Mystery of Souls is a journey into the realms of the beings we are within and beyond this human life, an expression both wordly and other-worldly, each song an encounter along the path of mystery, magic, love and transcendence. The inspiration of our souls meeting along this path, sharing in the joy of musical creation, and bringing this album to life, has been a gift to us that we are grateful to be able to share with you.

Eight of the ten songs on Mystery of Souls are original compositions, with two instrumentals— Malshree from Nepal, and Sa’dâwî from Medieval Spain—representing music by anonymous composers that have remained in their respective cultural traditions for centuries, and have inspired each of us over the years on our own musical paths. The eight original pieces are collaborations of the creative spark that we each bring to the music, each one touching into a new realm, telling another story in this journey, while threading the journey as a whole. Although we pull inspiration from various musical traditions, we do so as the basis for our own expression to emerge.

With the exception of a brief English language spoken word section in Neanna Sundra, all of the lyrics are written by Melanie in an intuitive tongue. “Since I was a young girl, I have been drawn to unconventional and magical realms, invisible but present life forms, and my mouth has always formed interesting words, sounds, even accents, to attempt to communicate a broader perception that touched parts of me that I don’t understand or relate to with English. It’s like a whole different aspect of myself, or many aspects. The first time I heard Lisa Gerrard, of Dead Can Dance, speak of singing in something intuitive that came naturally to her, I got chills all over and had an instant recognition of why I was so deeply drawn to the style and consciousness of their music. She has been very influential for me, as has the vocalist Azam Ali. They have successfully paved the way for my own authentic musical expression to emerge, and I continue to be inspired by their superb voices.”

Each song has meaning, tells a story, conveys imagery or a primal call out to the Universe. They beckon us to another time, often an ancient time, or perhaps just a timeless time. As the lyrics take form, Melanie works with them in the context of the music, but often they come through spontaneously and complete the first time. “Because it’s not a mental process, the lyrics come in naturally, matching up with a song or story vibrationally. I then work them into the melodies more precisely, without analyzing too much, just letting it come through.”

Our musical collaboration was a journey in itself, often surprising us with a new twist or turn that arose as if the music were expressing itself. We always stayed open to these surprises while honing in on the essence of a song. Collaborating with the creative spark and talent of other musicians also brought newness and ultimately informed the unique expression of each song. We are grateful for each one who participated in this project, bringing their mastery to rendering what we were seeking, and their improvisational inspiration to the moments that can only be called their own… moments of magic when we just sat back and smiled, laughed, held our hearts or just remained in silent reverie for their brilliance in the moment. Thank you all!

About the Songs...

Desert Prayer
Out of the relentless rhythm of a windy, dry desert emerges a primal prayer of letting go, feeling the presence of the earth, air and sky speaking to us and powerfully coercing the surrender of the hardened perceptions that hold us back from our own transcendence.

Leah a Hadi
Leah a Hadi tells the story of a woman who chooses to leave her “Avalon,” a sanctuary of priestesses, to join the man who is her true love. Warned by the head priestess of the pain that might come from this decision, she chooses to leave her safe haven to unite with her beloved, the words of the priestess echoing in her heart.

This song is inspired by the timeless and meditative experience of floating quietly in the ocean, free from the effects of gravity and the weight of our world. In the water we are liberated to open ourselves to our full omnidirectional awareness, to touch into the depths of our being in a world beyond our usual senses, yet so essential a part of it. To feel the liquid presence of unity surrounding us, to hear the whales' songs holographically permeating space and time, is one of the most transcendent joys we can know. So many thanks to Manose for evoking this feeling through the tones of Bansuri flute, and to David Darling's deep benthic cello calling forth the ocean's sublime undercurrents.