PETER MORLEY (Zen Yogi, Sri Shanthi Bhavana)
Musician, Composer & Producer of Transcendental Soundscape Therapy Music, and Smooth Jazz, Ambient Cafe and Ambient Guitar Soundscapes
Recording Artist Names: Peter Morley / Shantha Sri / Sri Shanthi Bhavana
Graduate Diploma of Film & Television Music - Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, Australia
Level 1: Certified Integral Sound Healing with Tibetan Singing Bowls - Sound Healing Academy, UK
- Sound Healers Association (SHA)
- International Sound Therapy (IST)
- International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT)
- International Energetic Healing Association (IEHA)
- American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)
Peter Morley (Sri Shanthi Bhavana) is based on the beautiful south coast of Western Australia.
He has produced 35 albums.
Peter studied Film & Television Music at Griffith University, Queensland Conservatorium and is a graduate of that program.
He is also a graduate of the Sound Healing Academy in the UK, in Integral Sound Healing with Tibetan Singing Bowls.
In 2001, Peter Morley began experimenting with creating music ‘soundscapes’, and he formed Energi Music. His first album, “Celestial” in that year was the result of experimenting with creating minimalist music. Over the next few years several more albums followed, including “Calm Light” and “Seascape” – both referred to as Meditational Journeys. The first 13 albums were published by Energi Music.
On becoming a Buddhist Yogi, and receiving the yogi spiritual name, Shantha Sri, he began recording as an artist under this name. Later this spiritual name evolved to become Sri Shanthi Bhavana. Recordings can be found in all three names: Peter Morley, Shantha Sri and Sri Shanthi Bhavana.
Sri Shanthi Bhavana is a Zen Buddhist Yogi, a Yoga Teacher specialising in Adapted Therapeutic Yoga. He teaches meditation and sound therapy techniques (Nada Yoga Meditation), using his specialist music soundscapes as the basis for reconnecting with our natural resonance (frequencies).
Sri Shanthi Bhavana is the official music composer/ producer for "The Optimal State of Living Yoga School" (providing healing soundscape music and audio content for the prestigious 865 Yoga Therapist Training Program), California, US.
ZEN MUSIC was launched in 2019, as the name was a perfect entity for his Zen Buddhist life philosophy.
ZEN MUSIC has continued to create music that is centred in the intention of stimulating the so-called relaxation response in the brain – to help people find relaxation, calmness and inner peace, through contemplation.
“In the early years (2001–2009), I was primarily engaged in creating what I called ‘soundscapes’ – I was working on my own and in the ‘dark’, because I had no peers or frames of reference for this work. I had no idea what I was doing. I only had my 'gut feeling', or intuition, which I have come to trust. The music was there, flowing into my head and heart from the Universe – I just knew I had to record what was coming up for me, naturally”
“If you’re not pushing the edge, as an artist... then you are stuck in the middle, and who wants to be there?” - Peter Morley
Soundscapes - Influences
I am very much influenced by the work of music luminaries such as Erik Satie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Larry Carlton, Bill Frisell, Kitaro, Max Richter and Nils Frahm, as well as the mesmeric drones - guitar and keyboard work - of Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones).
What I was creating – 'pictorial music' (what the Japanese Zen Masters call 'mind-scapes') – did not necessarily fit typical commercial music genre classifications. At best, it was framed as Ambient, Alternative or New Age, but I knew that I was definitely not ‘mainstream’. A lot of my work revolves around drones, and they represent an ancient, mesmeric sound, wonderful by themselves or as a solid background upon which simply tones and melodies can be placed.
Drones are all you need!
We always used drones when we were making music - one kind or another - either layered guitars or keyboard, and the hurdy-gurdy allowed us to have this 'sonic mystery' sound... the drones are so moving. Every time you get out of the Anglo-Saxon world, the drones (are) there, and that's all you need.
- Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin
Later, thanks to the advent of the Internet and to my great delight, I 'discovered' Robert Fripp and Brian Eno (progressive rock), and Herbie Hancock (progressive jazz) – extremely talented music ‘gurus’ – and what I found was that these guys were creating very free-flowing, avant-garde music that seemed to be a genre all its own, and that they had been doing it for a long time.
Mr. Hancock is a pioneer of electronic music in jazz. Mr. Fripp, an exceptionally gifted guitarist and producer coined the term, “Soundscape”. Mr. Eno, a gifted keyboard musician, producer and pioneer of electronic music, created what he calls “Generative Music” – a form of layering tones and repetitive cycles that are never the same, as the music keeps evolving.
These artists have impressive and extensive backgrounds in extending the boundaries of electronic music – through computer assisted, or generated electronic (digital) technology – and its this that has inspired me to reach a little deeper into my own music journey and explore my music self-connection. Artists need to test their limits and expand their range. Another big influence came later in the form of English contemporary composer, Max Richter with his cycling, pattern-based, mix of electronic and orchestral minimalist music designed for relaxation and sleep. His lush, seductive pieces strike a deep emotional response within me. Similarly, the creative work of Nils Frahm, and his philosophy behind it, fits me perfectly. When I listen to his compositions, something in me simply say “yes!”, and I need nothing more.
Although I mention these amazing artists as inspirations for my own humble work, in no way do I wish to draw comparisons between my work and theirs – as I am not worthy of casting a shadow on the sidewalk as their bus passes by (if they ever take a bus). I just watch in amazement from afar, and, enraptured by their every note, I exist in the space between them.
“Music has power. It is like the Spring season that causes flowers to beautifully blossom.” - Herbie Hancock - Jazz Composer, Music legend.
Methodology Behind the Music
At last I found that I was actually part of something – all of these musicians had been experimenting with ‘soundscape music’ based on minimalist repetitive cycling motifs in continuous layers. Another of my inspirations is the French composer and pianist, Erik Satie – a very influential artist in the late 19th and early 20th-century, who championed the avant-garde music movement in Paris, using a minimalist approach with simple, sparse, extroadinarily well-timed motifs and evocatively seductive cyclic repetition.
My soundscapes are carefully constructed in subtle layers – gradually added, and progressively evolve over time – like the repetitive layers of intricate detail in a Paul Cezanne painting, eventually building to reveal the whole image.
The seductive sounds implore the listener to be patient, or perhaps (hopefully) even commit to developing patience to concentrate and really absorb all the parts that lead to constructing the whole sound-painting.
If concentration is discarded after only a few seconds, the full influence of the Zen relaxation process will remain hidden to all but the very patient and committed – for whom the total reward will blossom and open with joyful abundance.
Dr. Juliet Rohde-Brown
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology – Fielding Graduate University
California-based Integrative Clinical Psychologist,
Dr. Juliet Rohde-Brown joined the Energi Music label in 2007 and Peter Morley composed music and produced several spoken word, guided visualization meditation albums with her, including "Feel Welcome Now" , "Feel Forgiveness Now", and
"Chakra Mountain" – a meditation integrating with the healing power of the body Chakras.
[ * "Feel Forgiveness Now" won a place in the Spoken Word category at the world's biggest music awards in Nashville, in 2009]
Dr. Rohde-Brown is the Chair of Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices specialization of the Depth of Psychology program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California. She is a founding member of Tierra Sagrada: Sacred Earth Foundation, an organisation that honours and advocates for indigenous ways of knowing. She has introduced role-play, trauma education, and compassion-somatic based imagery practices to inmates at Corcoran Prison as a volunteer through Restorative Justice Resources. She has also facilitated workshops and retreats at La Casa de Maria for the past two decades and she is a licensed psychologist with a small practice in Carpinteria.
Dr. Rohde-Brown is the author of the book, "Imagine Forgiveness: A Guide for Creating a Joyful Future".
Dr. Rohde-Brown continues to create spoken word, guided visualisations with Zen Music.
Nada Meditation Music (Sound Meditation)
Ascending and descending the musical scale simultaneously causes our awareness to ascend and descend the spine, vibrating every cell along its path and activating groups of nerves that sound healing impulses to the brain and the rest of the body. - Russill Paul
Russill Paul is a world-renowned musician as well as a teacher of Eastern spirituality.