Category Archives Music

Cellar and Sky: An Album by Yosi Mesbah

Yosi Mesbah Baha'i Blog INTV 864x500

I’m so excited about featuring Yosi Mesbah’s album, Cellar and Sky, on Baha’i Blog. It’s a hauntingly honest, uplifting and moving album where her folksy and jazzy timbered voice beautifully sings about dealing with life’s tests and difficulties in a lyrical but down-to-earth way. I can’t help but feel moved when I hear her album, and I had the pleasure of meeting Yosi at the recent Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference in Arizona a couple of months ago. As you know I love asking artists about their creative process and was glad when Yosi agreed to tell us more about her album and her experiences in putting it together. Continue reading

Shadi Toloui-Wallace’s ‘Daughters of the Kingdom’

shadi-toloui-wallaces-daughters-of-the-kingdom

The incredible and delightfully talented Shadi Toloui-Wallace has released a new album of Baha’i-inspired music called Daughters of the Kingdom! You may already be familiar with her musical talents: some of her many accomplishments include Verdant Isle, This is Faith, Yaran and Leather Bound Book. We interviewed Shadi when Verdant Isle was released and we are excited to catch up and hear about Daughters of the Kingdom!

Baha’i Blog: Shadi! So good to interview you again on Baha’i Blog! Since our readers may already be familiar with you, let’s start with how have you changed or grown since we interviewed you last about Verdant Isle Continue reading

Tommy Kavelin’s “Cantad, Oh Pueblos”

tommy-kavelins-cantad-oh-pueblos

It was a beautiful coincidence that Cantad, Oh Pueblos caught my eye at the same time as the dedication of the Baha’i Temple for South America in Santiago, Chile. This album features many beloved and well-recognized Baha’i choral and pop songs, but on Cantad, Oh Pueblos you can hear these familiar melodies sung in Spanish. This album is a triumph of musical translation and it was produced by Tommy Kavelin, who happily agreed to tell us all about it.

Baha’i Blog: Hi Tommy! Thank you for spending some time with us. To begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work as a musician?  Continue reading

52 Musicians and Albums Featured on Baha’i Blog

Woman Listening Music Media Entertainment Relaxation Concept

52 musicians and albums have been featured on Baha’i Blog so far! We’re very excited to have showcased a variety of talent from a diversity of musicians. In order to celebrate, we thought we’d list all the musicians and albums that we’ve shared with you over the years, from our early days with Navid Bahmani, to our most recent interview with Matthew Levine, and all the melodies in between!  Continue reading

Spiritual Themes in Bob Dylan’s Songs

spiritual-themes-in-bob-dylans-songs

After the announcement that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the media began quoting people who had listed their favourites Dylan songs.

Fans, and I include myself here, love his lyrics and melodies. We enjoy listening to his often idiosyncratic singing voice, his skill on his instruments, and his excellent bands. His memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, is superb.

If asked to name what I think is the best of the best of his works, I would go straight to one song, one that I believe has a deeply spiritual theme and which resonates with me as a Baha’i. Continue reading

With the Hands of Power: Matthew Levine’s Newest Album

with-the-hands-of-power

Matthew Levine is an award winning songwriter and composer who has recently released a new album titled With the Hands of Power. From choral to cabaret pieces, Matthew’s works are rich in their diversity of styles and genres. His other albums include A House Divided, Acquiescence, and A Sacrifice to Thee. Matthew kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his latest soul-stirring work and to give us a bit of context behind its production.

Continue reading

Listen: An Interview with Ine

ine-listen-bahai-blog-interview

I can’t tell everyone how excited I am to be posting this right now! About six years ago, Ine (pronounced ‘eeeneh’), who’s been like a little sister to me for the longest time, and who was one of the members of the Baha’i-inspired Pacific Island group I spent a good decade working with called MANA, decided to write an album based on the Baha’i Writings.

Originally from the Cook Islands and currently living in Sydney, Australia, Ine is one of those people who’s never really had any formal music training, but she can pick up a guitar, or get behind a keyboard, and start jamming. Her hip-hop producer husband, Navid B, is just the same, and so when the three of us got together to make this album happen, we wanted to make sure that Ine’s talent for catchy melodies was coupled with fat beats that really kick, but in a way that still felt somewhat meditative. Continue reading

Making “Non-Secular” Music in a “Secular” World

Making non-secular music in a secualr world

I was probably 15 when I was first asked if I’d ever make “secular” music. To be honest, I actually had no idea what the term “secular” meant until I went home, asked my dad and learned it means not having a spiritual basis. I was a little confused as to how this newly acquired knowledge was relevant to the music that I was creating, in my bedroom, at 2am on a Tuesday morning.  Continue reading

The One: An Interview with Zinnia

Zinnia 864x550

When I was in Los Angeles recently, I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful evening of music at the home of some friends who invited the wonderful Zinnia to perform. Inspired by the writings of the Baha’i Faith, Zinnia’s powerful voice coupled with thought provoking lyrics and soul-stirring melodies immediately took a hold of everyone in the audience and she had us locked in our seats.

Needless to say, as soon as the performance was over, I immediately went up to her to find out more about her and her beautiful music, and she agreed to do an interview for Baha’i Blog, so here it is: Continue reading

Celebrating 50 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions so far!

Celebrating 50 Studio Sessions Collage 864x486

The team at Baha’i Blog is super excited to let everyone know that we’ve just published our 50th Studio Sessions song, and there’s still many more to come!

Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions is a musical initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends in different parts of the world into a studio to film and record them singing a song based on the Baha’i Writings. We then make these songs available every week for free on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube Channel and SoundCloud page for everyone to listen to! (You can also read more about Studio Sessions and how it all started here). Continue reading