Ariana Saraha & Flight Behavior
A stark, starlit night.
Evergreen boughs paint the sky.
The sound of raven wings.
Weaving spells from the very fibers of life – starlight, storm and stone – Flight Behavior incants the songs and paints the rhythms of the unheard earth and the forgotten ancients.
Songstress Ariana Saraha (vocals, percussion) and rhythm-painter Fernando Medina (drums, percussion) are Flight Behavior, a new duo whose music “evokes the night sky, the flowering earth, and the blood river in our veins…” Occasionally inviting guest musicians up on stage, these two follow in the footsteps of bands such as The Creatures and Dead Can Dance in their capacity to create whole sonic worlds with primarily the voice and rhythm.
They have just released their first recording, Songs of Christmas: To Warm the Dark Nights ~ a two-song holiday EP ~ and will soon release their first full-length album, From the Wild.
Ariana Saraha is a singer, musician, and composer from the wilds of the West with an Old World soul. Most often compared to Celtic singer Loreena McKennitt and alt-world artists Dead Can Dance, Saraha is a true and versatile original. As one critic said, “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 [Saraha].” Perhaps it helps that she has performed and studied music as diverse as Turkish art rock, Persian & Armenian laments, Lebanese pop, Egyptian classical music, Bulgarian folk harmonies, Indian ragas, Greek & Sephardic love songs, and Peruvian icaros. But what really invites the listener in, beyond her vocal finesse and exotic influences, is Saraha’s rare mixture of raw wildness and heartfelt intimacy.
“Ariana not only has one of the most achingly beautiful voices you have ever heard, but her songs go to depths and heights not often visited by songwriters today. Mystical, sensual, inspiring, and real; she is not afraid of the darkness, but, just as important, she is not afraid of the light.” — Thomas Hast, Music Critic, Boulder, CO
Coming from Panamanian roots, Fernando Medina brings a sultry Latin influence along with a strong rock background and even orchestral and jazz sensibilities. Medina has toured with bands with such warm, fuzzy names as Christian Death and After The Crash, shared the stage with immensely contrasting acts such as Jah Wobble, The Creatures, and Eddie Money, played the SXSW Festival, Panama Jazz Fest, and others between and beyond. Medina is not just a drummer, but a co-creator and “rhythm painter” who weaves melodies and landscapes out of percussion. www.fernandodrums.com
“Fernando has the technical skills of a professional classical musician, the creativity of a free jazz player and the emotional capacity of a singer-songwriter. It’s a powerful combination.” — Robert Filippo, Strezo band, Atlanta, GA
“WOW, [Maiden of Midnight] 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.”
“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.”
(from the article, The Wild Soul Songstress, featured in the Soul Artist Journal)
“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.”