profiled in Time, Billboard, In Style, and Yoga Journal as a leader of the new American kirtan movement. His sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sound of American gospel.
Initially trained as a visual artist and jazz musician, Dave first started chanting mantras when a film editing project brought him to the ashram of Swami Muktananda in India. Continuing his studies of the traditions of yoga under the guidance of Swami Chidvilasananda, he began teaching meditation to prison inmates and leading kirtan at yoga studios.
Dave and his band tour tirelessly, performing throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. An articulate and engaging public speaker, he probes the dilemmas of the spirit with a wry and unorthodox sense of humor. His work intends to create a modern and participatory theatrical art form out of the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all.
Dave Stringer's website: www.davestringer.com
Workshop: Arc of Ascent: An Evening of Kirtan
Tuesday, April 1 -
Special Evening Event 8:00 PM -10:00PM
“I don’t know which to prefer, the beauty of inflections, or the beauty of innuendoes.
The blackbird whistling, or just after.” --- Wallace Stevens
“Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.” --- Arundhati Roy
The call and response form of mantra chanting known as Kirtan is a consciousness-transforming practice, directing the singers to vanish into the song as drops merge into the ocean. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing as the rhythms of tablas, finger cymbals, harmonium, tamboura, electric bass, guitar and trumpet build and accelerate. The mantras are projected overhead, making them simple to follow.
Yoga doesn’t ask us to believe, it asks us to practice, examining our experience until we can witness the truth in the book of our own heart. The mantras are primarily recitations of names given to the divine. But perhaps the true understanding of the practice of kirtan can be found in the sense of unity, well-being and timelessness it elicits. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart. Ecstasy is both the process and the product.