Category Archives Music

7 Valleys: An Album by Paloma Marin

Paloma Marin is a pianist, visual artist, and jeweler based out of Bogota, Colombia, and she’s recently released a beautiful instrumental piano album called 7 Valleys, which is inspired by Baha’u’llah’s mystic and poetic work, The Seven Valleys.

The sound engineer and producer of the album Daniel Badi Rinaldi, told me that when recording the album, they made sure the whole process was a spiritual one. Before recording, they both read all of The Seven Valleys.

I caught up with both Paloma Marin to find out more about her new album 7 Valleys: Continue reading

Year of the Nightingale: A New Album by Luke Slott

Last year, singer, songwriter and composer Luke Slott wanted to record an album dedicated to the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah taking place in 2017. To do this, he decided to team up with music producer Kelly Snook and create a 30 day Kickstarter campaign in order to raise enough funds to make the album happen, and let’s just say the show of support was staggering. Within 23 hours of launching the campaign, he met his goal!

The album, aptly titled Year of the Nightingale, has just been completed and Luke is releasing the tracks one at a time on his YouTube channel during the month of the Baha’i Fast.

I decided to catch up with Luke to find out more about the album: Continue reading

Cellar and Sky: An Album by Yosi Mesbah

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’

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”

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

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

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

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

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

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