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instruments

Christmas and New Year Hours

Extended Christmas Hours

  • Saturday 21st December 10am–4pm and 5pm–8pm
  • Sunday 22nd December 10am–4pm
  • Monday 23rd December 10am–4pm
  • Tuesday 24th December 10am–4pm

Normal Hours

  • Thursday 26th December 11am–3pm
  • Friday 27th December 11–3pm (not open in the evening)
  • Saturday 28th December 11–3pm

Closed

  • Sunday 29th December to Monday 6th January – Closed

Open As Normal

  • From Tuesday 7th January

The team at Gandharva Loka wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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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An Interview With Brendyn Montgomery

Brendyn MontgomeryBrendyn Montgomery is a New Zealand born Irish traditional musician who plays and teaches the wooden flute, whistle and fiddle. In 2003, Brendyn earned an M.A. in Traditional Irish Music Performance with first class honours from the University of Limerick – the first person in Australasia to do so. His debut album Mountain Air collected the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand’s 2004 Tui Music Award for Best Folk Album. Brendyn records, travels and performs regularly, and is involved with Ceol Aneas in Nelson. Brendyn also designs websites and offers music courses online.

In this interview Brendyn offers his thoughts on growing up around the folk music scene, his development as a traditional Irish flute player and teacher, and shares with us his view of Irish music in New Zealand. This interview was recorded on Thursday July 15 – 2004. Our thanks to Brendyn Montgomery for kindly giving his time to record this inspiring and informative interview.

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Shardul: You were born in Dunedin and now live in Castle Hill. What do you like about living in Castle Hill? [Since the time of this interview, Brendyn has moved to Nelson.]

Brendyn Montgomery: For me really it’s the stillness. Castle Hill is not even really a village – there are no shops, no petrol station – nothing! There’s a little collection of houses and about ten of us live there permanently – the rest are all holiday homes. So in that sense, it’s still as there are not a lot of people around. But in a greater sense for me there is tranquillity about the place that I haven’t really encountered anywhere else, and because I do so much travelling, it’s really nice to be able to come home to Castle Hill and relax.

S: Is the proximity of the Southern Alps a factor? I hear you’re a big fan of the mountains.

BM: I just love the stillness. If I could, I would live in a place by the sea where I could see the mountains, but living amongst them is the next best thing. I love the cold and the effort of having to stay warm. Keeping the fires going is very vital; it’s very raw. Most of these experiences have been removed in the society that we live in now.

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Cultural Biodiversity: finding a sense of place

This article was written by Brendyn Montgomery in 2004 for the quarterly Flute Focus magazine (now an online publication) and is reproduced here with the permission of Flute Focus and Brendyn Montgomery.

Cultural Biodiversity: finding a sense of place

I sometimes wonder what led me to this place. I am an Irish flute player with a BSc in Zoology and an M.A. in traditional Irish music performance (1st class honours) and I have lived in Ireland. Yet I am a New Zealander. Brendyn MontgomeryI was born here, my parents were born here, and in fact, five generations of my relatives proceed me in this land…

My music does not come directly from my extended family as a neatly handed-down package as it so often does in Ireland. Irish has such a strong oral tradition in its homeland, where people live and breathe the music everyday. I live in a country where the society has evolved hugely from the societies that my ancestors left. The demise of the family unit and the freedom to choose your own path that has been slower to change in Ireland and Scotland, the countries of my ancestry. I am not against this change by any means; it simply means that many of the threads of the oral tradition have been broken.

Yet I am certain that the immigrants brought their music with them. My mother’s mother talks of how they played for dances from an early age, tunes that were handed down from the wider family. But that was lost as the family moved away to different parts of the country. I was bought up with both recorded and live music and was dragged to folk festivals from the age of six weeks. It is something I have grown to appreciate with time. This was not family music, but folk music of the 1970s and 1980s, influenced by technology and recordings from other parts of the world.

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The Wooden Flute In New Zealand

This article was written by Pat Higgins in 2004 for the quarterly Flute Focus magazine (now an online publication) and is reproduced here with the permission of Flute Focus and Pat Higgins.

The Wooden Flute in New Zealand

Pat Higgins playing a nineteenth century Rudall & Carte fluteThe simple-system wooden flute has been relatively rare in New Zealand; and in comparison to the Boehm instrument, it still is unusual. However, in recent years we have seen a steady growth in interest in this instrument. It used to be that people would say, “but that’s not a flute… ” on seeing a wooden instrument, obviously expecting the Boehm instrument familiar to thousands from school music classes. The increase in numbers of people becoming interested in and playing this instrument has come about as people became exposed to the sound of the wooden flute as part of the enormous world-wide surge in interest in Irish culture over the last ten years or so. (Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Guinness Tours of New Zealand, etc…)

The wooden simple system flute [also known as Irish flutes] is used almost exclusively for Irish traditional music, (though there may be professional musicians using it for classical performance, as is the case overseas). The author is aware of one musician in Wellington, Barnard Wells, who uses the simple system flute for playing Cuban and Latin music in a band situation. In nineteenth century Ireland, traditional music survived amongst the poor and impoverished; the classical music of the drawing room being the preserve of the rich. In 1831 Theobald Boehm invented his metal flute and sometime after, the wooden instruments it replaced gradually became un-fashionable; thus becoming affordable or at least more available to ‘folk-musicians’. It is not known (at least to the author) when exactly this occurred, but the transition must have been slow as classical musicians would have had to re-learn a whole new fingering system. In any case Irish traditional music formally played on pipes, fiddle and whistle could now also be played on the simple system eight-key wooden flute.

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