Rashani has received wide recognition for her powerful healing music, which was originally inspired by several ancient wisdom traditions. The thrust of her music is an exploration and celebration of personal and collective transformation. She has gathered songs and chants from around the world as well as creating original compositions and has recorded songs in twelve different languages. She skillfully weaves together evocative instrumentations with voice, giving birth to a sense of intimacy and a coming together of the inner and outer worlds. Her voice is pure and unaffected.
The co-creation process of her albums has been a magical synergy of numerous musicians sharing their gifts. A sense of ritual and interpersonal healing was present during many of the recording sessions. Each album has a unique theme and all but two insert cards have been hand lettered by Rashani, adding a personal touch.
Rashani began singing at the age of ten, inspired by her older brother who often sang her to sleep with his favorite Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie songs. During the early 60’s she attended local hootenannies and feasted on the music of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Malvena Reynolds, Peter, Paul & Mary and other musicians whose passion for social change left an indelible imprint in her life. She began offering benefit concerts at the age of sixteen. Throughout the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Rashani spent time in several spiritual communities in the U.S. and Europe. Devotional music was an integral part of her life for nearly forty years.
She sang at many sacred sites in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Mexico, India and at festivals throughout the United States and Canada. During the 22 years that she lived in Europe she sang often in the caves, churches, cathedrals and at the ancient stone circles and Megalithic sites. In 1978, when her son was four years old, Rashani sang in the Parisian subways to earn enough money to pay for rent and food.
Between 1986 and 1993, Rashani gathered songs, kirtans and bhajans from several countries and recorded fourteen albums, three of which were produced in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.* Her first album, a tribute to the Goddess, was recorded in 1986, near her home in the south of France. She was given permission to record in Orniac chapel, the crypt at Rocamadour, where the 12th century Black Madonna is seated majestically in a small chapel, and in Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Cahors, an 11th century cathedral, where Rashani sang every Saturday for many years, after shopping in the open market.
Four of her albums are poems and songs inspired by the teachings of the Zen poet and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. In the late 80’s until the mid 90’s, Rashani sang and recited poetry at his retreats at Plum Village, in France, as well as at his retreats and public dharma talks throughout the U.S.
* A fifteenth album, called “Soetry,” was created in 2005. It includes twenty songs written by Rashani and recorded on her other albums.
Four of her albums have been made into CD’s:
TAKE REFUGE IN THE MOMENT
Recorded in 1988, this collection of songs and poems is a loving tribute to the Vietnamese people and to Thich Nhat Hanh, who was Rashani’s teacher for many years. Thich Nhat Hanh wrote several of the poems and others are by his students, Rashani and Rashani’s family. Abbe Pradeilles, a French priest, brought his recording equipment to Orniac chapel and stayed until 4 a.m. while Rashani and friends recorded these songs and poems. Instruments include guitar, cello, flute, piano and more. Dorothy Fadiman and Rashani take turns reading the poems.
Poetry, song, and music merge to create the ‘miraculous moment’.
Patricia Ellsberg, Peace Activist
DEATH IS A GATEWAY/Songs for the Sacred Passage
Recorded in 1991, this is a powerful, unsentimental collection of songs, which Rashani sang to her father during the last night of his life. Instruments include flute, piano, synthesizer, clarinet, guitar, drums, Tibetan bowls and rattles. Malia Scent sings beautiful harmonies with Rashani. Kay Gardner plays flute on three of the songs.
Love songs, power songs, rites of passage. At long last: songs for living and dying. May these songs break the silence, in hospitals, hospices and homes.
Christopher Reed, Dharma teacher
SONGS OF INTERBEING
Recorded in 1992, this album is a collection of songs with the theme of interconnectedness. Included are songs from a variety of traditions, including Sufi, Buddhist, Native American, Maori and contemporary songs from Australia and North America. Also, part of one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s poems has been set to music. Instruments include piano, guitar, conga drums, flute and more. Malia Scent joins Rashani with lovely vocal harmonies.
Rashani’s songs constitute part of the practice of mindful living. The more you sing these songs, the deeper they will enter into the realization of your practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh
SOETRY/A Collage of Song and Poetry
In 2005, Rashani put together twenty of her original songs, which had been recorded on several of her earlier albums. Instruments include didgeridoo, tambura, clicksticks, nylon and steel-string guitars, piano, ipu, rattles and drums, penny whistle, koto, bamboo and silver flutes, double tranh, Tibetan bowls, and more.
An inspiring glimpse into the life of an extraordinary woman through whom the Spirit of creativity flows abundantly and unstoppably.
Marsha Dawson, Eco-psychologist and writer
Oh, this soft and powerful woman walks her talk, lives her life with fierce passion and joyful truth. Get her music. Attend her sacred gatherings. She is a gift to the world.
Cassandra Wylie, LCSW
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