The remarkable Monks of the Desert, who spend their daily hours praying for peace, working and studying in silence, have entered the realm of major label music production with their Sony MASTERWORKS debut album Blessings, Peace and Harmony available April 24, 2012.
The Monks of The Desert observe a strict daily prayer schedule called Divine Office, or Opus Dei, which takes place 7 times during the day and once at night, starting at 4:00am and ending at 7:30pm. When not praying or studying, the monks run a multitude of self-sustaining businesses including light manufacturing, brewing beer (Monk's Ale & Monk’s Wit), an on-site “hotel” and community thrift store in Santa Fe and a separate retail store specializing in hand-crafted religious items, books, music, and folk art.
The Monastery of Christ in the Desert is located completely “off-the-grid” in the stunning Chama Canyon wilderness in northwestern New Mexico, about 75 miles north of Santa Fe and 53 miles south of Chama. The solar-powered facility is surrounded by miles of government-protected wilderness, thus assuring and promoting solitude and quiet for the religious life experienced by men from several nations.
Blessings, Peace and Harmony compiles selections from the Monks' four independent recordings of Gregorian chant, and also features four new chants recorded expressly for this new collection. Named after Pope Gregory I, Gregorian chant involves the early Christian liturgical music that originated in medieval times and forms the roots of Western classical music. Consisting solely of melody, the chants are sung unaccompanied and generally by small choral groups--and through the ages have continuously supplied listeners of all circumstances with a soothing sense of solace.