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Thursday, September 29, 2005

An Evening of Kirtan Chanting with Dave Stringer

As if Sunday, October 2nd weren't already full enough with alternative music-related events -- Pagan Pride takes over the Whole Music Club, The Nordic Roots Festival wraps up at the Cedar, 89.3's Guest Session Sundays kicks off at the Fitzgerald with guests Happy Apple, and Drinking with Ian films a new episode at the 7th Street Entry (see the HWTS calendar for details on show times) -- Dave Stringer brings Kirtan Chanting (an ancient form of Sanskrit singing) to the Yoga Center of Minneapolis.

Kate Galloway of Vamp Music Source, who represents Stringer, says he puts a "definite contemporary edge" on what he does, and pointed out he used to play rock music, for anyone scared by the new-agey sound to it.

Check out some MP3's here. And read more details below:

Dave Stringer has been profiled in Time, Billboard, In Style, and Yoga Journal as a leader of the new American kirtan movement. Kirtan (from the Sanskrit word meaning "to sing") is an ancient practice of mantra chanting that has become popular as a participatory live music experience in hundreds of yoga studios across the U.S. As Dave says, at a kirtan "You’re not just listening to the music, you are the music."

Dave's sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sound of American gospel music. A spontaneous and articulate public speaker, he probes the dilemmas of the spirit with a sly and unorthodox sense of humor. His work translates the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga into inspiring and thoroughly modern participatory theatre, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all.

In the past five years Dave and his band have toured all over the United States, Canada and Europe, giving more than 600 performances. He has collaborated on recordings with Vas, Rasa, Donna De Lory, Axiom of Choice, Suzanne Teng, and Sheila Nicholls, and has performed with other noted kirtan singers Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. His voice can also be heard on the soundtracks of the film Matrix Revolutions and the video game Myst.

About Kirtan:

Kirtan is a folk form that arose from the devotional Bhakti yoga movement of 15th century India. The primary musical feature of kirtan is the use of call and response, a figure that also deeply informs Western bluegrass, gospel music and jazz. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies and the mantras. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing as the rhythms build and accelerate.