MEET JOHN HIGGINS
In 1973 he learned of the Baha’i Faith and joined its ranks that summer. Subsequently all John’s efforts in music composition focused on the Faith. Initially, he wrote music for voice and folk guitar, one piece of which is represented on this website. (Consider These Nightingales). The guitar accompanied him pioneering to Iceland in 1977. In the early ‘80’s he was fortunate to be able to buy a piano (thanks, mom) and started transcribing his music into written form. In 1994 he wrote and produced a musical play, Certitude. It was performed at the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove, Alberta. The script had mixed reviews, but the music was well received.
It was around this time that scoring software began to appear and John started using it to produce manuscripts for other people to use.
In 1999 Tom Price taught a course on music composition at summer school at the Sylvan Lake Baha’i Centre. He also advocated the use of Sibelius music scoring software. John’s music output exploded after this, and was spurred on by a Baha’i Pilgrimage in April 2005. That year he wrote Songs of Seven Valleys, an extended work featuring text from each Valley of Baha’u’llah’s mystical prose.
The other feature that enhanced John’s music was singing in very good choirs, first in EkoSingers, a community choir that sang jazz, blues, gospel, folk and other genres of choral music, and I Coristi, a chamber choir. That choir specializes in singing challenging classical choral music from ancient times to the modern era. All of this music influenced John’s style of writing, which can only be described as eclectic.
Most recently John rewrote the play Certitude, and focused on a series of songs for children and youth entitled ‘Foundations’. The idea there is to present Sacred Text that describe “foundations “ of Baha’i belief. The music is mostly sung in unison.
Another project has been to set selections of text of the Writings of the Bab to music. John is preparing a choir to perform the score at the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, upcoming in his home community.
All aspects of this musical journey are represented in this website.