Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Sacred Chant Concert
& Ramesh Kannan
doors open at 7pm
MacMillan Theatre website
University of Toronto
Faculty of Music
80 Queen's Park Crescent
A 2 minute walk South of Bloor & Avenue Road
Just West of Museum subway station
Behind the Planetarium
At the South end of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
$55 (+$7.15 HST) Front Orchestra (Rows A-F)
$40 (+$5.20 HST) Rear Orchestra (Rows G-T)
$25 (+$3.25 HST) Balcony
At the door
$65 (+$8.45 HST) Front Orchestra (Rows A-F)
$50 (+$6.50 HST) Rear Orchestra (Rows G-T)
$35 (+$4.55 HST) Balcony
MacMillan Theatre seating plan
(available in advance, by phone or in person)
Groups of 10 or more
(a 10% discount)
$49.50 (+$6.44 HST) Front Orchestra (Rows A-F)
$36.00 (+$4.68 HST) Rear Orchestra (Rows G-T)
$22.50 (+$2.93 HST) Balcony
Snatam Kaur personifies the meaning of her name: universal, nucleus, and friend to all. These themes have expressed themselves in a variety of ways throughout her life, and are particularly present in her music.
The sincerity and depth of commitment that this artist brings to her music is firmly rooted in a life of devotion. Soon after her birth in 1972, in the beautiful mountain town of Trinidad, Colorado, Snatam’s parents turned to the teachings and lifestyle of the Sikh tradition and became students of the renowned Kundalini yoga master, Yogi Bhajan. Snatam heard Yogi Bhajan’s teachings at her parents’ side and a close relationship developed between the venerated teacher and the very young pupil. One day, before she was even two, Snatam began to chatter away in the middle of class; Yogi Bhajan stopped speaking, looked over at her and said, “You’ll have your turn soon to teach, little one.” Indeed, Snatam has fulfilled this forecast, teaching yoga, chants, and meditation to both children and adults.
As a musician she shared sacred chants and music at the 3HO Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations in New Mexico and Florida, events that bring together the American Sikh community with yoga students and other spiritual seekers. While practicing with Livtar Singh and Guru Ganesha Singh, all three realized the power of their music together and under the name Peace Family, they recorded an album entitled “Reunion.” The group produced two other recordings: To Heaven and Beyond, and Carry Us Home.In 1997, Snatam began a career as a food technologist for Peace Cereals in Eugene, Oregon. She used her scientific training to help create the Peace Cereal line, among other cereal flavors and healing foods.
In 2000, Snatam signed a record contract with Spirit Voyage Records in Sterling, Virginia, and remains with the label to this day. Guru Ganesha Singh, the founder of Spirit Voyage Records, has served as her guitar player and manager. He has been a positive support in Snatam’s music career, and has helped to bring together many energies and people in the mission of getting the sacred music out.
Since 2001, Snatam accompanied by the Spirit Voyage Ensemble musicians, has been a bright star in the popular chant music genre. Grace, her most recent recording, quickly rose to the top of industry bestseller lists. Shanti, her previous recording, was her second solo effort and an impressive follow-up to her highly acclaimed first solo release, Prem.
Snatam’s uplifting vocals on all three recordings are tastefully enriched by cross-cultural instrumentation. Rhythmic tabla beats punctuate the chants. Piano, sitar, santour, and flute melodies delightfully enhance the spirit of the recording. Thomas Barquee’s brilliant production makes it all shine and the power of Snatam’s devotion is the force that inspires and moves.
“My Guru is the sacred Sound Current, or Naad,” states Snatam. “The experience of creating an album or preparing to perform is for me tuning into the living and breathing consciousness of Sound Current, which for me is the Guru, or Divine Teacher.”
Many of the songs on Snatam’s recordings are ancient chants sung in Gurumukhi, the sacred language of the Sikhs. Other songs are in English. This aptly reflects her upbringing, which frequently bridged two worlds.
“The way that I relate to these sacred chants is that the chants are a living spirit and they enter into my life to bring healing and blessings or whatever I need at that time,” explains Snatam. “I learned about the importance of sound currents from Yogi Bhajan, and I experienced how the energy of these sacred words can have a very real, positive effect.”
For Snatam, the sacred chants of the Sikhs as well as chants from other faiths are an important expression for healing, peace, and social change.
Music and its power to transform and heal has always been a passion for Ramesh Kannan. Growing up in a musical household, the healing power of music was introduced to him at a very young age. His mother, an accomplished carnatic vocalist, started him on tabla drums at the age of 8. His lifelong musical journey has lead him to learn a wide array of percussive instruments including drum set, djembe, dumbek, udu, cajon and many melodic instruments including guitar, bass, and voice. Tabla remains to be Ramesh's discipline and focal instrument.
Friday, January 7, 2011
"Kirtan is a participatory, cross-cultural music experience that incorporates the audience into the performance. This call-and-response sacred experience is swiftly gaining popularity throughout the U. S. as it follows on the heels of the yoga movement. All ages and cultural backgrounds are welcome to the event - no prerequisites for participation.
Though it involves music, the practice of kirtan is not about musical ability or training, it is about the heart. These ancient chants contain powerful healing and transformational energies that serve to reconnect us to the Ever-present Eternal Self that is inherent in all Beings. All the mantras, melodies and instruments are used to lead us toward this meditative state. Although the language of kirtan is often Sanskrit, the true language of kirtan is universal; it is the language of the heart. As part of the bhakti yoga path (devotional), kirtan utilizes nada yoga, the yogic science of sound. Through absorbtion in the sound, the eternal love that lies within each of our hearts can awaken. Chanting the different names and aspects of the divine, by calling out to the divine, we naturally reflect upon and call forth the inner Divine. Indeed, this call-and-response style chanting, is a means of finding our way back to the core of our being, to our heart, and to our connection to each other."
Adapted from www.raganiworld.com
Kirtan is a traditional yogic call-and-response singing of mantra, a practice that can draw participants inside to a meditative state. Singing changes the rate of the breath and facilitates greater awareness of the Divine within all things and all beings. If the spirit moves you...singing (whether you think you are good at it or not) is encouraged!!...and you are also welcome to just come and listen!