“Flight Behavior’s music awakens something primal and ancient, instilling you with a sense of long-forgotten majesty….”
Ariana Saraha (vocals, percussion) and Fernando Medina (drums, percussion) have teamed up to form 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.
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 studied and performed music as diverse as Greek & Sephardic love songs, Lebanese pop, Egyptian classical music, Turkish art rock, Bulgarian folk harmonies, Persian & Armenian laments, Indian ragas, and Peruvian icaros.
Though she primarily writes and performs original music in Flight Behavior, she can still be found adapting and singing music from these vast diasporas now and again, and playing in the unique traditional rhythms of those regions as well. 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
Together, Saraha & Medina’s music becomes cinematic and transportive while still drawing us down to the ground; sometimes psychedelic, sometimes angelic, but always born of the textures of this world….
“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.” — 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.” — Thomas Hast, Music Critic, Boulder, CO
“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’s voice cascades like a mountain stream, sparkles like sun on the water and soars like a bird on the wind…” – P.T., Boulder, CO
“Celestial, soul-stirring, and sometimes sultry — the perfect combination!” – J.K., Sedona, AZ
“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 everyday for her expertise and assistance.” ~ M.D., Boulder, CO (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., Boulder, CO
SARAHA’S PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
In her first three years of songwriting, the floodgates opened and Saraha wrote over 100 songs. 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, Hebrew 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 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 is currently working on her follow-up album, From the Wild, while gathering inspiration from traveling the primordial and sweeping corners of the earth.
For Fernando’s full bio, please visit his website.
- 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 in Boulder, Colorado. Buy Here
- Lil Sum’n Sum’n, Into the Deep – 2010
- Ariana Saraha, Vocal Warmups – 2009. A self-produced studio album of Classical Indian vocal practices. Buy Here
- Khamsa Khala, All Rites Reversed – 2009. Lead vocals on “Auliya”
- Tribal Electra, Trance.Mantric.Groove – 2008. 5 song EP, released by White Swan Records on iTunes. Buy Here
- Ariana Saraha, Sampler CD – 2008. 108-print Limited Edition historical sampler of compositions from 2003-2008
- Scott Medina, Enchanted – 2004. Lead vocals on “Durga Ma”
- Saffire – 2003. Lead vocals on “Spirit Song”
- Angels of Alchemy, Chrysalis – 2002. A 16 minute ceremonial music vignette, plus remix by Ariana. Buy Here
- Ariana Saraha, Angel Songs – 2001. Unreleased 5-song solo acoustic demo
CURRICULUM VITAE : ARIANA SARAHA
- 2015-Present: Performing as FLIGHT BEHAVIOR with Fernando Medina, drummer
- 2007-Present: Performing solo and with accompaniment throughout the western US
- 2004-7: Lead singer for Tribal Electra, Boulder-based electronica-mantra-rock band
- 2001-2: 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…
ACCOMPANIMENT & TEACHING EXPERIENCE
- 2015-Present: Live improvisational music for dance for Melissa Michael & 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.
- 2005-Present: Womensong facilitator
- 2004-Present: Has co-taught and played live improvised music for ceremony, dance, and workshops with Ixeeya Beacher, founder of Women’s Tent.
- 2004-7: Kirtan and sacred chant leader
- 2003-Present: [Occasional] Vocal Improvisation facilitator
- 2003-2015: Taught private voice
- 2000-4: Taught Ashtanga & Hatha Yoga
- 1998-Present: Live music accompaniment and facilitation of shamanic and expressive-arts based ceremony within various community contexts.
- 2009: Yoga Teacher Training with Richard Freeman
- 2008-9: Vocal studies in the Estille technique
- 2005-Present: Studies of Classical Indian Music (raga), most notably with Chaitanya Mahmud Kabir, Dhrupad singer Shanti Shivani, 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
- Frame drums, vocals, kalimba, mideast doumbek, santoor, live looping, tanpura, soundscapes
- Various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean music forms – percussion & vocal
- Improvised music for ecstatic dance (solo or collaboratively)
- Sacred chants from around the world
- Body-based expressive-arts soulwork
- Music for Unity & CSL services
- Ceremony Facilitation
- Authentic Movement