Ariana Saraha & Flight Behavior
A stark, starlit night.
Evergreen boughs paint the sky.
Sound of raven wings.
In the windswept reaches, that is where you will find Ariana Saraha & Fernando Medina, aka FLIGHT BEHAVIOR.
Ariana Saraha (vocals, percussion) and Fernando Medina (drums, percussion) met in the wind-torn and rain-soaked rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. After sharing the darkest winter of their lives, they narrowly escaped to keep wandering... They've since found themselves lost on snow-crested peaks, serenaded by cacophonies of birdsong, and resting deep in the quiet desert heat...
Destined, it seems, for the difficult but beautiful, all along the muse whispers, "Here, in these reaching leaves. Here, in these sun-bleached bones. Here, in the flutter of this wing. Here, in the sound of water over stones..."
Musically, 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.
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.
FOR FANS OF
Dead Can Dance / Lisa Gerrard, Heilung, Myrkur, Wardruna, Anilah, Azam Ali, Eivor, Loreena McKennitt, Tori Amos, Ofra Haza
Dark Folk / World / Alternative / Pagan / Ethereal / Ambient / Middle Eastern / Celtic
Ariana Saraha is a vocalist, songwriter, and producer 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, her song casts an otherworldly spell even as it was forged of earth.
Saraha's primary inspiration comes from the torrential, ephemeral, tempestuous, and enchanting qualities of the wild world, which she supports musically by her experience in traditions as varied 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 draws the listener in, beyond her exotic influences, is Saraha’s rare mixture of raw wildness and heartfelt intimacy. Teetering between the primordial and celestial, her song evokes cinematic visions and ancient longing.
"I am utterly unprepared for her wild, mystical soul and music that transports me to faraway realms and ages. I feel as if I have stumbled unknowingly upon a gypsy caravan and stepped into the circle of dancing firelight and music." — L.R. Heartsong, Author
To read more about Ariana’s musical and professional experience, see below…
More than just a drummer, Fernando Medina is a composer and arranger with orchestral and cinematic sensibilities on top of his rock background (everything from prog to pop to metal), jazz sensibilities, and Panamanian Latin roots. As a drummer, Medina is a “rhythm painter” who weaves lyricism and landscapes out of percussion.
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 and Eddie Money, and played the SXSW Festival, Panama Jazz Fest, and others between and beyond. www.fernandodrums.com
"...the drums take a central stance...expressively textured, also charismatic and jaunty...he [Fernando Medina] weaves spells."
— Claudia Black, (CD review: From The Wild by Flight Behavior), Reflections of Darkness, London (Apr 27, 2022)
"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, Atlanta, GA
– Dan Fairchild, Concert Producer, Boulder, CO
“Ariana not only has one of the most achingly beautiful voices you have ever heard, but she writes incredible songs as well. 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.”
– T.D.H., Fan
“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.”
– L.R. Heartsong, Author
“Ariana seems to project a sort of magic that pulls people in. The rare ability that everyone wants and no one knows how to develop.”
– D.A., Formerly of Musician’s Magazine
“Ariana’s voice cascades like a mountain stream, sparkles like sun on the water and soars like a bird on the wind…”
– P.T., Fan
“Celestial, soul-stirring, and sometimes sultry — the perfect combination!”
– J.K., Fan
“Ariana really, really helped me to come into my own vocalization. Her Womensong gatherings were an intimate setting for very creative openings. Back in the days when I could barely manage a squeak, she gave me self-confidence to go farther. I thank her every day for her expertise and assistance.”
– M.D., Womensong participant
“Ariana’s performances are prayerful and passionate, provocative and playful. Her beautiful voice and rhythms weave sublime strands of the sacred into a kinesthetic personal experience for the listener. Yum! Long live the gypsy heart.”
– D.F., Fan
SARAHA'S PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Though born to a singer, in a lineage of singers, Ariana didn’t consider herself one until a voice and a song flew unbidden from her lips one early spring day in 1996. The floodgates opened and Saraha wrote over 100 songs in her first three years of songwriting.
And then life took another unexpected turn: in 1999 she was offered the opportunity to sing lead vocals for the Colorado-based Mediterranean & Middle Eastern band Sherefé. For three years she learned and performed the traditional music of the Mediterranean, Balkan and Arab worlds, singing in Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Ladino, Bulgarian, and Armenian languages.
In 2004 she went in another direction and joined the electronica ensemble Tribal Electra for another three years, singing ancient mantras and prayers in Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, English, and Hebrew over a bed of electronic beats and electric guitar.
In 2007, enriched by these diverse musical experiences she finally launched her solo career by performing her original music at festivals and venues throughout the western United States (see full CV below).
In August 2010, Saraha recorded a live album in Boulder, Colorado (which was released the subsequent spring). She released her first studio album in 2015, Maiden of Midnight, which was co-produced with acclaimed dream-pop songstress Tina Malia and Mideast music guru Jesse Manno. She has just completed her follow-up album, From the Wild, after a long process of gathering inspiration by traveling the primordial and sweeping corners of the earth.
Along the way, Saraha found herself “accidentally” producing all her own albums. She now proudly bears the title of “Producer,” and is steadily refining her skills as an audio engineer (sure to be a lifelong quest).
. . .
For Fernando’s CV and complete bio, please visit his website.
ARIANA SARAHA DISCOGRAPHY
PRODUCED BY ARIANA:
- Ariana Saraha & Flight Behavior, From the Wild – 2022. Buy Here
- Ariana Saraha & Flight Behavior, Songs of Christmas: To Warm the Dark Nights – 2020. A Holiday EP. Buy Here
- Ariana Saraha, Maiden of Midnight – 2015. Ariana’s debut studio album of mostly original world music. Buy Here
- Ariana Saraha, Live at Immersive Studios – 2011. A six-song live CD recorded with full band in Boulder, Colorado. Buy Here
- Ariana Saraha, Vocal Warmups – 2009. A self-produced studio album of Classical Indian vocal practices. Buy Here
- Tribal Electra, Trance.Mantric.Groove – 2008. 5-song EP, released by White Swan Records on iTunes. Co-produced with Paul Temple. Buy Here
- Angels of Alchemy, Chrysalis – 2002. A 16-minute ceremonial music vignette, plus remix by Ariana. Buy Here
OUT OF PRINT / DEMOS:
- Ariana Saraha, Sampler CD – 2008. 108-print Limited Edition historical sampler of compositions from 2003-2008
- Ariana Saraha, Angel Songs – 2001. Unreleased 5-song solo acoustic demo
RECORDINGS ARIANA HAS APPEARED ON:
- Lil Sum’n Sum’n, Into the Deep – 2010
- Khamsa Khala, All Rites Reversed – 2009. Lead vocals on “Auliya”
- Scott Medina, Enchanted – 2004. Lead vocals on “Durga Ma”
- Saffire – 2003. Lead vocals on “Spirit Song”
CURRICULUM VITAE : ARIANA SARAHA
- 2015-Present: Performing as FLIGHT BEHAVIOR with Fernando Medina, drummer
- 2007-2015: Performing solo and with accompaniment throughout the western US
- 2004-7: Lead singer for Tribal Electra, Colorado-based electronica-mantra-rock band
- 2001-3: Founder of Angels of Alchemy, a collaboration with three other singers: Meagan Chandler, Mara Powers, and Marta Aarli
- 1999-2002: Singer for Sherefe, the Boulder-based Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean ensemble, along with such luminaries as James Hoskins (cello), Jesse Manno (drums, lutes, flutes…), Cameron Powers (oud, guitar, bouzouki), and Meagan Chandler (vox)
- 1996-9: Ariana begins her career by writing over a hundred songs
- 1996: Ariana discovers her voice
- NOTABLE VENUES: Boulder Theater, Denver’s Gothic and Oriental Theaters, Immersive Studios, Esalen Institute, Breitenbush and Harbin Retreats, Mishawaka Amphitheater, Planet Bluegrass, Vail’s Ford Amphitheater…
- NOTABLE FESTIVALS: Topanga EarthDay (SoCal), ARISE (CO), OneLove Festival (SoCal), Mystic Garden (OR), Dreamtime (CO), Tribal Vision (NM), Drawing on the Moon (SoCal), SisterWinds (CO), YogaRocks! (CO), Beltania (CO)
- NOTABLE LIVE COLLABORATIONS: Lunar Fire, Marla Leigh, Tony Khalife, Beth Quist, Meagan Chandler, master flautist Manose, Dave Stringer, Momo Loudiyi, Bhagavan Das, Girish…
- Produced From the Wild (2022). Also did much of the engineering and editing.
- Produced, engineered, and edited Songs of Christmas (2020)
- Produced Maiden of Midnight (2015). Also did some engineering and editing.
- Produced and edited Live at Immersive Studios (2011).
- Produced, engineered, and edited Vocal Warmups (2009).
ACCOMPANIMENT & TEACHING EXPERIENCE
- 2015-2018: Live improvisational music for dance for Melissa Michaels & Golden Bridge, Boulder/Global.
- 2010-2016: Live improvisational music for dance for Ecstatic Dance Live Oakland, Santa Barbara Dance Tribe, Sacred Dance Live Santa Monica, Maureen Freehill of Butopia, and Sharing Weight Boulder.
- 2013: Founded The Moving Soul: a shamanic, embodied, and expressive arts practice, which includes a diverse array of multi-disciplinary workshops.
- 2004-2015: Co-taught and played live improvised music for ceremony, dance, and workshops with Ixeeya Lin.
- 2005-2015: Womensong: vocal improvisation and circlesongs facilitator
- 2003-2015: Vocal Improvisation facilitator
- 2003-2015: Taught private voice
- 2004-7: Kirtan and sacred chant leader
- 2000-4: Taught Ashtanga & Hatha Yoga
- 1998-Present: Live music accompaniment and facilitation of expressive-arts-based ceremony within various community contexts
- 2009: 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Richard Freeman
- 2008-9: Vocal studies in the Estille technique
- 2005-2015: Studies of Classical Indian Music (raga), most notably with Chaitanya Mahmud Kabir, Dhrupad singer Shanti Shivani, Ali Akbar Khan student Megan Yalkut, and Hindustani sarod player Rajeev Taranath
- 2005-2010: Study of South Indian Bharatanatyam dance with Laurissa Vibhuti
- 2005-6: Studied Sanskrit & Vedic Chanting
- 2003-6: In-depth study of Kirtan & Mantra
- 2003-2011: Study of Peruvian shamanism, icaros, and plant-based ceremony
- 1999-2003: Extensive studies of Arabic, Turkish, and Balkan music (songs, melodic movements, vocal stylings, and rhythm)
- 1999-Present: Studies of yoga, pranayama, and dharma with Richard Freeman
- 1998-Present: Ceremony apprenticeship within various community contexts
- 1997: Graduated from CU Boulder with a Bachelors in Psychology, with emphases in Women’s Studies and Dance
- 1995-6: Yearlong study of Authentic Movement
- 1993-8: Dreamwork group and woodswalk apprenticeship to her father, Dr. Eugene Marks, PhD
- 1992-Present: Study of various trance-dance modalities
EXPERTISE & AREAS OF INTEREST
- Performance – as a lead artist and collaborator – vocals, percussion, instrumentation, dance
- Sound Engineer / Album Producer
- Frame Drums, Vocals, Kalimba, Live Looping, Sound Design
- Various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean music forms – percussion & vocal
- Improvised music for ecstatic dance (collaboratively)
- Sacred chants from around the world
- Body-based expressive-arts soulwork
- Music for Unity & CSL services
- Ceremony Facilitation
- Authentic Movement
– Theodore Roethke