To celebrate the 85th birthday of our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam, The Ismaili is excited to present a special compilation of songs from The Ismaili Sounds collection into a musical tribute entitled Beloved Flame.
The production takes the form of a medley of multilingual songs, carefully curated and arranged with spoken word elements, to tell a story of what the Imam-of-the-Time means to us at every stage of our lives.
“Beloved Flame aims to express thanks for our Imam's constant presence and guiding light, while highlighting the diversity of cultures and artistic talent in our Jamat,” said executive producer Amina Dhrolia.
“The different musical and spoken word pieces are weaved together to create a narrative, which aims to uplift the Jamat at this difficult time,” continued Amina. “Each of the artist’s songs contain lyrics that touch the heart.”
Contributors to the show come from more than 15 countries around the world, and include a number of young artists and performers. “We tried to ensure that diversity is preserved in this piece through age, language, location, and culture,” said music producer Ayaz Merchant.
In addition to illustrating the Jamat’s unity in diversity, the songs selected for the programme express devotion, festivity, and hope for the future.
“The team of artists and producers used our experiences as parents and children to guide us in our approach for this piece to make it unique and deeply sincere.” said creative director Tina Ali Mohammed. “This was a true labour of love.”
Featuring an eclectic mix of styles and genres — from Persian and Pamiri folk music, to tabla-timed Urdu and Hindi songs, to Western Hip-Hop style tracks in English and French — the resulting production is an inspiring expression of devotion to the Imam by Ismaili artists worldwide.
With the assorted and diverse mix of sounds, the creative team were presented with the challenge of bringing together a wide range of styles, rhythms, languages, instrumentation, and arrangements. Seamlessly bridging the audio and video of the 18 featured songs took over a hundred hours of volunteer time, requiring meticulous attention to the visual and sonic details.
“This is more than a medley of songs,” concluded Amina. “Beloved Flame is a story of love and gratitude for our Imam. It’s a tribute and a gift from the artists to Hazar Imam on his birthday.”