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Deva Premal & Miten - Music in the Key of Love

MantraFest Tour

The age of yoga is upon us. With yoga studios opening in every town across the

United States, millions of people are enjoying yoga’s stress-reducing and life-enhancing benefits.

In the world of music, many top recording artists are yoga aficionados, including Alanis Morissette, Nora Jones, Sting and Sarah McLachlan, who recently appeared on the cover of Yoga Journal. However it is yoga-based mantra chanting that is changing the way people listen to — and feel — the yogic effects of music.

Deva Premal & Miten have been a central part of the chant-based culture shift. For the past 21 years the two have been merging the ancient mantras with new rhythms and musical beats, creating a sound that is deeply rooted in tradition, but appeals to a modern audience. Deva & Miten’s fans include Anthony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Cher, who featured one of Deva’s most popular chants, the Gayatri Mantra, on her Farewell Tour.

Deva & Miten, along with band-mates Manose Newa and Maneesh de Moor, released a new album in April called A DEEPER LIGHT. To celebrate the new album, Deva and Miten are launching a MantraFest Tour with their friends and fellow mantra pioneers, The GuruGanesha Band. The tour, which kicks off Sep 10, 2013, extends from Montreal to Miami, and will visit Boston MA, Bridgeport CT, New York City, and Philadelphia PA. For information on dates and locations visit www.brightstarevents.net.

"Mantras and Rock n’ Roll – The Mystical and the Mythic"

Miten, a child of the 1960s, grew up in the countercultural environment of England, and recalls that "at that time, England was alive with rock ‘n’ roll music and the sound of The Beatles. Everywhere you went it was on the street. It was a time of innocence, a time when you could sense the possibility that life has no boundaries." With The Beatles and other cultural icons, such as Allen Ginsberg, discovering the mystical traditions of India, Tibet and Nepal in the late 1960s, new sounds and contemplative practices were being introduced into the Western arts and culture scene.

Miten established a successful career in the 1970s as a singer/songwriter, touring with such stars as Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed and Ry Cooder. During this time he released two well-received albums, one produced by The Kinks, and another by noted Los Angeles producer Bones Howe for Ariola Records. But while this time was thrilling, the rock and roll lifestyle left him unfulfilled: "I found myself in my 30’s asking questions — I was looking for something more substantial in my life than the usual diet of sex, drugs and rock and roll."

In his search for answers, Miten left the world of rock behind – even selling his beloved guitars – and entered into a new life of possibilities as a member of a spiritual community, where he discovered an ancient, yet new, approach to music: "It was an amazing revelation. I wasn’t prepared for the healing power of the music that was happening and it turned my head to what real sacred music was – even though it was western in style, it still had the most uplifting and spiritual nature, especially the ‘Music Groups’ and the Sufi dances. All this music, along with a life of communal integration, healed me from whatever wounds I’d been carrying around from my former life in music, and life in general."

By 1990, when Miten met Deva Premal, he was leading music groups for thousands of people at the Osho Ashram in Poona, India. Despite difference in age and life history, Deva recalls that, "Although I was 20 years old and he was 42, our hearts immediately connected. I felt good whenever we were together. We laughed a lot... and still do."

For the past six years, Deva and Miten have had the pleasure of collaborating with Manose, the internationally renowned bansuri (bamboo flute) maestro and one of Nepal’s top recording artists. The founder of the rock group AD1974, Manose is part of the world music movement, merging genres, traditions and sounds, while at the same time, introducing traditional Nepalese music to new audiences. For Deva and Miten, working with Manose has been a seamless process: "Manose has a great grasp of Western music," Miten shares. "When we first started working together, he walked into the studio and I had the track already going. He just picked up the flute and rolled with it." Manose danced with Deva and Miten’s voices and energy and now they consider him part of their "love bubble."

Today, chant and popular culture are joining together more and more, as seen in the growing attendance at music and yoga festivals across the country. In June of 2008, the music industry was star-struck to watch the recording by a group of German monks singing Gregorian chants skyrocket to top the iTunes and Billboard charts.

Deva and Miten love that the music they have been quietly creating for 21 years is reaching wider and wider audiences. They anticipate their new album, A Deeper Light, will continue to unlock the secret of mantras for an entirely new generation, eager to engage with their ‘inner’ technologies. The new album expands on the chant tradition that couples Miten’s lush arrangements with Deva’s rich vocal tones. Dutch keyboardist Maneesh de Moor adds sensuous, dub basslines highlighted by Manose’s ethereal flute.

One thing is certain, Deva Premal & Miten are never ones to sit back on their meditation pillows or rest on their laurels – their new album and 2013 US Tour will continue to stretch the boundaries of the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative – a testament to their artistry and their commitment to the endless beauty of the mantra.

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