Raphaël Pinel was born in 1975 in a musicians family in Cherbourg, France, and was inspired by Irish and French traditional music. As a child he has been traveling to Ireland with his father (violin player) and had his first public performances by playing in the street with his father from the age of 12. From that he developed a strong sense of self-confidence, spontaneity and joyful creativity, as he realised that you can just be yourself in public, taking risks to experiment a lot in front of the audience.
After his baccalaureat (A-level) he studied music at the University of Rennes Haute-Bretagne (France) from 1993-1996 and obtained a DEUG (Diplome d'Études Universitaires Générales), a University Diploma in Music. He learned the celtic harp with Anne-Marie Jan.
At the same time his style opened from the pure Irish traditional music to many different styles: jazz, world-music and improvised music in general. He learned jazz-piano and harmony, played in Brazilian Batucada (percussion ensemble), attented some workshops with Shyamal Maitra (Indian percussion master) and several other masters, learned Jazz-improvisation with the Andy Emler Megaoctet. He studied by himself Balkan and oriental rhythms which he incorporated in his compositions, mixing uncommon asymetric rhythms with celtic melodies and French songs
Multi-instrumentalist Shakya Matthias Grahe grew up in a family of classical musicians with his main instruments being violoncello and piano. During his odyssey through studies of mechanical engineering, business administration and working as business consultant, the deep longing for music and free expression kept knocking on his door. It lead him to the exploration of pop and rock, jazz, latin, meditative and freely improvised music with guitar, voice, dilruba and percussion. He appeared as guest musician on many new age CDs.
Shakya lives now in a spiritual commune in Bonn. He plays regularily in different ensembles and offers events for dance, healing and meditation. In 2011 he opened a recording studio with his musical friend Raphaël.