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Rowshan – Celestial Soul (Review)

20 August, 2008

Imagine spiritual writings alongside contemporary beats…enter a new light ‘Rowshan’. This is the name of the musical collaboration between cousins Payam Beint and Naim Cortazzi, who grew up as close as brothers and were surrounded by the love and music of their Bahá’í families. ‘Celestial Soul’ 2008, is their second touching volume. The album follows on from their previous self titled release in 2004, which is a blend of soulful melodies, arranged with the Bahá’í writings.

‘Celestial Soul’ has a mystic essence to it which almost heightens the senses, the wonderful pace and mood of the music that takes flight, with the holy words as they are given a modern yet timeless landscape to be heard upon. Rowshan present tracks which are as artistic, as the wonderful album art by Jane Hanks which accompanies the album. Not only are we presented with music for devotion, but the range of styles including hints of; electronic, trip hop and soul music, will certainly add ambience to any occasion and add rays of reflection.

The wonderfully chilled ‘Two Visions’ is almost performed as a ballad and has a great evocative nature to it, blending the Hidden Words with strings and jazz. One can also listen to ‘My Lamp’ when you want to refresh and gladden your spirit, and Rowshan provide a great down tempo beat, with wonderful Persian chanting, which fades in and out of the delicate and eternal image created in the song. Notably ‘One Step’ acts as a truly spiritual anthem, which uplifts the spirit.

Drawing on the writings of the Báb, ‘Remover of Difficulties’, is a well driven mix of breaks and resonating synths in the foreground, with a twinkling of keys in the background. ‘Son of Earth’, feels like a journey into depths of the soul, with a tranquil recitation woven with an acoustic track which ends the album soothingly.

The whole piece is certainly as the album states, out of this world in its content, with the potency of the Bahá’í writings at the focus. The soulful streams which Rowshan open up with their melodies, makes the beauty of the message even more accessible to today’s generation of music listeners.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 August, 2008 16:28

    I just listened to the tracks on Myspace. Great Job!! I hear a lot of of the Baha’i Writings set to music and this stuff is among the best. Congratulations to Payam Beint and Naim Cortazzi for creating a devotional recording that is so pleasing to both mind and heart.

    ///Darrell Rodgers
    Coordinator of the Music Industry Weekend at Bosch Baha’i School


  1. On Discovering New Baha’i Music Every Day: Celestial soul music | Baha'i Views

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