Click here to read the UK Bahá`i review about myriads.

Mitwirkende /artists

Hidden Voices (choir/ Chor), Mina Beint (chanting in Persian and Arabic/ Gesang), Anne Sparkes (percussion/ Schlagwerk), Steven Daverson (prepared piano/ präpariertes Klavier), Nick Planas and Michael Howard (Tibetan prayer bowls/ tibetische Klangschalen) and Rowena Bass (harp/ Harfe) 
Composed and conducted by
Richard Leigh

Gesamtspielzeit /
total playing time

52:52 (9 tracks)


Aufnahmeort /
recording location

Quaker Meeting Hall, Northampton, England

Aufnahmezeit /
time of recording

08 April 2001





Besonderheiten /
special features

8-page English booklet/ 8-seitiges Booklet Englisch/ / Live-Recording
Sleeve design by Julie Sandells and Payam Beint
Click here for the complete booklet text.

Titelliste - list of titles




O Essence of Negligence!


O Son of Being!


O Man of Two Visions!


O Son of Being!


O Friends!


O Son of Being!


O My Children!


O Son of the Wonderous Vision!


O Son of Spirit!










The complete booklet text/ Der vollständige Booklet-Text:

The CD of Richard Leigh’s composition about the „Hidden Words“ of Bahá’u’lláh was recorded on April 8 2001 at the Quaker Meeting House in Northampton. The official premier of the cycle „myriads“ took place on May 19 2001. Below you can find the texts of the work as well as all other pieces of information printed in the eight-page CD booklet:

Die CD von Richard Leighs Komposition über die „Hidden Words“ (die „Verborgenen Worte“) Bahá’u’lláhs wurde am 8. April 2001 im Quaker Meeting House in Northampton aufgenommen. Der Zyklus „myriads“ wurde am 19. Mai 2001 offiziell uraufgeführt. Nachfolgend finden Sie die Texte des Werks sowie alle weiteren Angaben des achtseitigen CD-Booklets:

1 O Essence of Negligence!

Myriads of mystic tongues find utterance in one speech,
and myriads of hidden mysteries are revealed in a single melody;
yet, alas, there is no ear to hear, nor heart to understand.

Hidden Word No 16 from the Persian

2 O Son of Being!

Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me.
For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed my favour upon thee.

Hidden Word No 11 from the Arabic

3 O Man of Two Visions!

Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved.

Hidden Word No 12 from the Persian

4 O Son of Being!

Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.

Hidden Word No 5 from the Arabic

5 O Friends!

Abandon not the everlasting beauty for a beauty that must die,
and set not your affections on this mortal world of dust.

Hidden Word No 14 from the Persian

6 O Son of Being!

With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding.
Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

Hidden Word No 12 from the Arabic

7 O My Children!

I fear lest, bereft of the melody of the dove of heaven, ye may sink back to the shades of utter loss, and, never having gazed upon the beauty of the rose, return to water and clay.

Hidden Word No 13 from the Persian

8 O Son of the Wonderous Vision!

I have breathed within thee a breath of My own Spirit, that thou mayest be My lover. Why hast thou forsaken Me and sought a beloved other than Me?

Hidden Word No 19 from the Arabic

9 O Son of Spirit!

The time cometh when the nightingale of holiness will no longer unfold the inner mysteries and ye will all be bereft of the celestial melody and of the voice from on high.

Hidden Word No 15 from the Persian


Bahá’u’lláh, whose name means ‘The Glory of God’ in Arabic, was born on the 12th November 1817 in Teheran. The son of a wealthy government minister, he turned his back on wealth and position to follow his spiritual path. In 1850 he was persecuted and imprisoned and soon banished from his native land. His exiles took him to Baghdad, Constantinople, Adrianople, and finally Akka in the Holy Land. For nearly forty years Bahá’u’lláh suffered as a prisoner and an exile and in that time he revealed volumes of writings. The main theme of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings are that all the world’s religions are from the same Divine source teaching the same spiritual truths and that all the people of the world are one human family.

Religions are many, but the reality of religion is one ...
The branches are many, but the tree is one ...
Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.


Among Bahá’u’lláh’s earliest writings is the ‘Hidden Words’, short, poetic phrases that encapsulate the warnings, the admonitions and the encouragement of all scripture. Many of these words were revealed as Bahá’u’lláh paced the banks of the River Tigris. The beauty of the original Persian and Arabic has been magnificently translated by Shoghi Effendi, great grandson of Bahá’u’lláh and Guardian of the Bahá’i Faith from 1921 to 1957.

Kevin Beint                 

Richard Leigh was born in Liverpool in 1967. He studied composition at Birmingham Conservatoire and later at the University of Huddersfield. Myriads is the first large scale choral work to emerge by Richard to be directly inspired by the sacred Bahá’i writings. It was begun in March 1999 and completed two years later. During the process of writing, he became a Bahá’i himself.
About the music of Richard, it has been written:
“The range of colours drawn from the small scoring is almost unbelievable, the variations range from wild and raucous to almost still. Dense harmonies are avoided throughout so that the piece has an aspect of remote antiquity to it but is entirely absorbing.”

Words of thanks
I wish to thank especially Mina & Kevin Beint and Fleur Bartlett for their constant encouragement and belief in Myriads, to my family for always supporting my music making, to Emma Lewenden for her help in organizing, to Helmut Scharpf for recording the CD so professionally, to Nick Planas for printing all the music so beautifully and with such care and attention to detail, to David Bray for his support in finding such wonderful singers, and of course to the fantastic performers and soloists who have worked with a level of skill, commitment and warmth that I could only have dreamt of. It has been a joy, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hidden Voices


Rachel Major, Amy Campbell, Fleur Bartlett, Phillipa Doolon, Beth Bryars                                            


Emma Lewendon, Jennie Doolon, Claire Collyer, Claire Wooton, Catherine Malpas


Nicholas Moodie, Robert Aimes, Rey Lear


Michael Howard, Gideon Malitzki, Phil Dennis, David Major


            Sung by                                             Hidden Voices

            Chant in Persian and Arabic              Mina Beint

            Harp                                                  Rowena Bass

            Percussion                                         Anne Sparkes

             Prepared Piano                                 Steven Daverson

            Tibetan Prayer Bowls                       Nick Planas & Michael Howard

            Conductor and Composer                 Richard Leigh


            Artwork / Sleeve Design by Julie Sandells and Payam Beint
            Recorded and produced by Helmut Scharpf,

            Recording made on 8th April 2001 @ The Quaker Meeting House Northampton

            All rights of the producer & of the owner of the work are reserved. Unauthorised            
           copying, hiring, lending, public performance & broadcasting of this record prohibited.  



source: UK Bahá’I review, summer 2001, page 15

Bahá’i Composer’s World Premiere
In its relatively short history, the Bahá’i Faith has already inspired a broad canon of devotional music. While their counterparts in the east chanted prayers in the prevailing Arabic or Persian styles, early 20th century western Bahá’is composed hymns in a traditional Protestant idiom to be sung at community gatherings and in the Bahá’i House of Worship near Chicago.
More recently, musicians who have been inspired to compose settings of the Bahá’i scriptures have included the great Indian musician Ravi Shankar and the distinguished Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen.
On 19 May 2001 the Northamptonshire village of Brixworth was the setting for the world premiere of a new work which could well become a benchmark for composers setting the Bahá’i writings to music.

Brixworth’s 7th century Saxon church – believed to be the largest of its kind in northern Europe – was the venue for Richard Leigh’s myriads – a setting for solo singer, choir, piano, percussion and harp of a small number of sacred writings drawn from The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh. This is the best loved of all the Bahá’i scriptures – a collection of 153 short moral aphorisms which Bahá’u’lláh described as a distillation of the spiritual guidence of all the religions of the past.
Leigh is a young composer from Wellingborough who has had a remarkable impact on the musical life of Northamptonshire. His work with young singers and instrumentalists in the county have been widely acclaimed. He is also a successful teacher and performer in a wide range of musical styles. Myriads is written in a unique style which resolves a challenging, contemporary palette of sounds with melodic and harmonic structures that move and thrill the listener.
In this performance, Leigh’s forces were cleverly combined. The piano was “prepared” in a manner pioneered by the composer John Cage with nuts and bolts and other items placed on the strings, resulting in a metallic, percussive effect when the note is struck.

This, combined with Tibetan prayer bowls, solo vibraphone notes bowed with a double bass bow, and harp ostinato patterns, created a ethereal backdrop over which the singers passed Bahá’u’lláh’s words between themselves, setting up spine tingeling effects where notes collided and then resolved, and tones were exchanged and transferred from side to side - creating something akin to a live stereophonic experience.
At other times, the choir reached a climax only to stop abruptly leaving the percussion ringing alone its faint, distant response. The work concluded with a breathtaking postscipt in which the name of Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic for “the Glory of God”) was repeated and intoned.
This is a work which deserves to be savioured again and again and promises many good things to come from a British composer.

Rob Weinberg