Stephen Banks

Stephen Banks

Steve was born in New Delhi, India, in 1963. He grew up in North London, learning violin from age 7, and studied Maths at Manchester university. Steve’s career is a tapestry woven of three main threads: music, psychology and spirituality, and economics; but music and psycho-spiritual development have proven to be his calling.

Since the 1990’s Steve has been immersed in the writings of Integral Philosopher, Ken Wilber. He attended the first Integral Ecology conference, in Boulder in 2003. In 2013 Steve set out to compose a large-scale choral work which would give expression to the Integral view of humanity and our place in the Kosmos. The result is ‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio’, a ground-breaking, inspirational work which will have its world premiere on 14.5.22 in London and streamed online. Ken Wilber has described the oratorio as a ‘A superb, exhilarating, magical piece of music.’ There is a demo recording of Blue Pearl, and more information about it, at Steve’s website, Steve has presented about the Blue Pearl oratorio at the Integral European Conferences in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

Steve started his working life as a freelance violinist based in London, playing with a number of top ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. He took time out to travel round the world, during which time he decided to try another avenue, economics. He took the Masters degree in Economics at the London School Of Economics (a well-known training ground for musicians, such as Sir Mick Jagger!), and went on to have a successful career as an economic consultant, which included working with Professor Nick Stern, who subsequently authored the 2006 Stern Review on climate change.

A minor personal crisis during this time led Steve into psychotherapy, and thence to training as a Psychosynthesis counsellor. His personal development journey has included psychodynamic therapy, men’s work, and meditation within the Buddhist tradition. He has also been part of an Integral Christian ‘we-space’ group. Steve combined work as a counsellor with playing music again, drumming – including the west African djembe, singing and playing violin in the Carnival Band, best known for their UK Christmas tours with English folk legend, Maddy Prior. Steve also worked for many years as musician/song writer/actor with Bamboozle Theatre, a company working with children with special needs. Steve formed his own band, Blue Jewel, and has been fiddler and caller for many years with Blue Jewel Ceilidh Band, one of the most sought-after bands in the south-west of England. Steve also has a folk duo, Cosgrave & Banks.

During the 2000’s Steve worked for leadership consultancy, Inner Leadership, applying both Psychosynthesis and the Integral model to organisational leadership. Steve offers Integral workshops, including ‘Demystifying Mysticism’. He is a qualified Mindfulness teacher and offers Mindfulness courses and 1-1 coaching.


Posts by Stephen Banks


Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio

The world premiere of Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio, composed by Steve Banks and performed on 14th May 2022, at St Giles’ Cripplegate, London.

Blue Pearl is an ground-breaking new oratorio for choir, four solo singers and orchestra. It is inspired by the writing of American mystical philosopher, Ken Wilber, and his Integral vision.


Sex, Death, and the Creative Mystery


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Stuart Davis talks to host Steve Banks about his own creative process, the central themes that inform his art, and how he unpacks the radical unknowable mystery at the center of the creative furnace. Stuart and Steve focus on two themes in particular: sex and death (aka eros and thanatos, creativity and destruction, the self-transcending and self-dissolving drives shared by all holons in the Kosmos). They also explore how these themes are all expressions of a single primordial creative lineage running through all of our human activities, and indeed through all manifestations in this universe.