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LATEST CD! Raining Stars ~ Songs from the Mystical Land of Devotion by Zuleikha inspired by the lives of mystics, ancient texts and music, from the Imperishable Treasure found in the Upanishads, the mystical journey home of India’s great woman saint, Anandamayi Ma, Rumi’s night prayer, the sorrowing of the great Sufi saint, Rabia, and Saint Theresa of Avila’s prayer. At the culmination of the journey is the title song, Raining Stars, Zuleikha’s personal expression of the experience of grief transformed to beauty by the death of a beloved teacher. Zuleikha – Original Songs, Vocals & Harmonium, Murad Ali Khan – Sarangi, Prashant Trivedi – Tabla, Sam Armstrong Zickefoose – Guitar, Jamie Sieber – Cello, Jeff Sussman – Percussion and Sounds
Robe Of Love ~ Original Songs sung by Zuleikha inspired by words of mystics including Rumi, Kabir, and Rabia, with translations by Coleman Barks, Rabindranath Tagore, Margaret Smith. Zuleikha – Vocals and Harmonium; Ty Burhoe – Percussion; Michael Kott – Cello; Al Owens – percussion and mix — “These songs are offerings to the Great Mystery of All”
Golden Pavilions ~ Hymns to the Divine Feminine, original songs by Zuleikha, sung by Zuleikha and Friends. Zuleikha – Vocal and Harmonium; Ty Burhoe – Percussion; Michael Kott – Cello — “A Collection of beloved hymns and chants invoking the Divine Feminine, at once meditative and filled with Remembrance”
Peace is in My Heart ~ An Original Song with Lyrics by Zuleikha. Zuleikha – Harmonium. Inspiring, uplifting call and response with Zuleikha and the girls of the Hope Project, Nizamuddin, Delhi, India. Proceeds go to the work of The Storydancer Project (www.thestorydancerproject.org). “An Invocation of Peace for the Body, Heart, Mind and Planet”
Jewel of the Heart ~ OM MANI PADME HUM – Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus of the Heart ~ Original melody by Zuleikha. Zuleikha – Vocals and Harmonium; Mirabai – Vocals; Michael Kott – Cello. “A gentle and devotional offering bringing peace to the heart of all beings”
Royal Tea of Love ~ Original Chants from the High Mountain Desert by Zuleikha & Mirabai, Inspired by words of mystics and sacred phrases. Zuleikha – harmonium and vocals; Mirabai – harmonium and vocals; Glen Velez – drums; Michael Kott – cello. “…soaring sound with rocking rhythms … lifting the heart with great joy”
Singer and songwriter ZULEIKHA creates melodies that invite us to Remember, to reframe the mundane as sacred, to allow edges to blur and the breath to bring us back into the harmony with all. —Jennifer Till, Wild at Heart Journal review
ABOUT THE MUSIC BY ZULEIKHA
I grew up in a family of Western Classical Music. We all played piano, and then went on to play other instruments. I played silver flute, and later sang songs with guitar. During college years, I moved into the study of North Indian Classical Music, and attended the Ali Akbar College of Music. Here I was exposed to a different way of learning music, in the oral tradition. Dance was considered part of the ‘science of music’.
I encountered the instrument called ‘harmonium’ as I went on to study in Afghanistan with a great master, Ustad Hashim Chishti, a wonderful classical musician in this same North Indian style. At the time, I was surprised to learn that this music had spread over North India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The harmonium was, to me, like a ‘little piano’. The main difference is that you have to ‘pump it ‘ with one hand, like an accordian. Ustad, besides playing the table and sarod, composed ghazals, or songs from the poetry of the mystics of that region. Along with practicing dance with he and his musicians, I learned singing with him. I have always been inspired through poetry, and seeing this way of expression, I got a harmonium, brought it back to the US, and began to play it.
As many of you know, I went on to work with Coleman Barks and bring dance and movement to the poetry of Rumi.
During a time in my life when I was quite ill, and not able to move well, and having been around the poetry of the mystics for some years already, I began to experiment with singing this poetry in English.
The first song I wrote was “Come, Come, Whoever You Are,” the English translation of a poem by Jelaluddin Rumi, rendered by poet and translator, and my friend, Coleman Barks. Now people know this song as “The Caravan Song,” as well. Some people who know the song don’t know I wrote it.
The second song came when I was having a very hard time. One day, I opened a biography of a woman who is considered to be a famous “woman” mystic from Basra, Iraq, named Rabia. I read her words, had a brief thought- something like “oh, I wish I could sing that,” put the harmonium on my lap (which is one way it is played) and began to work on the song. I now call it “The Rabia Song.”
One time I sang it for Ram Das, and he referred to it as “The Bread Song.” That is because she tells a story of her suffering to the group she is speaking with. She says, “I am eating the bread of this world, and doing the work of that world.”
These songs, of which there are now many, help me. They give me a way to learn the teachings inside the words. If you are interested in learning to sing them, I hope you will learn them in the way I have made them, be in touch with us here, through the website, and go through the process we have set up.
Music and Dance are pathways into the Love that is moving through us all.
May it continue!