This week on the Shakti Hour’s Sacred Music Series, Melanie sits down with Kaveh Nabatian, composer, filmmaker, photographer and the trumpet player for Bell Orchestre.
Kaveh and Melanie discuss the music of Lebanese singer Fairuz and also talk about the communal experience of music, exploring how this can be used as a spiritual practice.
Links from this episode: Sacred Music Series | Kaveh Nabatian | Fairuz | Bell Orchestre | Beirut Hal Zarafat (Live)
Beirut Hal Zarafat (Opening) – Melanie and Kaveh listen to a live performance of the song Beirut Hal Zarafat from Fairuz. They talk about how Fairuz’s evocative music has become a point of connection in the Arabic world, which has been divided by so many issues. They look at the spiritual connection that can come through the music of Fairuz and why she connects to so many people in the Arabic world.
“After the call to prayer, famously, one of the big radio stations in Beruit for some 40 years has played a Fairuz song after the first call to prayer. It is how people there start their day.” – Kaveh Nabatian
Creating Sacred Spaces (24:10) – Kaveh speaks about the way he connects to Spirit through music. He shares how his study in the Sufi and Santeria traditions have influenced his perspective about music and life.
“When you are playing music well, it is when you are getting out of the way for the sacred to flow through you. I do not believe that you are really creating that music, if you are creating it then you are probably not playing very good music. The goal is to get your technique up to whatever level you can and just get out of the way so that Spirit can take the music where it wants to go.” – Kaveh Nabatian
A Communal Practice (44:00) – We close with a conversation about the communal experience of sacred music. Melanie and Kaveh talk about what happens when musicians step out of the way of themselves and let creativity flow through them.
“Musicians are basically priests, they are like shamans. I can think of so many different kinds of music where the music is really filtering through some priest or priestess and everyone is gathered around and feels it. It is easy to see how it is done in traditional cultures, but I think people are doing that all the time.” – Kaveh Nabatian