'˜Rock star' monks set for Edinburgh performance

The Dalai Lama's Gyuto Monks of Tibet are to visit Edinburgh for a one-night-only performance this December.

Friday, 27th October 2017, 6:50 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:35 pm
The Gyuto Monks of Tibet pose at Glastonbury Festival

The six-strong group will perform at Broughton St Mary’s Parish Church on December 19 as part of their Open Mind, Open Heart Tour, which sees them stop off in various locations across Europe throughout the final two months of the year. Other stops on their tour include France, Switzerland and Oban.

In each performance they share their sacred chants and traditions, educating listeners in a style of music they are unlikely to have come across before.

The Gyuto Monks chant in deep, resonating harmony, believing their sound evokes positive feelings for the listener.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Press Assistant Gillian Kavanagh, who has helped to organise the project, said “we are very excited. It really is a brilliant opportunity to bring the Monks here to the UK.”

Asked what the public can expect from a performance, she explained: “They have a unique way of throat singing.

“They use their traditional Tibetan instruments, which are horns and bells, and what we have found is that it is quite an uplifting experience.

“They are like the rock stars of the Tibetan world,” Kavanagh explains – and they certainly got a taste of the rockstar lifestyle when they opened Glastonbury Music Festival in 2016. They also sold out the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Kavanagh says that despite their “rockstar” status, the group have remained spiritual and humble, radiating acceptance and love without judgement.

“They are not at all caught up in this cult-like status. They are very ordinary, humble, spiritual monks” she says. “They really love being with ordinary people, especially the young. They have gone into high schools and they like meeting people.”

Millions around the world have benefited from their music, which is said to generate connection, love and compassion in the listener.

Organiser Jean-Paul Mertinez of Illumina Studios & Media Ltd enjoys a special relationship with the monks. “I am honoured to be welcoming His Holiness’ Gyuto Monks of Tibet back to the UK – they are very special people,” he 

“To witness their culture and chanting concerts in community settings is to be transported and connected to a 600-year-old living musical tradition that I’m sure is as powerful and profound today as it was way back then.”

Masters of Tibetan Buddhist ritual, the Gyuto Monks are performing to raise money for the day-to-day running of their monastery back in India, which houses over 500 Tibetan monks. Tickets can be bought on the door of the Bellevue Crescent venue, or in advance through www.illuminastudios.net.