23 years. It all started when they met at Osho's Ashram in Pune India in 1990. Since then they have been living a nomadic life,,going from town to town, making music and connecting with people – and loving it.
“We discovered mantras with Osho, and then Deva rediscovered the Gayatri Mantra. Since then we unhooked and let the wind blow us.”
For them it's a never-ending tour, one they see as an act of love and a matter of creating sacred space – that reminds them of home. Audiences have responded to their call, whether in Greece, or Russia where 4000 people came together to chant Yet even if no one came, they’d be making music. “We would do it anyway, still we are so happy to have people to share it with.”
When you see them preform you may find yourself looking away for just a moment because the love they have for each other radiates so intensely. “When we play it's the same energy as making love,” Miten says, while Deva chuckles a little, but there is no doubt she agrees.
This makes for music that will have you going deep, singing along, swaying to the rhythm, but also makes for an epic love story. “The first time I hugged Deva I knew she was an old soul, older than me, even though I was 20 years older than her.”
When they met, Miten had a long musical history. During the 70's, he released an album called Living On A Shoe String produced by the Kinks, and toured with some of the biggest bands in the industry, including Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed and Ry Cooder. Yet his music didn’t continue to call to him the way it once had. Then he read Osho's No Water No Moon, and it changed everything and inspired him to travel to Osho's ashram, where he found a home, and a sea of endless possibilities, ones he is grateful for, and pretty hardcore about keeping alive. “Music is life and death for me – it keeps me on track, and it's the key to keeping me connected to my spirituality and my guru.”
Deva Premal, which means Divine Loving in Sanskrit, was named by Osho when she was eleven. She grew up in Germany, studied healing arts, including Shiatsu, Reflexology, CranioSacral Therapy and massage, before she met Miten in her early 20's. While he was a seasoned musician, besides chanting with her parents, Deva had never made music before he asked her to do it with him. It was a life changing moment. “It was literally the first time I ever played with anyone - it was the most amazing gift.”
At first Miten took the musical lead, with Deva taking a supportive role. While the music was nourishing, she was looking for something. “I knew I had to find my own wings, but I didn’t know how that would happen. I was shy and insecure, in some ways like a shadow.”
All that changed when the Gayatri Mantra came back into her life seven years later at a concert in England. She was no stranger to the mantra. Her mother sang it to her while she was in the womb, and long after she was born. For a while they sang it together until Deva realized it wasn’t part of German culture, and as teens, do let it go.
But in that moment, singing the Gayatri Mantra, feeling its vibration she found her voice. “I was so surprised Icould sing without shyness, without insecurity, without effort. Finding it again after so long was a beautiful homecoming,” she says. Miten was blown away by the change. “I had never seen her so relaxed and absolutely calm. There was no fear, no excitement, just the music and the Gayatri Mantra. It was a revelation.”
And an evolutionary moment in their music. Since then they have made the Gayatri Mantra their own, or perhaps it's the other way around, it's hard to say. But what is for sure is that you will experience its vibration for yourself at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center on September 26th at 7:30 pm.
Tickets cost between $35 and $75 and are available through the Tribeca Performing Arts Center or by clicking here. Its going to be an amazing night, so buy one before they sell out.