Monks making music

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Dynamic NZ duo Monk Party set to visit Perth

Australia is set to hear the songs of Monk Party this Diwali season, as the New Zealand-based musical group tours the country.

Monk Party is made up of father and son duo Pragunya and Nelson Myers-Daley (and yes, they are monks).

Monk Party.Indian Link

They liken their musical lifestyle to that of urban monks in the modern western world; a regimen of regular meditation, pure vegetarian diet and regular daily exercise are undertaken to promote a life charged with peace, dynamism, happiness and purity, and it shines through their music.

“This is our humble journey,” they say, “And we would like to invite you along to share our enthusiasm for music and the spiritual life.”

After an earlier career as professional session guitarist in Auckland, Pragunya (the father) blended his love of music with an appreciation for the spiritual melodies composed by his meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy.

He passed on this love of music and his talent to his son.

Monk Party.Indian Link

From a young age, Nelson Myers-Daley grew up surrounded by instruments and music. He also made regular pilgrimages to New York where Sri Chinmoy taught him many spiritual songs and mantras.

Monk Party’s other influences include the kirtan devotional music scene, ancient Indian mantras, plus a wide range of world and spiritual music.

Monk Party.Indian Link

The melodies of Sri Chinmoy, which Monk Party play, aim to uplift and inspire the audience. Sri Chinmoy once said, “Music will play a most important role in bringing about world oneness.”

Nelson’s favourite instruments come from right around the globe and include northern African and Arabic drums, flute and harmonium.

Other instruments the group uses include darbuka, riq, frame drums, badhran, cajón, pennywhistle, nylon guitar, gongs, chakra bells and bansuri flute. Their excess baggage bills are apparently huge!

Monk Party.Indian Link

Monk Party has released three CDs with the fourth set to hit the shelves over the next few weeks.

They have performed throughout North America and Australasia, as well as at world music and spiritual festivals, yoga classes, meditation workshops, private functions and also stage their own concerts which they will be doing in Australia.

They recently had the opportunity to play in front of a capacity crowd with Krishna Das in New York, which Nelson rates as one of his career highlights. “It was fantastic,” he said, “A real honour”.

Whilst they do play their songs with the aim of motivating their audiences, Monk Party’s arrangements also contain a modern ambience and dynamism which has made them more appealing to a wider audience.

Elderly people who enjoy solitude and soulfulness can appreciate their songs, as well as the younger generation who listen to their more upbeat tunes often while working out or jogging.

With their new CD and their upcoming tour, it is a busy period for the dynamic duo.

They arrive in Perth in late October for some performances at local Diwali festivals before their own concert at Scarborough Community Centre on 10 November.

Then they head to Melbourne for a performance at the Oratory Building (in the suitably name Abbotsford Convent) before spending time in the nation’s capital where they will perform at My Rainbow Dreams Café.

All their concerts are free so if you want to attend a party of a different type, go and see Monk Party!