraid she might not. “I'm a believer that I am always being divinely guided,” she says. “As God would have it, I was brushing my teeth one morning before I went into the recording studio and found myself humming a sweet new melody.
“I immediately spit the toothpaste out of my mouth, grabbed my phone in a hurry, and recorded what was being downloaded to me from above.”
Cianciulli wasted no time getting what had been Divinely downloaded into permanent form. “Later that day, I recorded the guide vocals while my producer, Dima Graziani, composed a celestial sounding accompaniment,” she recounts. “As my grandfather always says, 'Tonia, everything is always unfolding for you as it ought.'”
Hymns of the Heart contains Cianciulli’s stirring, expressive interpretations of timeless classics such as “Amazing Grace”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Nearer My God to Thee”, “Jesus Loves Me”, and “It Is Well With My Soul.” With her new hymn accompanied by a stunning video filmed at Toronto’s Grace Church on the Hill by videographer Arunas Remeza, Cianculli hopes that “My Voice Belongs to Him” will also take a special place in hearts everywhere, much like the others on the release long-have.
“As you take this all into your heart, I hope It will be a healing and blessed experience that washes over you in waves of hope, faith and comfort.”
Toronto journalist Kimberly Hughes says Cianciulli has “the ability to invest any song with authentic emotion no matter the genre or subject matter.”
As for Cianciulli, she calls herself “an unabashed fan-girl of the creative spirit,” and that spirit is truly multi-faceted. She’s a performer, public speaker, award-winning author, mentor, opera company foundress, songwriter and recording artist. The latter being what she is currently focused on with a second album planned for release in 2022 that will be completely composed of original songs highlighting her heart’s true home of Newfoundland, matters of the heart and personal experiences.
A performance tour of Newfoundland and Ontario is also in the works for Cianciulli for 2022.
“My Voice Belongs to Him” from the forthcoming Hymns of the Heart is available now.