Kirtan Training Retreat with Dave Stringer & Sheela Bringi
Feb 18 – 23 at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California
“If you can’t teach me to fly, then teach me to sing”
— from Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie
When you participate in a kirtan, the call and response form of mantra chanting, you’re not just listening to the music: you are the music. As the audience for Kirtan continues to expand, many people are becoming inspired to participate in Kirtan groups, or introduce chanting to their yoga classes. If you are one of those people, this workshop is for you.
At Kirtan Flight School, you have the opportunity to explore and redefine the edges of what music can be when the crowd is itself an instrument. Both experienced musicians and those rediscovering their own musical selves will walk away with a working body of knowledge about how to move a crowd to participate, and how to employ different musical devices in order to deepen everyone’s experience.
California Esalen Institute Registration (Register directly with Esalen Institute)
What to Expect:
Introductory Level: Participants are organized into small ensembles. Each ensemble chooses a chant, rehearses it together, and presents a kirtan to the rest of the groups. The instructors rotate through the groups, working closely with the participants to develop rhythmic and harmonic concepts, solve problems, and answer questions. The history and philosophy of kirtan are also intensively explored, so participants learn how to present and discuss the mantras.
Instruction will be offered in playing the harmonium and finger cymbals, and a limited number of these instruments will be on hand for use by all. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own musical instruments with them, but it is understood that the most important instruments are human voices and hands. No previous musical experience is necessary.
Advanced Level: The emphasis is on writing and presenting original kirtan compositions, leading your own ensemble and advanced arrangement and performance techniques. Participants should have completed at least one previous Kirtan Flight School at the Introductory Level, or be actively leading regular kirtans with a local community. Proficiency in playing a musical instrument is recommended.