Arrayanes: Baha’i-inspired Music from Chile

Born in the light of the upcoming inauguration of the Baha’i Temple in Chile, I’m so excited about sharing a wonderful new musical initiative by a group of three Baha’is in Santiago, Chile who call themselves “Arrayanes”.

Arrayanes is a trio of close friends – Carlos Medina, Felipe Duhart and Eduardo Rioseco – bound together by friendship, laughter, and love of the Baha’i Faith, who set out to share their soundtrack of the vibrant community life developing around the Continental House of Worship for South America soon to be completed. The result is the creation of an album full of uplifting Latin American melodies and rhythms in pop-folk style, coupled with a compelling spiritual message.

I decided to get in touch with the three friends who have been playing together since 2011, to find out more about this wonderful initiative, and here’s what Eduardo had to say on behalf of the group:

Baha’i Blog: Hi Eduardo! Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your musical backgrounds?

Felipe is a professional jazz and popular guitar player, Carlos has some training as an opera singer, I’m a professional classical guitar player.

Baha’i Blog: How did the group form and why?

Felipe and I had been playing together occasionally for Baha’i events. We had talked about forming a band, but we lacked a good frontman (both of us are guitar players, not really singers). So when Carlos, who is trained singer originally from Peru, moved to Santiago in 2009, it was very natural to include him in this conversation.

Baha’i Blog: So what does “Arrayanes” mean and why did you guys choose that name?

Arrayanes cover 400x400

“Arrayan” is the name of a native Chilean tree which in English is known as Myrtle. It has a beautiful reddish trunk, which for some reason gives me an impression of vulnerability. It is not an imposing tree; I think of it as a “shy” tree. Unassuming. Perhaps a bit naive.

Baha’i Blog: What was the idea behind this album and why was it important for you all to make it?

The whole Baha’i world is going through a profound process of transformation, which is changing the way we perceive many ideas and concepts we thought we knew well, such as community, devotion and service. I think Baha’i musicians around the world have been trying to shed a light on this deep process. In Latin America, in the last decade we have seen many new musicians accompanying this exploration through their music, and we wanted to be a part of this.

Baha’i Blog: Is there a lot of religiously-inspired music in Chile on a whole, or is this album unique in that way?

In Chile and in South America in general, the religious feelings have always been strong, and this has produced a very old tradition of religiously-inspired music in the whole continent. You can trace a spiritual root in most of the thousands of rhythms we have in Latin America, including those included under the “Latin music” label. Our hope is that this album might be worthy of this rich tradition.

Baha’i Blog: What do you hope that someone who listens to your album walks away with after they’ve heard your music?

With this music, our hope is to accompany all those who are working hard to build vibrant communities in Latin America, and also encourage more people to engage in this beautiful process.

Baha’i Blog: How has the music been received by those who hear it so far, and what’s the feedback been like?

We feel very happy with the feedback we have received so far.

Baha’i Blog: Has the fact that the Baha’i Temple in Chile is being built had an effect on this album and inspired you all in any way?

The process of construction of the Baha’i House of Worship has had a strong impact on all of us. We have seen first-hand how the vision of the Temple, which reflects the deepest spiritual aspirations of the peoples, can transform a heart, a family, a neighborhood, a community, and our hope is that these songs can accompany that process of transformation.

Baha’i Blog: Wow! Well on that note, thank you so much Eduardo for taking the time to do this interview and a special thanks to you and Felipe and Carlos for creating and sharing your wonderful music with us all.

You can purchase a copy of Arrayanes’ album here on 9 Star Media.

Follow the group on their Facebook page, and watch their ‘making of’ video here.

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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