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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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Gandharva Loka opens in Vancouver!

We are very happy to announce that a brand new Gandharva Loka store has opened in Vancouver, Canada! Located in the heart of Vancouver on Granville Island, a bustling market place that is home to numerous artisans, performers and unique stores, Gandharva Loka Vancouver is the first Gandharva Loka store in North America and will offer a huge range of world music instruments. Store location and hours can be found here.

We wish our new sister enterprise well and we are sure that the Vancouver team look forward to serving their customers as the northern spring becomes summer on Granville Island…

Granville Island in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada
Bustling Granville Island in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada – home to
the latest addition to the Gandharva Loka family of world instrument stores.


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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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Gandharva Loka at the Irish Feis 2010

Irish DancersGandharva Loka in Christchurch will have a small stall at the Irish National Feis 2010 this coming Labour Weekend. The Feis (festival), a 60th anniversary celebration, is to be held at the Horticultural Hall in Hagley Park, Christchurch, on the 23rd and 24th of October. Some of the entertainment includes Irish dance and music competitions and shows. There will also be a bodhrán workshop using bodhráns supplied by Gandharva Loka. See you there…!

Homage to the Humble Ukulele

UkuleleHow we ever came to have a ukulele in the house I will never know. Beyond a passive love for listening to music on the radio, stereo and television, neither of my parents were musically inclined. My brother and I learned to play large wooden xylophones at primary school, but we were more interested in playing in our back-yard sand pit or racing our homemade trolleys down the steep streets of our neighbourhood. And besides, the songs of the birds was the music I favoured as a child and I learned to whistle along with them. Who needed an instrument?

I suspect that it was our mother who slipped the ukulele into the house. She had great expectations that her boys would become musicians and/or doctors so that “you can care and sing for us when we are old”. Did she mean at the same time? It was a good plan but she was to be disappointed on both counts.

An old upright pianoAn old upright piano, complete with hinged candelabras, found its way into our house for the same reasons I am sure – albeit with a little more effort than the ukulele required. But aside from the occasional exuberant rendition of chopsticks on rainy days, the old upright suffered the same terrible fate as the ukulele and stood in silent testimony to our lack of musicality – or perhaps our disinterested laziness. At least the piano, unlike the ukulele, didn’t find its way into our toy box all the time!

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