Esplanade Presents


MONO: Pilgrimage of the Soul


24 Nov 2022, Thu, 8pm

1hr 15mins

(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Annexe Studio

Sold Out

Photo Credit: Chris Jenner

Released in 2021, Pilgrimage of the Soul is the 11th studio album by Japanese experimental rock legends, MONO. Recorded and mixed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, Pilgrimage of the Soul is aptly named as it not only represents the peaks and valleys of the band as they enter their third decade, but also charts MONO’s long, steady journey to this time and place. 


Continuing the subtle but profound creative progression in the MONO canon that began with Nowhere Now Here (2019), Pilgrimage of the Soul is arguably the most dynamic MONO album to date. Where MONO’s foundation was built on the well-established interplay of whisper quiet and devastatingly loud, Pilgrimage of the Soul crafts its magic with mesmerizing new electronic instrumentation and textures, perhaps most notably with faster tempos that are clearly influenced by disco and techno. It all galvanizes as the most unexpected MONO album to date, replete with surprises and as awash in splendor as anything the band has ever done. 


MONO began in Japan at the end of the 20th Century as a young band equally inspired by the pioneers of moody experimental rock (My Bloody Valentine, Mogwai) and iconic classical composers (Beethoven, Morricone) who came before them. They have evolved into one of the most inspiring and influential experimental rock bands in their own right. It is only fitting that their evolution has come at the glacial, methodical pace that their patient music demands. MONO is a band who puts serious value in nuance, and offers significant rewards for the wait. 


Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.

Standing room only.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
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Artist Information


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Based in Tokyo, Japan, MONO is a four-piece instrumental rock band originally formed in 1999. Their unique approach of combining moving orchestral arrangements and shoegaze guitar noise is held in extremely high regard; so much so that the band’s musicianship and diverse musical palette has eclipsed the rock genre and exists within its own realm. As British magazine NME once stated, "this is music for the Gods". 


Over the first decade, MONO rapidly established a well-acclaimed status, especially with their live performances. Through their annual world tour comprising around 150 shows, visiting now over 59 countries, both critics and fans of rock music agree their sheer euphoric, dynamic resonance of performance make MONO one of the best live bands in existence. A particularly memorable and monumental occasion was when the band celebrated their 10th anniversary with a special set of orchestra shows in New York, Tokyo, London and Melbourne; which was later immortalised as the live album Holy Ground. MONO now also proudly holds the title of being one of the most internationally successful bands in Japan.  


Outside of the studio and live music, MONO has also made its name as a film score composer. After releasing 10 successful albums, the band received the highly regarded award, The Marshall Hawkins Awards: Best Musical Score - Featurette from the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema for their collaborative short film Where We Begin in 2015.The band was also nominated for Ariel Award for Best Original Music Score for the feature film The 4th Company which was released in 2016. 


In 2018, MONO began a new journey. After welcoming the new drummer Dahm, the band started to prepare for the celebration of their second decade as a band and during this time, they received a special invitation to be one of the headliners of London's Meltdown Festival, personally requested by 2018’s curator, Robert Smith of The Cure. This was an unforgettable gesture and honour for the band, especially coming from one of the band's long-time inspirations. The stage was then shared with artists such as My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Mogwai and Deftones. 


The band's 20th anniversary was welcomed in the following year. To commemorate this occasion, the 10th album Nowhere Now Here was released alongside a year-long world tour, consisting of four special orchestra shows in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London, ending in March 2020. One of the orchestra events, held at the historic Barbican Hall in London, performed to a rapt sold-out audience of 2,000, was similarly immortalised as a live album Beyond the Past, which charted at #2 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Albums in the US. 


Now, MONO enters their third decade with their first creation and 11th album Pilgrimage of the Soul. Released in September 2021, the album was recorded and mixed—cautiously, anxiously, yet optimistically—during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, with one of the band’s longtime partners, Steve Albini. 

Date & Time

24 Nov 2022, Thu


Esplanade Annexe Studio
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Cat 1 $80 $72

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Esplanade&Me Specials – Meitei x MONO Package (From 1 Sep 2022)

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