Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
Mirza Husayn-Ali, who is known to the world by His title, Baha’u’llah, was born in Tehran, Iran on 12 November, 1817. Baha’u’llah means “Glory of God” in Arabic and He is the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. The anniversary of the day He was born is celebrated alongside the Birth of the forerunner of His Revelation, the Bab. These Twin Holy Days are celebrated annually as one festival where the closely interwoven missions of these two Divine Luminaries are remembered together.
Celebration – An Album for the Twin Bicentenary Celebrations of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab
A spirit of loving collaboration really shines through the music on Celebration, an album in honor of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, Founders of the Baha’i Faith. Its 16 original tracks beautifully marry multicultural rhythms and sounds with extracts from the Baha’i Writings. The album was put together by a group of friends in Quebec, Canada, and I was able to ask Pierre Tremblay how it all came together. Here’s what he shared with me:
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself and the people involved in putting the album together?
The people who contributed to the album are Baha’is with a few friends of the Faith who are inspired to put beautiful, culturally diverse music to sacred text. Most of them do not have a platform and several had never previously recorded anything. These artists are friends who we felt deserved to be heard. They all jumped at the opportunity to participate in this tribute to the Twin Bicentennials. I am a semi-retired musician and small-time producer. I have been a Baha’i and a professional musician for close to 50 years.
The musician involved included: Somiya Amoroso-Colatosti, Alexandre Evans, Keyvan Peymani, Samia Nakhostine, Jessica Leblanc, Gustaff Besungu, Afaf Sahnoun, Rachel Tremblay and her children Tuesday Rain Leduc and Tao Stone Leduc, Mira-Clair Lepage, Janie Cardinal-Fernandes, Bruno A.R., Allison Wood, Ben Michel, Rachel Luce, Zoutenn Pathé, Jonathan Bouquet, Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, Lien Tremblay, Ophélie Welldon, Sahba Badie, Verna Lindstrom, Albert Beghuis and myself.
Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to put this album together?
The contributors inspired me. I felt that the mixture of styles and cultures would make a beautiful bouquet, a loving offering to Baha’u’llah and the Bab.
Baha’i Blog: What was the process like of making this album?
The contributors would travel to our home, one hour north of Montreal, to record their piece, in the course of about one year. We then added additional instruments and vocals when required and as opportunity permitted. Then the mixing and mastering went on for a few months. Each song presented its own “production” challenge as the styles and types of instrumentation were mostly very different from one another. We then did the artwork, printed the inserts, burnt and printed the CDs and set the album up for free download on Bandcamp. All of the materials were paid by the Laval Local Spiritual Assembly and Louise Profeit-Leblanc.
Baha’i Blog: What’s something that you learned while putting it together?
It is always a learning process for me to support artists’ work, especially youth – something I greatly enjoy. I learn to hear their artistic voice and their uniqueness and I strive to join them in growing and supporting it. This was a lovely collaboration.
We had a CD launch here in the Laurentians, a free concert involving most of the contributors. Approximately 100 people attended, including many friends of the Faith and others. We will repeat the performance in Laval on November 2nd and a few other performances are in the works.
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Pierre! We appreciate you sharing this with us and wish you all the best with your future performances!
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.