Category Archives Music

Tommy Kavelin’s “Cantad, Oh Pueblos”

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Listen: An Interview with Ine

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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

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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

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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!

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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

Whither Shall I Turn: A New Album by Bonnie Lisbeth

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I’m so excited to share with everyone a wonderful new album called ‘Whither Shall I Turn’ by Bonnie Lisbeth.

Bonnie is based in Hertfordshire, UK, and you may have already heard her music in one of Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions recorded in London called “O Lord Provide” by Bonnie & Noor.

In this beautiful Baha’i-inspired acoustic album, Bonnie shares with us what she calls a little piece of her life over the last five years in the form of music.

I caught up with Bonnie to find out more about her and her album: Continue reading

Arrayanes: Baha’i-inspired Music from Chile

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Born in the light of the upcoming inauguration of the Baha’i Temple in Chile, I’m so excited about sharing a wonderful new musical initiative by a group of three Baha’is in Santiago, Chile who call themselves “Arrayanes”.

Arrayanes is a trio of close friends – Carlos Medina, Felipe Duhart and Eduardo Rioseco – bound together by friendship, laughter, and love of the Baha’i Faith, who set out to share their soundtrack of the vibrant community life developing around the Continental House of Worship for South America soon to be completed. The result is the creation of an album full of uplifting Latin American melodies and rhythms in pop-folk style, coupled with a compelling spiritual message.

I decided to get in touch with the three friends who have been playing together since 2011, to find out more about this wonderful initiative, and here’s what Eduardo had to say on behalf of the group: Continue reading