Looking for some beautiful music to inspire meditation and reflection? Read this interview with musician Elika Mahony who has several CDs you will enjoy listening to. (Find links to her music – available to listen to online – at the end of this post.)
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: My name is Elika Mahony. I consider myself a world citizen. My parents are from Iran, I was born in the US, raised in Kenya and now live in China. My love of music began when I was a child growing up in Africa. In between I have lived in Israel and Hong Kong. Through my music I try to express the diverse cultures that have been a part of my upbringing, blending and reflecting the influences of this varied background, drawing upon classical Western structures but incorporating instrumentation and styles from Iran to Ireland and China to Spain. My other hobbies include art and photography.
Q: When did you start making music?
A: I started composing music during my first year at university. I had studied classical music growing up and was inspired to create melodies of my own through the encouragement of my friends.
Q: What inspires you to make music?
A: Music uplifts our spirit and transforms our soul especially when the Baha’i Writings are set to music. Knowing how music impacts our lives and draws us closer to our Beloved is what inspires me to create music.
Q: Tell us about your albums.
A: Most recently (December 2011), I released a piano instrumental CD of my original compositions entitled ‘Glimmerings’. Some of the pieces were composed over 10 years ago and others were created on the spot more recently as I was inspired to play what came to my heart. In April 2011, I released 4 original songs on an EP entitled ‘Edge of Forever’. They were written and composed in collaboration with producer, Jarome Matthew. The style is a fusion of New Age, Pop and World.
Prior to that, I released a CD (my fourth) called ‘Birds of Love’ on the theme of love and marriage. It comes with an elegant book of quotations on love and marriage. Each book is hand-made with a slightly different pattern of gold silk fabric. The inside pages all have inspirational quotations or traditional Chinese paintings of two birds.
In 2007, I released a CD entitled, ‘Fire and Gold’, which blends eastern and western musical styles and features a number of languages including English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. The music is inspired by the lyrics of the poetic and profound treasures of the Baha’i writings that cover subjects such as life, love, family, difficulties, the soul, afterlife, spirituality, and the progress of humanity.
In 2001, ‘Melodies of the Nightingale for the Family’ was released and includes prayers for infants, children, youth, parents and pregnant mothers. The first CD, ‘Melodies of the Nightingale’, was produced and recorded with 2 dear friends of mine – Michele Brown and Fiona Doomun-Rouhani in 1997. This CD consists of Hidden Words and prayers.
Q: Which albums do you think are best for quiet meditation time?
A: ‘Glimmerings’ is ideal for quiet meditation as it is instrumental piano music so it helps clear the mind and set the mood for meditation. ‘Fire and Gold’ is one of my favorites as it is on the theme of tests and difficulties. I chose this theme as we all go through challenges in life and I felt choosing these Writings would allow us to meditate on the difficulties we go through and enable us to gain strength to rise above them.
Q: What is your hope for your music?
A: My goal is for the music to be a means of transforming and uplifting souls and allowing the listener to draw closer in their spiritual journey towards God.
Q: Has your ability or interest in making music developed as you have become a mother?
A: Most definitely. The prayers I chose for ‘Melodies of the Nightingale for the Family’ were composed when I was pregnant with my first child. I wanted to be able to sing them for him as he was growing in my womb and raising him. I felt it was important to sing prayers for my children every night and I often composed little songs on the spot for them when they were young.
A: I have begun recording my next CD on the theme of detachment. It is a follow up for ‘Fire and Gold’ as with our tests we need to rely on God and become detached from the challenges we face. I hope the pieces will be inspirational.
Q: As a mother yourself, what would you tell other mothers about incorporating music into their family routines?
A: It’s essential to have daily music playing in the house from the time our children are conceived. Singing prayers is the best way to memorize prayers for all ages. This is especially true when they are young and the prayers and writings they learn will remain with them for their entire lifetime.
Visit Elika’s website at: http://www.elikamahony.com
Hear Glimmerings here.
Find a link to Elika’s other creations here.