ROBE OF LOVE ~ Original songs by Zuleikha, Ty Burhoe, Percussion, Michael Kott, Cello, Zuleikha, voice & harmonium; music inspired by the great poets & celebrated mystics, Kabir and Jalal’uddin Rumi. “The songs are offerings to the Great Mystery of all things.”
JEWEL OF THE HEART ~ ZULEIKHA and MIRABAI | voice, harmonium, Michael Kott | cello. Om Mani Padme Hum / Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus of the Heart. “a gentle and inspiring devotional hymn bringing peace to the heart of all beings.”
PEACE IS IN MY HEART ~ by Zuleikha, vocals/harmonium. Inspiring, uplifting vocals and harmonium with choral voices of girls from the Hope Project in Delhi, India, directed and accompanied by Zuleikha. “Proceeds benefit the work of The Storydancer Project.”
ROYAL TEA OF LOVE ~ZULEIKHA & MIRABAI | vocals, harmonium, bass drum, rattles, Glen Velez | drums, Michael Kott | cello. Original Chants from the High Mountain Desert “…soaring sound with rocking rhythms … lifting the heart into the Great Joy.”
GOLDEN PAVILIONS, Zuleikha and Friends – voices, Zuleikha, music and harmonium, Ty Burhoe, percussion, Michael Kott, cello. “A collection of beloved Hymns to the Divine Feminine is at once uplifting and meditative chant of Remembrance.”
“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.