During the fast, just after breakfast, at the hint of dawn, our family recites prayers to prepare us for the day and to feel the spirit of the fast. It is a special time of day – the most spiritual as there are no responsibilities or distractions. We usually start by reciting the long fasting prayer, which includes a beautiful invocation that is repeated at the end of each paragraph.
Recently, as I was preparing to produce an album for the fast, I decided to set that refrain to music and include it on the CD. The piece is called ‘Invocation from the Long Fasting Prayer’. Recording it was a wonderful experience. As I sang it over and over again, I felt a wonderful connection of the soul and was very moved while singing it. For some pieces, I record the parts only a few times and then edit them. For this song, however, I longed to sing it repeatedly. As I continued recording, I was able to let go and noticed my voice take on a slightly different tone – a deeper one that comes from the core. It’s like peeling layers of an onion. The more I sing when I record, the easier it is to let go of the layers that hinder me from releasing the spirit and essence I want to bring to the song.
I particularly enjoyed composing the end of the piece where the voices blend and mingle together. I had this vision of many souls intermingling as we pray and the varying voices that bring comfort and guide us in time of need. Also I wanted to blend the words and voices because in the world of the spirit, I feel there are many dimensions of which we can’t comprehend – like hearing many voices at once and understanding the message each has to bring. So I wanted to give a taste of that world and how I imagine it to be.
I created a video recently for this song of photos of the Shrine of Baha’u’llah in Akka and the beauty of the gardens that surround it. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it. It felt as though I were there…
To listen to the complete album ‘Meditations for the Fast’, click here.