Category Archives Interviews

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

Materialism: A Book by Dr Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian

Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian’s book, Materialism: Moral and Spiritual Consequences, is now in its second edition! Examining psychological, sociological and spiritual perspectives and substantiated by extensive scientific research, this book focuses on the moral and social consequences of materialistic mindsets. It advocates for a sensible balance between the spiritual and material aspects of life as two pillars of an equitable civilization.

The book is thorough and beautifully marries empirical scientific and economic concepts with spiritual principles and ideas. It is both an ethical guidebook and a thoughtful analysis. The first edition of this book received the Distinguished Scholarship award of the Association for Baha’i Studies in 2011 and I’m really thrilled that it is now in its second edition.

Dr Ghadirian kindly agreed to share a little about his book. I hope you enjoy our conversation:  Continue reading

OMG: A German Grunge Rock Album Based on the Baha’i Writings

Here at Baha’i Blog we’re passionate about the arts, and we love celebrating the diverse ways in which Baha’is and their friends around the world express the Revelation of Baha’u’llah through various forms of artistic expression.

During the recent global celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, we witnessed an exciting wave of artistic initiatives in all parts of the world to honor this special period in history, which the Universal House of Justice called “…the single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Baha’u’llah”.

Inspired by “this special period in history”, a Baha’i in Austria named Arno Kerche decided to release an album called OMG. Most of the songs on OMG are based on the Baha’i Writings in German, and the style is grunge rock. Baha’i-inspired music in this genre is rare, and Baha’i-inspired music in this genre in German is even more rare, so I decided to get in touch with Arno to find out more about his story and how OMG came to be:  Continue reading

New Books About the Hands of the Cause for Children & Youth

Two new biographies are available about the lives of the Hands of the Cause for young readers! These books, published by the Baha’i Publishing Trust of India, are the result of true team-effort and international collaboration between Elika and Tarrant (Tarry) Mahony and Vered Ehsani. The first volume describes the lives and heroic acts of service of Amelia Collins, Dorothy Baker and Tarazu’llah Samandari, the second; Martha Root, Enoch Olinga and Rahmatu’llah Muhajir. A third volume is currently in progress. All are meant for a young audience — which makes them all the more special!  Continue reading

9 Days of Pilgrimage: An Album by Peter Smith

Peter Smith is very dear to my heart and I consider him an honorary uncle. I am always delighted when our paths cross and I was fortunate to serve at the Baha’i World Centre at the same time as him. That’s when I got to hear live versions of some of the pieces on 9 Days of Pilgrimage, an album that was recently released digitally. Some of its songs provide historical narratives, while others share experiences of pilgrimage. All are moving.

Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Moojan Momen About the Afnan Library Trust (UK)

Dr. Moojan Momen at the doors of the Afnan Library. Photo: Courtesy of Immersed Photography

The events of Baha’i history are so close to us that we can easily be connected to those early heroic days–Rainn Wilson wrote about meeting a person who had met Baha’u’llah! I am fascinated by our history and how we are recording, capturing and preserving it for future generations. When I came across the Afnan Library Trust’s Facebook page and saw a photograph I had never seen before of the Greatest Holy Leaf, I was delighted and thrilled and I wanted to share some of that excitement with you (as well as the photograph, which can be seen below!). In this interview, Dr Moojan Momen, one of the Trustees of the Afnan Library, shares a little bit about this extraordinary institution:

Continue reading

Flame of Tests: The Story of Farhang Mavaddat

Mehraeen Mavaddat-Mottahedin’s heartbreaking account of her husband’s suffering of unspeakable persecution, imprisonment and death is now being shared in English from its original in Persian, after 34 years. Flame of Tests: The Story of Farhang Mavaddat is a love story. With courage and tenderness, Mehraeen’s memoir tells the story of her husband, a fifth-generation Baha’i and a chemical engineer respected for his intelligence and upright character, who was arrested, tortured, unjustly tried, and executed simply for his love of Baha’u’llah.

It was my honour to speak with Mehraeen about her book and to learn more about her book.  Continue reading

‘Remember My Days’: A New Album by Corinne Padilla McLoughlin

It’s been incredible to witness a flourishing of artistic expressions celebrating the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. Corinne Padilla McLoughlin has produced an album entitled Remember My Days. The tracks incorporate elements from various genres including jazz, blues, folk, classical, rock and world music and each song is a heartfelt tribute to Baha’u’llah.

We love to hear how albums come together and Corinne happily shared the learning process and creativity behind Remember My DaysContinue reading

‘What Good Will Come’: A Children’s Book by Jana Hannigan

What Good Will Come is a new children’s book written by Jana Hannigan and illustrated by Henry Warren. It shares a heartwarming story about problem solving and relying on God during times of tests and difficulties.

What Good Will Come tells the story of Pasha Dev and his beloved cat, Mustafa, who live in Delhi, India. One night Mustafa goes missing, and Pasha ends up sleeping next to his window in the hope that Mustafa will return. When Pasha wakes the following morning, he finds that he has come down with a cold and that Mustafa has not returned. Despite feeling unwell, Pasha must travel to the Baha’i House of Worship, where he will serve as the keeper of people’s shoes—a responsibility he takes very seriously. During his service, Pasha learns to put his faith in prayer and God, and comes to realize that tests and challenges can lead to some exciting, life-changing opportunities.

Jana Hannigan is the wordsmith behind this children’s book and she graciously agreed to tell us how the story came together:  Continue reading

An Interview with Ramine Yazhari About ‘Rejoice’

Ramine Yazhari has released a devotional album in honour of the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. The album is titled Rejoice and its melodies are soaring (you can stream it here on Bandcamp). Last year, Ramine released a single called ‘This Newborn Child’ and I listened to it over and over and over again, finding inspiration each time I heard it. You may also recognize Ramine’s voice from his devotional album dedicated to the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s travels to the West, Long Journey. I was glad to learn that Rejoice had been released and Ramine very graciously agreed to tell us a little about how the album came together. I hope you enjoy our conversation:

Continue reading