Category Archives Music

Baha’i Choral Composition Blast

We live in amazing times; I’ve become friends and have been able to collaborate with some fantastic people online. Alan and Lorraine Manifold are one such example. It’s been a pleasure to work together with them. For example, Naysan interviewed Alan about his mystery novel (that features a Baha’i detective!) titled Consulting Detective and they wrote an article called “It’s OK to Be a Feminist” that involved some insightful consultations about the equality of women and men and how we write about this weighty teaching on a personal Baha’i-inspired blog — there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes here at Baha’i Blog and if you’re ever curious about the principles and ideas that guide our work, check out our Editorial Values.

I recently learned about the “Baha’i Composition Blast”, a new brainchild of Alan and Lorraine in honor of the upcoming Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, and it was fascinating to hear about it. Here’s what they shared with us:  Continue reading

Celebrating 200 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions Around the World!

I am so excited to be sharing the news that Baha’i Blog has just hit the huge milestone of publishing our 200th Studio Session, yes that’s right, our 200th Baha’i Blog Studio Session! (And it’s also kind of cool that this happened in the year that Baha’is around the world will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, the forerunner to Baha’u’llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith).

If you haven’t heard of Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions, then I encourage you to check it out, but basically it’s an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends around the world, to come into a studio on location, and then we film and record an original song which must be based on the Baha’i Writings or letters of Shoghi Effendi, or the Universal House of Justice (though we have made some rare exceptions to this rule such as this tribute to Mona Mahmudnizhad by Tom Francis singing a cover of Doug Cameron’s “Mona With the Children”). We then make these videos and audio recordings available weekly on our YouTube Channel and SoundCloud page for everyone to listen to and be inspired!

We started Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions about three years ago, partly inspired by a letter from the Universal House of Justice which stated: “We long to see, for instance, the emergence of captivating songs from every part of the world, in every language, that will impress upon the consciousness of the young the profound concepts enshrined in the Baha’i teachings.”

So far we’ve published songs from 36 global locations in 28 different languages, and I’m always blown away by all of the wonderful talent and songs that exist in communities worldwide! We couldn’t have come this far without the help of so many wonderful souls who have not only taken part by singing in the Studio Sessions, but to all those who have helped in so many different ways, from picking people up from a train station, to helping to edit the videos. We’d really like to thank EVERYONE who has helped so far, in making this wonderful contribution to the arts a reality!

As many of you know, music and the arts are of significance in the teachings of the Baha’i Faith, and the Baha’i Blog team has been working hard over the years to help encourage and celebrate the arts in its various forms. So it’s no wonder that we’re super excited about this achievement, and we thought a good way to celebrate these 200 songs would be to list one example of each of the 28 languages we have represented so far, and then list one example from each of the 36 locations as well. Continue reading

Projection: A New Album by Sinnober

I have never been very good at discovering music on my own: books and reading are more my forte. When it comes to music I blindly follow the recommendations of others. When I heard of Sinnober and that one of its track’s titles was inspired by the Writings of the Baha’i Faith, my ears were definitely curious and I checked them out! I’m so glad I did!

The band is made up of Natalie and Sebastian Brice and Sebastian agreed to tell us a little about the band and their latest album, Projection. Here’s what he shared — I hope you enjoy our conversation!  Continue reading

Dreamer’s Sea: A Debut Album by Calla Kinglit

Many of you may have seen or heard of Calla Kinglit from her song on Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions called “No One But Thee” which actually happens to be the most popular song of our Studio Sessions series! Lots of people have been asking her for more in the comments section, and so here it is! I’m thrilled that Calla Kinglit’s debut album, called Dreamer’s Sea, is now available and it includes the studio version of “No One But Thee” as well.

I decided to catch up with Calla to find out more about her and her music, and her debut album:  Continue reading

Make Me Ready: A New Album by Strong Steep

Strong Steep is a Baha’i-inspired indie folk duo comprised of Alex Balcazar and Kent Hansen. Their latest sweetly simple and catchy album is called Make Me Ready and it features nine devotional tracks (my personal favourite is its title track which I can’t stop humming!). Alex and Kent agreed to share a little bit about their album and I hope you enjoy our conversation:

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An Interview with Omid Gollmer About ‘The Nightingale Sessions’

Omid Gollmer is the creator behind “The Nightingale Sessions”, a series of devotional videos that put excerpts from the Baha’i Writings to music. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, these videos were made in commemoration of the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. (If you’d like to see one, we showcased it on Baha’i Blog’s video section here.)

Omid kindly agreed to tell us a little about these moving musical pieces and the production of their videos. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

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Promised Land: A New Album by Nima Majzoubi

A little over a year ago I had the bounty of visiting the Holy Land for a few days, and while there, I had the privilege of meeting a young man named Nima Majzoubi, who was on Baha’i Pilgrimage at the time. Nima and I spoke about music and his desire to produce an album, and now friends, here it is!

Nima’s debut album is titled Promised Land, and I’m happy to share my interview with him about the music and inspiration behind the album: Continue reading

Luces de Guia: A Musical Family Band from Bolivia

If you were following all of the wonderful initiatives and celebrations happening around the world to honor the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah late last year, you may have come across this music video featuring four junior youth from Bolivia.

Well those vibrant junior youth are part a musical family in Bolivia, who have formed a group called ‘Luces de Guia’, which is Spanish for ‘Lights of Guidance’.

I wanted to get in touch with the family to find out more about their band and their music, and so through the help of some of my family and friends from Bolivia, I was able to interview Casto Limachi Kally, band member father of the youth you see in the video. Special thanks goes out to Jay Pizarro, who helped with the interview and translated it from Spanish to English: Continue reading

The Unquenchable Flame: A Musical Drama About Tahirih

The Unquenchable Flame is a musical drama composed by Russell and Gina Garcia and performed principally by Tierney Sutton, a masterful vocalist. It tells the story of Tahirih, heroine and 19th century Iranian emancipator of women’s rights (you can read more about her in this Baha’i Blog article).

Composed and recorded in the 1990’s, this incredible contemporary opera was never released until recently when Gina, and her granddaughter Kristy Corwin, fulfilled Russ’ dying wish that this score be made available to the world. In this interview, Kristy tells us a bit more about this musical drama, its composers, and its exciting release: Continue reading

The Trumpet Blast: Music Inspired by the Life of Baha’u’llah

Nikolai Clavier is the creative mind behind The Trumpet Blasta musical score for a play about the life of Baha’u’llah by that same name. Performed in Norway to celebrate the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, this 15 track instrumental album includes pieces titled ‘Ridvan’, ‘The Heavenly Maid’, and ‘The Mansion of Bahji’, among many others. 

Nikolai Clavier’s Trompetstøtet, or The Trumpet Blast, premiered in Beitostølen, Norway in July of 2017. Each song accompanies a scene about the life of Baha’u’llah but listening to the soundtrack, even without the dialogue and action of the play, is nevertheless a dramatic experience. Nikolai gladly agreed to tell us more about this musical arrangement and the performance it accompanied. I hope you enjoy our conversation! Continue reading