“This evening is the first time I have listened to Ariana Saraha’s “Maiden of Midnight,” and I am utterly unprepared for her wild, mystical soul and music that transports me to faraway realms and ages. Frankly, I am blown away. I feel as if I have stumbled unknowingly upon a gypsy caravan and stepped into the circle of dancing firelight and music. It seems the perfect soundtrack for a foggy, coastal night at the edge of the continent, here at the threshold of earth, sea and sky. At times there is a Sarah Brightman quality to Saraha’s soprano voice, though the music is less symphonic and more Old World — which is actually part of its allure. Less sleekly produced, more authentic. Most of the songs are at least 6-minutes long, well over the typical 3-minute pop composition. Indeed, there is nothing commercial here or geared to court a mainstream audience. In the very best way, “Maiden of Midnight” strikes me as unapologetic — true to the essence of Ariana’s wild, gypsy soul.”L.R. Heartsong, Author (from the article, The Wild Soul Songstress, featured in the Soul Artist Journal)

“WOW, this is an absolutely amazing album. So much more versatility than anything like it I’ve heard. I listen to Loreena McKennitt, Enya, Clannad, etc. and often after about three or four songs I’m feeling like it all sounds the same. NOT the case with your wonderful album. Not only do you weave a delightful mix of musicians together throughout the album, but your voice also shifts and changes like a chameleon angel. You have surpassed my greatest expectations and I’m delighted to have this music to add to my collection.”  Benjamin Buren, Photographer

“In some dimension, Rumi and Hafiz are reading your lyrics and smiling.” — R.S., Boulder, CO

“Your album is a real work of art. BRAVO!!! Totally worth the wait. Your album will remain in my music mix – these songs are for repeated listening.” –- K.B., Boulder

“I really appreciate the depth of your genius. Thank you for this masterpiece!” –- F.L., Los Angeles

“I cannot stop listening to it.” –- V.H., London

Maiden of Midnight

Recorded over three years along the gypsy trail, in this debut studio album, Saraha weaves musical tradition and modern mysticism…

“Ariana’s voice is a soaring, beautiful thing. Wrapped around expertly-played instruments of the Middle East, Persia, and India, her song very much takes flight. You follow it like a bird into the blue or a diver into the depths. Where Dead Can Dance brought us into the Labyrinth, Ariana Saraha offers to meet us in the Silence.” — D.F., Boulder, CO

With influences spanning Celtic and Eastern Europe, Spain, the Middle East, and India, Ariana Saraha’s debut album, “Maiden of Midnight,” is a journey along ancient and new gypsy trails. Co-produced with Dream-Pop songstress Tina Malia and Mideast-music guru Jesse Manno, this debut studio release by a long-touring singer is a well-crafted musical journey that invites the listener to a mystic place where musicians meet beyond borders in celebration and song. Through it all, Ariana’s achingly beautiful and versatile voice reveals a heart that loves this world so poignantly that even through a stormy night she would hold up a light to reveal the beauty hidden under the cover of darkness.

Liner Notes…

Lyrics

Maiden of Midnight

I gave the wind an eagle feather
That she, she might set my spirit free
And I gave the earth the sacred stone
That she, she might carry me home

All the way home…

And I stood at the edge of the trembling sea
And I cast my prayers to the deep
And I felt the pull of the moon on my bones
Calling me, drawing me home

All the way home…

Ancient woman, maiden of midnight
Sing us your mystery song
And gypsy dancer, of the fire and moonlight
Won’t you bring us along

On your way home…

And the sheltering eaves whisper to our souls
Of sacred forests of old
Where we’ll find our way to the circle of stones
And there, we will dance our way home

All the way home…

The Wind

I heard the cry of Raven
In the wild sky above
for the one who was lost over the ocean
Well don’t give up my love
My little dove

So I sent the god of thunder
To break the stormy night
But still, the darkness gathers
So close your eyes
I’ll be your sight

And I would be the wind over the seas
I would be the breeze, caressing you endlessly
I would be the wind under your wings
I would breathe, into you, in through you

And I know your wings grow weary
I hear your silent cries
But lift your heart my angel
For you were born to fly
On wings of light

And I would be the wind…

Dance of the Stars

Round and round and round and round
Catch the stars and bring them down
Ride the sky, a light on fire!

(traditional, Hymn for the Russian Earth)
If the people lived their lives
As if it were a song, for singing out of light
Provide the music for the stars
To be dancing circles in the night

Desert Blooms

Maybe one day, you and I will leave this place
Let the land return to its original grace
With wild hearts, we will fly
Angels of the earthly sky…
And the desert blooms, in the rain we left behind
Angels of the earthly sky…

Golden we dissolve into the setting sun
Let the earth rest in her beauty

Touched so long by the hands of man
Now life grows where the cities did stand
And the winged ones play on the winds through the day
And the rhythm of hooves dancing o’er the plains
Will awaken the thundering earth from her grave
Oh the rivers they will flow from the heart of her pain
She will wash, wash away all the scars that we made
And raise up the mountain as a pillar of praise

For you and I, we have gone from this place
Left the shame of our anguished rage
Left it all, to return again
To the endless sky from which we came

We left our garments by the riverside
We left our homes where we used to hide
We gave our yearning to the ocean’s tide
We gave it all, we left it all behind

And we are wild as the wind
As we caress the earth and sky
And we are lovers of this land
And love is all that’s left in time… in time

Maybe one day, you and I will leave this place
Let the land return to its original grace
With wild hearts, we will fly
Angels of the earthly sky…
And the desert blooms, in the rain we left behind

Phoenix

I sing for the earth
I sing for the angels fallen
Wind is my breath
And thunder is my song

Have you tasted the sweetness of raindrops?
Have you smelled the lilacs in bloom?
Have you seen the sun in a lover’s eyes,
And conquered your own doom?

This endless ache of humankind,
The heart of suffering here inside…
There is a warm cave and I have lit a fire
Come sit here by my side.

Together we will sing until the silence falls,
As the flames dance and devour
The dragon’s breath on your mortal skin,
Care to join me on the pyre?

How close can we come to death,
Dancing on the edge?
What keeps you sane,
what keeps you from the flames,
what keeps your heart contained?

If you were to fall, finally to surrender,
who would you be now?
Who would you be now?…

La Rosa Enflorece {Los Bilbilicos}

(traditional Sephardic, words by Solomon Ibn Gabirol)

La rosa enflorece, hoy en el mes de May
Mi alma se oscurece, sufriendo del amor

Mas presto ven, paloma, mas presto ven con mi
Mas presto ven, querido, corre y salva me

Los bilbilicos cantan, con suspiros de amor
Mi neshama y mi ventura, estan en tu poder

Translation: The Rose is in Bloom {The Nightingales}
The rose is in bloom, today in the month of May
My soul is darkened, suffering from love

Come quickly, dove, quickly come with me
Come quickly, my love, run and save me

The nightingales sing with sighs of love
My soul (neshama) and my destiny – they are in your power

Kali's Army

Kali’s army is coming around
Kali’s army is tearing the walls down…
…till I am naked and whole again
Tear me open and scatter me to the wind
Like stardust is shattered and gathered in your breast…
This is no lonely death
For I am coming home…with every breath
Kali Ma Kali Ma Kali Ma Kali Ma…

Wine blood is flowing from my heart to hers
My love is flowing to the heart of the earth…
…till I am empty and full again
Tear me open and pour me out
This love is a river that’ll ravage your drought
This is a holy rain
And I am coming home…to heal this pain…
Kali Ma Kali Ma Kali Ma Kali Ma…

And I’m bound in this garden is watered with tears
Turn back ye demons, I’ve conquered your fears!
Yes I surrender and lay me down…
Tear me open and offer me to the land
Till me under and work me with your hands
I am a warrior, in love again
And I am coming home…to the heart of man
Kali Ma Kali Ma Kali Ma Kali Ma…

Kali’s army is coming around
Kali’s army is tearing the walls down…
…till I am naked and whole again
Tear me open and scatter me to the wind
Like stardust is shattered and gathered in
Your night sky devours and crushes me to your breast
This is a holy death

Into the Void

When the lady’s dance is done
And the last song is sung
In a time when mists abide
Inner space where dreams collide…

Into the void I travel
Into the shadows I fall
Into the silent thunder
Into nothing and all

I’m falling, I’m falling
The blackness is calling
Shadows wrap around
Silence is a mighty sound

Raven

Raven is my name
My mother is the wind
Cradled in her arms
Dance together on the breath

I have travelled to the edges of death
Laughter fills the void
I am dancing
I am empty
I am light

Shadows give way
to sight
beyond sight

Essence of blackness
Silence of night
Stillness embodied
Fall into flight

One eye sees daylight, one into dream
Know that nothing is as it seems

For hidden inside
Beyond the blood and the flame
Enter the gate and step into space

Keep folding in and in and in on the abyss
And there you will find the deep well of bliss
Fathomless

Esperanza

We ride on ancient wings
Our hearts awakening
Sacred souls, wild and free,
We are soaring on ancient wings
Awakening, remembering, awakening…

Respira la esperanza
Con la fuerza del espiritu
Inspira la esperanza
Con la fuerza del espiritu

(traditional Taize, words by St. Theresa de Avila)
Nada te turbe, nada te espante
Quien a dios tiene, nada le falta
Nada te turbe, nada te espante
Solo dios basta

Angelfire

Black waves of night pour through me
Stars of the ocean, tumbling sky
Wash away all that was mine
But I, oh I, I don’t mind…

For I walk in the light of the sun at midnight…

And I sent a prayer that flew to the sky
Touched the stars, and fell to my eyes
Showering, shimmering petals of light
And I, oh I, I am pure delight…

For I walk in the light of the sun at midnight…

And I watch as the embers fade to grey
And I close my eyes and a light takes shape
Only a spark, a touch of grace
Then a star, my heart aflame
Oh, AngelFire!

For I walk in the light of the sun at midnight…

© All lyrics and music written by Ariana Saraha, except where noted.
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Musicians

The wonderful musicians who graced this album!
Ariana Saraha Lead vocals and most harmonies. Frame drums on tracks 1, 4, 8 & 9. Cajòn on track 7
Jesse Manno Baglama saz on tracks 3, 5, 7 & 9. Cura saz on track 11. Oud on track 10. Drums on track 10. Cymbals on track 6. Davul on tracks 3, 5 & 9. Djembe on track 9. Riq (Arabic tambourine) on tracks 6 & 9. Chant vocals on track 7. Keyboards on tracks 2, 3, 5, 8 & 10. Bamboo flute on track 9
Wade Evans Classical guitar on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10 & 11. Oud on tracks 3, 5, 7, 8 & 9
Aharon Wheels Bolsta Drums on tracks 1 & 4. Tabla on tracks 1, 3 & 4. Darbuka on tracks 3, 5, 7, & 9. Various percussion on track 10. “War” toms on track 7. Jaw harp on tracks 4, 8 & 9
Scott Bears Electric Guitar on tracks 2 & 7
David Alderdice Drums on tracks 2, 7, 8 & 11
Meagan Chandler Additional vocals on tracks 3 & 7. Palmas (Flamenco clapping) on track 3
Jenna Woods Zills (finger cymbals) on track 6
Tina Malia Keyboards on 1, 4, 11
James Hoskins Cello on tracks 1, 3, 4, 7 & 8
Adrienne Short Violin on 10 & 11
Jared May Bass guitar
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Credits

Produced by Ariana Saraha
Co-Produced by Tina Malia and Jesse Manno
Mixed by Tina Malia in Venice Beach, CA
Mastered by Tim Gennert at Eleven Eleven, CA
Recorded by Jesse Manno, Tierro Lee, Ariana Saraha,
Tina Malia, Dik Darnell, Scott Bears, Jeremy Bleich, and Charles Parker
Executive Produced by Ariana Saraha and Brent ‘Hafiz’ Mathieu
Photos of Ariana by Guillaume Wildcat | Nature photos and graphic design by Ariana
(p) © 2015 Ariana Saraha Music, all rights reserved.
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Thank You!

First and foremost to the Earth, my primary and most gracious teacher ~ for her endless beauties, wild mysteries, and the peace she brings. To my amazing parents Karen & Eugene who always encouraged me to be totally myself by their own radical examples, who taught me to live simply but boldly, and most importantly to trust myself, even my wild imaginings. To the spirit of the Muse for giving my life purpose. To my dearest of friends Tom Hast and Meagan Chandler for your rich wisdom and love ~ I am continually heartened by you! To all the ‘gypsy dancers’ who bring the spirit of this music alive, especially my loves Ixeeya, Beth Leone, and Vannassa. To Jesse Manno, my most inspiring of maestros. To Tina Malia for your tireless impeccability on this project. To Brent Mathieu for making this all possible through your belief in the medicine of my music. To my loving community of friends and fans who have largely funded this work ~ I am so honored to sing for you! And though it almost goes without saying, to all the musicians who play so beautifully on this album, and graciously with me throughout the years ~ you inspire me to grow both musically and personally ~ this music is born from and dedicated to our gypsy tribe. A special thank you to Cameron Powers and Sherefe for introducing me to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean music, and for inviting me to play with you when I was still a musical baby. And lastly, to all the people keeping music and arts alive across the globe ~ whether through your playing, teaching, or patronage and appreciation ~ these are the gems of our human heritage, a truly priceless legacy. May all the arts continue to flourish as a sacred living tradition, and may music continue to heal our hearts.
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