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New Instruments

Gandharva Loka News – October 15, 2013

Concert at The Lotus-Heart – October 3, 2013

The Sri Chinmoy Centre recently offered a concert of Sri Chinmoy‘s meditative music at The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant in Christchurch. Concert at The Lotus-Heart – October 3, 2013Gandharva Loka’s co-manager, Vajin Armstrong, introduced the concert and a variety of instruments from Gandharva Loka’s stock of world instruments including djembe, sitar and udu featured in the concert. The concert, the first for the Centre since the Feb 2011 earthquake, also saw the inaugural use of the new upstairs dining room at The Lotus-Heart which relocated with Gandharva Loka and The Gift Shop to 363 St Asaph Street after the earthquake.

The room was full with standing room only and this webmaster was fortunate enough to catch the concert through the kindness of our dear friend Ron Kettle who stood holding a tablet that transferred the event electronically via Skype. Ron’s comment afterwards was that he “…now knew what it was like to be The Statue of Liberty!” Thank you Ron – you’re the champion of self-giving! From my perspective, the concert was very beautiful and soulful and it was great to see the Centre members performing their Master’s music in a public concert again. I was greatly inspired by the concert and was very grateful to have had the opportunity to see and hear it from Auckland. Prasasta, who sang in the concert, also wrote a short article which can be viewed here »

The Lotus-Heart Voted ‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2013’

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New Instruments Arrive At Gandharva Loka, March 2013

Autumn in Hagley Park, Christchurch

As Autumn arrives and the leaves begin to turn colour and carpet the pavements of Christchurch, we at Gandharva Loka have been bucking the trend by adding numerous instrument-leaves to our music-tree following the arrival of several shipments from around the world – and we are expecting more in the coming weeks. Here is a sampling of some the new instruments that can be found in our world music store at the moment…

New Instruments

  • Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls – all sizes and tunings, from 8″ (20 cm) to 20″ (50 cm) bowls.
  • Gongs – highest quality gongs from Wuhan, China. All sizes and types.
  • Various Egyptian Instruments including Oud, Semsemia and Udu.
  • Bodhrans – Irish frame drums with adjustable heads.

New Instruments at Gandharva Loka in Christchurch

And those nearing our shores…

Instruments Arriving In The Coming Weeks

Easter Hours

  • Good Friday, March 29th : Closed
  • Saturday, March 30th : Open from 11 am to 3 pm
  • Sunday, March 31st : Closed
  • Easter Monday, April 1st : Closed

We resume our normal shop hours from Tuesday the 2nd of April.
Please note: our companion enterprise, The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant, will be open Easter Friday, Saturday and Sunday – business as usual for The Lotus-Heart.

Our Latest Video Clip

We invite you to have a look at our latest video clip:
Singing performance at Gandharva Loka and The Lotus-Heart, March 2013.

When we sing,
We embody and become
The power of music.
This power has a free access
To the Universal Heart.
    – Sri Chinmoy.

Gandharva Loka Christchurch to re-open on December 6!

We are delighted to announce that Gandharva Loka in Christchurch will be re-opening at 11am on Tuesday the 6th of December!

Our new location is:
363 St Asaph Street,
(Between Fitzgerald Ave and Barbadoes St
Christchurch.

We have a lovely space that is accessed from the St Asaph Street entrance of The Lotus-Heart restaurant, tea house and health food store – a new location for the popular vegetarian restaurant that is also home to The Gift Shop. At present a new facade is being installed so the building is shrouded in scaffolding. But prepare to be amazed when you step inside – the interior is enchanting!

We now have in stock the best range of instruments we have ever had and we are expecting that more instruments will be arriving in the next few days.

Our hours are:
Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-3pm.
Friday evening 5pm-8pm.
We are happy to accommodate customers outside these hours by appointment if our regular store hours do not suit.

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Guzheng Arrives at Gandharva Loka

Gandharva Loka today received delivery of a full size Guzheng – a Chinese stringed instrument that is synonymous with the traditional music of China.

The Guzheng is a traditional Chinese instrument – a plucked zither with movable bridges that typically has 21 strings. Guzheng are commonly about 1.6 metres in length. The guzheng is the modern westernised descendant of an ancient traditional Chinese musical instrument which was the ancestor of the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum, and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. The parent instrument of the guzheng was known as the se. Read more »

The 21 string Guhzeng that we now have at Gandharva Loka is very similar to the one featured below and comes with the 21 movable bridges (and a diagram showing where to position them), two stands, a set of finger picks, a tuning key and a carry bag.

Guzheng

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New Instruments at Gandharva Loka, February 2011

Here we are in the middle of February already – wasn’t it just Christmas?!? 2011 is a stone that is gathering no moss! Neither is Gandharva Loka in Christchurch. Our little music store has been busy with world instruments coming and going via a steady stream of customers near and far. Gandharva Loka’s managers, Vajin and Prasasta, were away on a meditation retreat/trekking holiday/buying trip in Nepal for two weeks in January and have returned with lots of interesting instruments which we will tell you about in a moment. Yours truly has had a wonderful time looking after Gandharva Loka while Vajin and Prasasta travelled and, being something of a instrument green-horn, I have been learning on the job – learned much from the customers actually. Gandharva LokaTruth to tell, what I have really enjoyed most is meeting people and sharing the joy and enthusiasm that our visitors and customers exude when they are in the store! And the nicest thing about the job is that people come into the store and play music!

Our motto is that Gandharva Loka is not a museum, so we always encourage our visitors to try the instruments. People’s capacities do vary of course, but no matter who they are or what they do, it is all music and joy in one form or another. And then there are the people who just blow you away with their abilities! One particularly nice memory is of a gentleman who came into Gandharva Loka late one Saturday afternoon. Taking a seat near the front of the store, he picked up an esraj and laid it across his knees, proceeding to play it in a blues-Indian fusion style all his own – it was magic! People were coming and going and he just kept playing. After a while, one of our little Celtic lever harps caught his eye and he began plucking on that too. Next thing you know, he was playing the esraj with one hand and the harp with the other – the magic continued but now we were hearing a blues-Indian fusion with a liberal sprinkling of Celtic thrown into the mix. Frankly, it was very beautiful and quite mesmerising. Walking out the door, he looked at me and with a twinkle in his eye said, “I’ll be back…” I do hope so…
Anyway, I veer verbose – down to business…

New Instruments:

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New Instruments at Gandharva Loka – December 2010

Looking for interesting and stimulating gifts for Christmas?
Gandharva Loka Christchurch is very happy to announce that we have just received several shipments of new instruments and are expecting more within the next few days from India and Europe. We will post an update when they arrive but in the meantime, here is a list of some of our newly arrived world instruments. (You can click on the instrument icons to see a larger version of each instrument.)

Bagpipe Practice Chanter

Bagpipe Practice ChanterThe bagpipe practice chanter is a double reed woodwind instrument that is similar in appearance to a recorder. It can be considered an instrument in its own right but its main function is as a practice instrument for the Scottish bagpipes. Gandharva Loka now has in stock some beautifully finished practice chanters.

Balalaika

BalalaikaThe balalaika is a Russian fretted stringed instrument with a triangular body and three strings (one steel and two nylon) that are typically tuned to E, E and A. The balalaika Gandharva Loka has just received is the most common size, the prima balalaika, which is the smallest of the balalaika family. Comes with a hard case.

Celtic Lever Harps

Celtic Lever HarpsGandharva Loka now has a range of Celtic lever harps. The small and medium harps are lap harps and the larger size is free standing. They are all lever harps with nylon strings.

  • Small – 19 string lap harp.
  • Medium – 22 string lap harp.
  • Large – 22 string free standing harp

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Native American Flutes at Gandharva Loka

Southern Cross FlutesGandharva Loka in Christchurch is very proud to offer a new range of exquisite Native American flutes from local flute maker Todd Chaplin of Southern Cross Flutes. Todd’s flutes are crafted from a variety of imported and New Zealand timberss. They are beautifully finished and often feature decorative inlays such as wood, semi-precious stones and paua shell.

Todd makes single and double Native American style flutes in a variety of sizes that offer a wide range of sounds. His flutes have lovely clear tone and, as is typical of this kind of flute, they are very easy to play. They also come with a comprehensive instruction manual and a flute bag. There are some lovely samples of Native American flute music on the homepage of Todd’s website – they are very expressive, soul stirring wind instruments.

About Todd Chaplin

Todd ChaplinTodd was first exposed to Native American flute music while living in Korea. In 2006 he bought his first Native American flute and has been an ardent player ever since. When the opportunity of an apprenticeship in flute making came his way with Matt Shooting Star of Spiritsong Flutes in Australia, Todd jumped at the chance.

After finishing his time with Matt, and at Matt’s recommendation, Todd decided to visit the master flute maker Guillermo Martinez in Southern California where he spent five months studying and making Native American flutes. He has now returned to Christchurch to set up a workshop and continue his journey. Read more »

About Native American Flutes

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