What is MokshaMusic and what are the instruments you use?
MokshaMusic is the collaborative project of myself (Will Thornton) and Jason Kalidas. One part of Moksha, is the exploration of live music, healing sound, and Mantra’s, as part of workshops and retreats. Working alongside teachers and facilitators, we assist in deepening the practices by adding the dimension of music as part of the unfolding of the group. We play all music live so that we can work with the energy and dynamic flow of the moment. The instrumentations we use are tabla’s, harmonium, bansuri flute, vocals, soundscapes, and other percussions. It really is a joy to play music that nurtures a groups energy as they do Yoga, Thai Chi, Meditation, Dance and other conscious practices.
The other part of Moksha is the teaching and facilitation of Bhakti Yoga. At Yoga teacher training, for example, we teach the different ways in which mantra’s, chants, and sound intonations have been used as a powerful tool of transformation. We always make this as experiential for people as possible by practising in the group and feeling the effects directly. This way the great practices and understandings of the Yogic Masters that have been passed down are experienced first hand.
How long have you been playing these instruments?
Jason and I have been studying our respective instruments for over 18 years now. Periodically taking trips to India to study with some of the great teachers there.
How long did you have to train to learn the instruments?
Jason has had a lifelong journey exploring the depths of Indian classical music and is dedicated to the mastery of Tabla and Bansuri flute. I have focused more on understanding Mantras and the power of sound as a healing art. I have also studied piano, orchestration, and western music. Together we aim to create a rich tapestry of music that has the depth of the ancient yet is simple and accessible for all to experience.
How did you get into playing this type of music?
We both spent most of our adult lives on the journey of conscious/spiritual development. Exploring Yoga, Meditation, Sound healing, Movement and other practices. This has influenced the kind and style of music we create. Delving into the incredible emotional responses we have to music, and how it can uplift the spirit, is an ongoing journey for both of us.
What is Kirtan?
Kirtan is a musical experience that utilises the power of Mantra’s, to expand the mind and open the heart. It is a joyful practice in which everybody participates in singing, as we play music, lead call and response chanting. It can be a very deep meditative experience, right through to an incredibly ecstatic one, where people dance and sing in bliss. The power of the Mantras used can be traced back thousands of years, and have been described by many great masters as the most powerful tool for inner transformation. Kirtan is one of those things that has to be experienced, and at the end will leave you in a deep state of inner peace.
What is Bhakti yoga?
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. What that really means is the practice of turning the mind within and experiencing the deep love that resides at the heart. It is natural for us to want to love and be loved, and in Bhakti yoga we aim to open the heart to experience a love for life itself. In these ancient practices, one gets a tangible experience of the Divinity that lies within all beings.
What type of events do you play at?
We generally play at all events that have a conscious or spiritual focus. That includes Yoga events, meditation retreats, workshops and ecstatic dance etc. But we do also play at festivals and world music events.