Guiding Compass is a new album of songs based on the Baha’i Writings and it comes from a group of friends based in the Box Hill suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The album is the result of an organic process of community service projects and activities over the span of more than 10 years in the neighborhood, and the friends involved have called themselves “1ness” (oneness). I got in touch with 1ness, namely Farzam Shabani, Louisa Kwan, Zheng Chen, Davis Takagi, Kenneth Kuo, and William, Mellisa and Charissa Soh, to find out more about the album. They decided to answer my questions collectively and here’s what they shared: Continue reading
As this year marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of Abdu’l-Baha, we thought we’d highlight all of our Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions that put excerpts from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha to music. To date we’ve released 128 Studio Session songs based on the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, and we hope you enjoy them! Continue reading
My dear friend Sonbol Taefi has created a new multi-language devotional album called Coral & Pearls. Her voice on its own is rich and her compositions are uplifting, but on this album her music is also adorned by singers from various parts of the globe; the album features Luke Slott, Elika Mahony and Nasime Wattiaux.
With the exception of the title song, the tracks were recorded in New Zealand with acoustic instruments: piano, guitar, santour, percussion and strings ,as well as backing vocals and choral arrangements. The enchanting title song is based on the marriage prayer revealed by Abdu’l-Baha in Persian, and it was developed for a full ensemble piece for recording with the Czech National Symphony.
It’s been many years since we interviewed Sonbol about her album Sea of Mystery (which you can read here), so I was glad for the chance to hear from her again, and to learn more about her latest album. In this interview she tells us how it came together, and offers some words of encouragement to other musicians, or anyone who is beginning to set the Baha’i Writings to music: Continue reading
I grew up learning the names of the Baha’i months in Arabic and English thanks to Jack Lenz’s “Song of the Months” and I repeatedly played the song to my own children so they too would be familiar with them. It’s a delightfully catchy tune, particularly when you sing “Sovereignty, Dominion and Loftiness!” (If you’re familiar with the song, I’m sure it’s in your head now!)
Jack is a brilliant musician and composer and I’m excited that he has a new project that revolves around the Baha’i calendar and the celebrations and commemorations in the Baha’i year: a songbook, CDs of those songs (both instrumental and a cappella), and a book of the vocal scores. All three are available for purchase, either physically or digitally. In this interview, Jack tells us all about his project and I hope it makes you as excited as I am. Here’s what he said: Continue reading
The Sign of Love is the beautiful new album by New Zealand singer/songwriter, Grant Hindin Miller. Grant has already released several albums over the years, and his songs are loved by so many around the world.
Grant’s ability to tell stories through his music is amazing. I remember the first time I heard one of Grant Hindin Miller’s songs some 20+ years ago while I was in New Zealand. A friend played me “Nine Lighted Candles“, a song about Sulayman Khan Tabrizi, one of the followers of the Bab who was publicly tortured and killed. Halfway through the song, tears were streaming down my face; Grant’s ability to captivate the listener as the story unfolds, combined with his beautiful melodies, is an absolute work of art.
Grant Hindin Miller has also written three feature films, three books, a stage-musical, and teaches creative writing. I’ve been blessed to have gotten to know him over the years, and he recorded “O Son of Dust” and “Humble Thyself” for Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions series. I also interviewed Grant for the Ink of Light Writers’ festival. When I heard about his new album, I had to reach out to find out more and share it with the world: Continue reading
Every year around Naw-Ruz, Baha’i Blog celebrates its birthday, and this year we celebrated our 10 year anniversary! (Yay!!!)
It was about five years ago that we launched Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel with the aim of creating our very own original Baha’i-inspired video content. With approximately 750 videos on our channel and over 25,000 subscribers (wooohooo!!), we are very proud of the variety of content we’ve made available including informative animations like What is the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program?, our popular music series called Studio Sessions, Baha’i-inspired talks, our short film series on creatives called The Art Of…, and the funny What’s That Word? educational series aimed at junior youth. Continue reading
Turn My Steps is the debut album of Siria Rutstein, and many of you may remember hearing her voice on two Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions called “Make Them to Grow” and “Immerse”.
Siria is a thoughtful and joyful singer-songwriter currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for her as when she was a child, her family was in Papua New Guinea with me and my family, and I have so many fond memories of the times I spent with her parents. I was delighted when I heard that she had released her debut album, so I got in touch with her to find out more about her music and why it was important for her to create this album. Here’s what she shared:
Win Thompkins is a renowned gospel artist who has achieved great success in the music industry. At the tender age of 14, he received his first recording contract with Nashville’s Cross & Crown Records where he and his brothers were discovered by famous country singing star “Zeke Clements”. The rest is history! Since then he has recorded more than 300 songs and ten albums.
The album Standing for the People shares a deeper love for humanity by promoting peace, unity and tolerance through 13 original songs with catchy danceable R&B and inspirational hooks about oneness. His music brings people together. Win’s aspirations and commitment to inspire others and brighten their lives is apparent in the music born of his talents and spiritual qualities.
Win graciously shared with us about his album, his music, and what words of encouragement he might offer others: Continue reading
What happens when the musical powerhouse duo known as Nabil & Karim, join forces with the musical powerhouse known as Anise? The birth of an awesome new collaborative album called Thief in the Night – that’s what happens!
Thief in the Night was created in honor of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, and this new combination of talents has created an awesome musical dynamic.
I got in touch with the three of them to find out more about the album and the process behind their musical collaboration, and here’s what they said:
Having recently celebrated the fact that we’ve published over 300 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions around the world so far, we thought it would be great to share a number of Studio Session songs we’ve published based on a short prayer by Abdu’l-Baha which starts with “O God, guide me…”. There are two translated versions of this prayer which we’ve included below, however, the newest version is shown first:
O God, guide me, protect me, make of me a shining lamp and a brilliant star. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.
O God, guide me, protect me, illumine the lamp of my heart and make me a brilliant star. Thou art the Mighty and Powerful.
So here are 10 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions based on the “O God Guide Me” prayer by Abdu’l-Baba that we’ve published so far, and please let us know if there are any you think we’ve missed in the comments section below. Continue reading