Welcome! I’ve just released a new piano instrumental album, ‘Glimmerings’ as well as a new single ‘Amame’ sung in English and Spanish:
Lately I’ve been working hard on a new album on the theme of detachment. In the last month or so, I’ve had a great urge to compose a new piece but I’ve deprived myself so that I can focus on this album and recording the new pieces. I was telling a friend recently that once I have this urge to create, there’s no denying it and after sometime it just has to come out. It’s like being pregnant with an idea that has to give birth (my daughter laughed when I described it that way)! But it’s true… so today as I sat at the piano, the rush of an impending composition was present and out came a new song that I love. The lyrics are so beautiful and poetic and spoke to me immediately and the piece came together so naturally.
Here are the lyrics and the rough song I recorded a few hours ago is below. Enjoy!
‘When a drop draws help from the ocean, it is an ocean itself, and a little seed through the outpouring of rain, the favour of the sun, and the soul-refreshing breeze will become a tree with the utmost freshness, full of leaves, blossoms and fruits. Therefore do not consider thy capacity and merit, but rely upon the infinite Bounty and trust to His Highness the Almighty.’ ~ Abdu’l-Baha
I’ve been in a creative mood lately! Perhaps it’s the coming of spring and the warmth in the air that is inspiring me. A couple of days ago, I decided to take some photographs of the prayer beads I have designed and post them on Etsy. I love the creativity on that site and have felt inspired to take photos that bring out the full color of the beads on gold fabric. I was so excited to receive my first order within hours of posting the photos. I have put up all 8 vibrant colors of the Water Pearl Prayer Beads. You can read more about them on Etsy. Below are samples of some of the prayer beads.
Gold Water Pearl Prayer Bead
Sky Blue Water Pearl Prayer Beads
Rose Water Pearl Prayer Beads
Leaf Green Water Pearl Prayer Beads
Fuchsia Water Pearl Prayer Beads
Two more piano pieces, Awakening & Enchantment have now been transcribed and are available as sheet music on the Glimmerings page or on the Merch page. I wrote about the process of transcribing the songs in a previous blog and have one more piece to share once I proof-read it. Please let me know if there are other pieces you would like transcribed and I’ll be happy to look into it.
For awhile now, I’ve been looking for someone to create sheet music for several of the songs on my instrumental piano album (Glimmerings). Some friends told me that they wanted to learn certain of the pieces and recently I found someone who could help with the process of transcribing the music (a huge thank you to John Zechiel for his work!). After John transcribed the pieces I proof-read two of them (Final Journey and Commencement) and these are now available. I didn’t realize how moved I would be to see the sheet music with my name on it. It definitely felt like a milestone to see the pieces printed out out on paper — somehow it makes the music feel more real, more tangible. The process of proof-reading and making corrections has been surprisingly enjoyable. In particular, reviewing the sheet music for Commencement was a special experience as it was recorded spontaneously and so I actually didn’t know how to play this piece until I saw the notes on the sheet music. Now I will have to learn how to play it!
Final Journey and Commencement sheet music are now available on the Glimmerings page or on the Merch page.
Tomorrow is the last day of the Baha’i Fast and the beginning of the celebration of the Bahai New Year (Nawruz). I always find the fast goes by so quickly and have mixed feelings about it ending. It is one of the most creative times of the year for me – both artistically and musically and I’m sure that’s as a result of all the prayer and meditation which allows an artist to be more connected to the creative spirit. As the fast draws to a close, I am posting the last recitation we recorded for this special period. It is entitled, ‘Make Thy Beauty to be my food’ and you can hear and download it below. I truly hope that you have enjoyed these gifts and have felt uplifted by them in the last few weeks. Here are links to the first three recordings in case you haven’t heard them:
1. Create in me a pure heart
2. Bend me into conformity
3. Be thou a summoner to love
O my Lord! Make Thy beauty to be my food, and Thy presence my drink, and Thy pleasure my hope, and praise of Thee my action, and remembrance of Thee my companion, and the power of Thy sovereignty my succorer, and Thy habitation my home, and my dwelling-place the seat Thou hast sanctified from the limitations imposed upon them who are shut out as by a veil from Thee. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.
~Baha’u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u'llah, p. 261
This is one of my favorite recordings that Arzhia and I made out of the series of all four pieces. The words are so beautiful and I wanted the piano to reflect the essence of the phrase ‘Be thou a summoner to love’ and to give the feeling of summoning. The words and music are below and it is available as a gift download. Enjoy!
Here is a link to the first two pieces: ‘Create in me a pure heart’ and ‘Bend me into conformity’.
Be thou a summoner to love, and be thou kind to all the human race. Love thou the children of men and share in their sorrows. Be thou of those who foster peace. Offer thy friendship, be worthy of trust. Be thou a balm to every sore, be thou a medicine for every ill. Bind thou the souls together.
… To every human being must ye be infinitely kind. Call none a stranger; think none to be your foe. Be ye as if all men were your close kin and honored friends.
This is the second reflective piece in the series of four that we are sharing during the Bahai fast (here is the link to the first one entitled ‘Create in me a pure heart’). Arzhia Habibi recites so beautifully the passage by Baha’u'llah below. I felt so inspired to play the piano once again spontaneously as I listened to Arzhia recite this beautiful meditation. Please feel free to download and share it with your friends.
Make me ready, in all circumstances, O my Lord, to serve Thee and to set myself towards the adored sanctuary of Thy Revelation and of Thy Beauty. If it be Thy pleasure, make me to grow as a tender herb in the meadows of Thy grace, that the gentle winds of Thy will may stir me up and bend me into conformity with Thy pleasure, in such wise that my movement and my stillness may be wholly directed by Thee. ~ Baha’u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u'llah, p. 240
This is the first year my son is observing the Baha’i fast and so I decided to take one of my favorite fasting prayers and print it on a beautiful illuminated card for him as a gift. Today I gave him the card and encouraged him to memorize and recite the prayer whenever he feels that the fast is becoming challenging (the prayer card is below). As I shared the prayer with him, he was playing the guitar (as he often loves to do) and I suggested we compose a piece together and see what we could come up with. He started playing some chords on the guitar and I spontaneously began singing the prayer as he played. I was so surprised at how well the prayer fit with the chords and the rhythm he was playing. We immediately recorded my son playing the guitar part and I recorded the vocals (you can hear it below).
Please bear in mind that the recording is rough as we recorded the prayer very spontaneously. I’m feeling so elated to have the opportunity to compose with my talented and sweet son – a memory that we can keep from this very special day and fasting period!
I have been looking forward to fasting this year
as it’s a time to slow down and focus one’s attention on reflecting and spending more time praying and meditating. This break in our daily routine allows us the opportunity to realign our outward actions with our inner nature. I have so enjoyed the different pace of my day and spending much more time reading, reflecting and thinking of more creative projects.
Over the next 19 days, my cousin and I will be sharing 4 prayers and meditations that she has recited and recorded from the Baha’i Writings. I have then recorded improvisational piano pieces to accompany the readings. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to share and download them.
Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquillity on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!
~ Baha’u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u'llah, p. 248