Your chance to learn about sacred chanting in Los Angeles

For our readers in and around Los Angeles, maybe mark your calendar for Dec. 13.

That’s when Naren Schreiner of Sangita Yoga will be up here — at the Center for Yoga / Larchmont Yoga Works — leading a workshop on sacred chanting.

Link to the promotional flyer is right here. (You also can preregister at that link.)

A few details: It runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $30. A quick rundown:

Naren K. Schreiner and Lopamudra Bose will teach sacred chants of India, including correct pronunciation coaching, and the foundations of sacred and yogic chanting.

Lots more at the flyer. Previous info on Sangita Yoga at our site is here. As we’ve noted, Naren has a compassionate and deeply devoted approach to teaching people to sing or understand the fundamentals of chanting. More on Sangita is right here. Also, Naren has a new album of sacred music out. Info here.

Posted by Steve

LA, Boulder: Here’s your chants to explore India’s sacred music

Oh, yeah, I went there.

Two upcoming events — one in Boulder, the other here in LA — feature Naren Schreiner of Sangita Yoga, who has performed kirtan and Indian sacred music at the past couple Ashtanga Yoga Confluences.

Up first is Boulder, at Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop. One is a workshop on chants, the other a more “traditional” performance of bhajans. Both are happening the weekend of Nov. 8-9; day one is $30, day two is $20:

In ancient India, chanting formed a path of Yoga — union of soul and Spirit. This simple and profound discipline is an important part of spiritual life.

In this workshop you will learn about the sacred foundations of chanting and music, how to use your voice yogically, and how to pronounce and chant simple Sanskrit slokas.

A month later, Naren will roll up from Encinitas to LA, at the Yoga Works “Center for Yoga,” where both Tim Miller and Pattabhi Jois have taught:

Discover how India’s tradition of sacred music is an integral part of yoga and spiritual living. Naren will introduce India’s tradition of sacred music in the context of yoga practice and the spiritual lifestyle. This interactive and experiential class will include live and recorded music demonstrations as well as guided practice intended for all levels—no musical experience is required.

In this workshop you will learn:

• An overview of the art and science of India’s sacred music.
• The effects of music and sound on your body, mind, and spirit.
• The function of your voice as a sacred instrument of speech, mantra and chanting.
• Practical instruction in correct pronunciation of Sanskrit and Hindi.
• Daily practices to help you bring sacred music into your own life.

All levels welcome. No musical experience required.

Cost is $30. Registration is at the link above.

Posted by Steve

Support the spread of sacred Indian music

On Friday, into our inbox came news that Naren Schreiner of Sangita Yoga — playing in a few weeks at the Confluence — is set to record an album of sacred (and traditional) Indian music.

And he’s appealing for support. (Krishna Das did it, after all.) Here’s the PayPal link.

But you’re probably wondering what’s going to be on the album. Here’s a peak:

– Hanuman Chalisa (Varanasi) — sung in a traditional melody from Varanasi, the ancient city where the Chalisa was written by Tulasidas over 500 years ago. 
– Madhuranam Gurunam — a kirtan honoring all true Sat-Gurus and the sweetness (madhura) that their name invokes.
– Om Kali — a joyous kirtan to Mother Kali, of the famous Dakshineshwar Temple,  where India’s great spiritual renaissance of this age began.
– Atmashtakam — a centuries old song by Adi Shankara, known as “Shivohum”, declaring our true nature as the Atma (soul). 
– Sanskrit invocations to Guru, Saraswati (Goddess of Music) and more!….

We’ve written a bit about him, having seen him perform a few times and taken an afternoon class with him. Naren brings a non-egotist, caring, deep, solemn and beautiful perspective to the music. (I’ll go out on the karma limb and say that too much kirtan we’ve experienced seems to involve singers singing their own names when chanting “Ram,” “Krishna” or “Shiva,” if that meaning comes through. Naren and those he performs with are an exception.)

As is the case with these types of fundraisers, he’s offering you something beyond the good feeling of supporting his effort. These include two signed advanced copies of the album (on CD) for $50; a signed copy plus a certificate for an hour class with him for $108; and a home concert for $1,008.

Naren’s aiming for a production cost of $6,000; he noted Krishna Das’ new album cost $50,000.

You also can send him a check (avoiding a 3% processing fee):

Sangita Yoga
20371 Sun Valley Dr.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Be sure to provide contact information with your contribution
so that we can follow up with you.

I’m sure those of  you going to the Confluence could ask him more, too.

Posted by Steve

It’s 4 a.m., so why not the Hanuman Chalisa?

A little video preview for Krishna Das’ upcoming kirtan album, Kirtan Wallah. Available, you won’t be surprised to know, at his website.

A little about it: “This is a preview of the live version of track 5 “4AM Hanuman Chalisa” on Krishna Das’s April 2014 album release “Kirtan Wallah”. This live kirtan was filmed on New York City in October 2013. ”

Posted by Steve

The yoga of music goes to college

It’s not secret we’re big fans of Naren Schreiner, who leads Sangita Yoga — the Yoga of Music — and performed at last year’s Ashtanga Yoga Confluence and will be doing so again in May.

He brings a sweet, light, quietly devotional perspective to music, focusing it on honoring the Divine. (Yes, somehow quiet even though it is music. And from our experience, it seems like a lot of kirtan leaders are celebrating themselves when they sing and not you know who/what.)

So we are happy to pass on the following video, although we also have to say we aren’t fans of the location! (That’s for you college football fans… er… fan?)

Posted by Steve

Krishna Das announces release date for new album

We’ve covered Krishna Das pretty consistently, although we haven’t said much about his crowd-sourced new album, mainly because it was already well above its goal when we saw it — sort of suggesting it didn’t need the “Confluence bump.”

But now the new album, Kirtan Wallah, has a release date, so we’ll let you know. It’s coming April 15. Tax Day.

Hey. We just did tell you. It’ll be available both digitally and on CD. (Too bad no album release; albums sound better.)

Here’s a little description:

With the release of his 14th album, Kirtan Wallah-one who sings kirtan, KD offers a westward-leaning album, fully embracing his American roots in rock and country and yet embodying the spirit of deeply devotional Indian chants. There are some traditional melodies that would be right at home in an Indian temple, his rich baritone voice and harmonium leading the chants. But at its heart, this album is a natural confluence of KD’s musical streams, bansuri flute weaving its way through acoustic guitars and country swing, and tabla and kartals underscoring melodies that would fit well in the Townes Van Zandt catalog.

There’s a “4 a.m. Hanuman Chalia” on the track list.

Here’s an 11-minute video on the album’s making:

Posted by Steve