Songs of the Soul 2016
Songs of the Soul Festival April 2016 was one of the best of our music and poetry events.
Presenters, performers and moderators included:
Dr. Nahid Angha, co-founder of the International Association of Sufism, founder of the International Sufi Women Organization, the author of Ecstasy: the World of Sufi Poetry and Prayers.
Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs, founding Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative and author of Light Reading: Poems from a Pilgrim Journey.
Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar, co-founder of the International Association of Sufism, and the executive editor of the journal Sufism: An Inquiry. His Seasons of the Soul has been one of the IAS best Sellers.
Hamaseh Kianfar, Ed. D., a founding member of the Voices for Justice, an Ambassador of UNICEF, a member of the International Association of Sufism and the Sufi Women Organization. She is bilingual, fluent in English and Persian languages, has written many articles and a book on Sufi Stories, translated poetry from Persian into English language, presented at events and in collaboration with musical ensembles. (hamasehkianfar.com)
Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph. D., is a member of the International Association of Sufism and the Sufi Women Organization. She is one of several psychotherapists who organize retreats and seminars with the Forty Days Alchemy of Tranquility program.
Elizabeth Miller, Ph. D. (cand.), is currently completing a doctorate in Philosophy and Religion, with focus on education, evaluation and research methodology. She has worked with schools, medical foundations, businesses, and nonprofits for over ten years, emphasizing the integration of cosmology, spirituality, developmental biology, and neurocardiology.
Matthew Davis, Ph. D., is a student and member of the International Association of Sufism. He has a doctoral degree in Philosophy and Religion. He is a graphic artist and poet, and founding director of Avay-i-Janaan.
Achi Ben Shalom studied music and education in Tel Aviv University, and at the College of the Holy Name in Oakland. Currently he works independently as a freelance musician, choir conductor, band leader, solo performer and an event planner. He specializes in love songs in Hebrew from the Middle East and the Jewish diaspora at large.
Avay-i-Janaan, a Poetry Slam Collective originating from Avay-i-Janaan, the echoes of the unseen. The members represent the journey of a human being into the heart and creation of the universe within themselves. Synchronizing with the rhythm and movement of Wisdom through the ages Avay-i-Janaan is a path where peace becomes each step, each breath, each beat of the heart. To experience Avay-i-Janaan “live” is to look for the path in your Self. Through poetry, movement, rhythm, and song, we invite you to seek your own origin through the light of your inner awareness, and the language that emerges from the stillness of inner peace.
Kismat-Mahal Ensemble offers chants and devotional songs for everyone to sing together. These are from global chant and sound healing traditions, opening the heart, uplifting spirits to ecstatic heights, for compassion, gratitude, healing, and deep groundedness of being. Intertwining our souls, we blend our voices in many mother tongues including Arabic, English, French, German, Gurmukhi, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Mayan, Portuguese, Sanskrit, Spanish, Tibetan, Yoruban, Zulu. Instrumentation may include cello, doumbec, flute, harmonium, guitar, oud, tabla, viola, violin. KSME is led by Evelie Delfino Såles Posch and is comprised of 13 or more musicians and singers.
Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble, based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, members of Taneen are all salekin (students) of the Sufi Masters Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar and Seyyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha. With an authentic fusion of Middle Eastern Sufi and Western musical influences, and deeply rooted in the Sufi tradition in its intention and inspiration, Taneen creates original melodies that wrap Sufi chant around sung Sufi poetry. They primarily sing the ecstatic love poetry of the great masters (such as Rumi, Hafez, Omar Khayam, and Moulana Shah Maghsoud).
Ya Elah’s music combines the sacred texts and liturgies of many traditions to reveal the deep knowing that all life is one. Ya Elah aspires to inspire compassion among diverse cultures and hopes to help bring healing and a sense of wonder at the ways all have connected to the Divine. Equal parts musical fireworks/healing ritual/rollicking good time, Ya Elah sparkles with the influence of Bulgarian village songs, Middle Eastern melodies, and more from the world’s various musical traditions.