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Dave Stringer

Dave Stringer Main ImageThe Los Angeles Times has declared the experience of chanting with Dave Stringer to be “a departure from ancient kirtan. Stringer’s performance shaped the experience into a far more compelling musical encounter.” Kirtan (pronounced keer-tahn) originated in India, and is currently experiencing a worldwide renaissance as a participatory live music experience. Stringer has been widely profiled as one of the most innovative artists of the new American kirtan movement in publications as diverse as Time, Billboard, Yoga Journal and In Style.

Stringer’s sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sensibility of American gospel, and he is regarded as one of the most gifted singers in the genre. Stringer, who is also an accomplished composer and multi-instrumentalist, has a special ability to bring people together and inspire them to sing. His work intends to create a modern and participatory theatrical experience out of the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all.

Initially trained as a visual artist, filmmaker and jazz musician, Stringer had his formative experiences with chanting when film editing work brought him to the Siddha Yoga ashram in Ganeshpuri, India in 1990. A subsequent period of residence at the ashram laid the foundation for his continuing study of the ideas, practices and music of yoga.

Dave StringerSince 2000, Stringer and a diverse ensemble of accompanying musicians have toured North America and Europe tirelessly, developing new venues for music, and expanding the audience for kirtan. He has introduced chanting for the first time to many seemingly unlikely cities, and through his consistent touring, has been instrumental in the development of a number of thriving local kirtan communities. He has also served as a volunteer teaching meditation and chanting to inmates at a number of correctional facilities in the United States.

An articulate and engaging public speaker, he probes the dilemmas of the spirit with a wry and unorthodox sense of humor. Stringer frequently works in tandem with internationally celebrated yoga teachers, creating music for workshops led by John Friend, Shiva Rea, and Gurmukh, among others. Of particular note has been his friendship and collaboration with yoga teacher Saul David Raye, with whom he has created a number of recordings.

Based in Los Angeles, Stringer has produced varied recordings with other celebrated World musicians including Azam Ali, Vas, Axiom of Choice, Rasa, Suzanne Teng, Shaman’s Dream and the Open Door Orchestra. Chant artists Donna Delory, Suzanne Sterling, and Girish went on to launch their own careers in the genre after spending time in Stringer’s performing and recording ensembles. His voice also appears on numerous soundtracks, including the blockbuster film Matrix Revolutions and the video game Myst. The CDs he has produced under his own name, “Brink”, “Japa”, “Mala” and “Divas & Devas”, are heard in yoga studios throughout the world.

Listen to songs by Dave Stringer

A few comments from Dave …

Dave Stringer strumming“India blasted me into billions of spinning particles and then slowly reshaped me, a process that was somehow simultaneously both excruciating and ecstatic. I can’t begin to claim complete knowledge about all of the layers of history and philosophy and theology represented by the mantras I learned to chant while I was there, but I can attest to their power. I’m not a Sanskrit scholar and not always a particularly focused practitioner, but I am deeply committed to the process of inquiry that the practice of yoga suggests.

I do know that my sustained encounter with mantra chanting has acquainted me with a state of expansive stillness and conscious repose, and that this encounter has irrevocably shifted the course of my art. I once read that Thomas Jefferson took a copy of the Bible and cut out the parts that most resonated with him, then reassembled his selections into a work that reflected his own way of saying his prayers. I suppose it is fair to say that as an artist, I am engaged in something of a similar process with yoga. I don’t know exactly where the journey I am making ends. I’m just trying to report honestly from where I am.

One of the things that interests me most about kirtan is how the responsory aspects of it blur the distinction between performer and audience. I was trained as a visual artist and as a jazz musician, so the lens that I view kirtan through is informed by the perspectives and concerns of the art world. I didn’t start out as a devotee or a bhakti, I became involved with chanting when I was hired to go to India to make some films for an ashram. I was an outsider trying to comprehend what it was that I found so compelling about kirtan, and this outsider perspective has continued to inform and enable the ways that I introduce chanting to the uninitiated.

Kirtan is rooted in a very old and profoundly joyful Eastern tradition. But I don’t know that it is possible for me to be traditional. I’m a Westerner, and I can’t help but bring my own cultural biases with me. My intention, however, is be authentic, in the sense that what I am doing originates in my heart. Yoga points toward awareness of the essential oneness of things, so from this perspective, to align the individual-dissolving Eastern tradition of kirtan with the individual-expressing Western traditions of gospel and jazz and rock music is no contradiction, as they both arise from the same impulse toward expressing what is ecstatic and liberating and transcendent.”

Dave Stringer has a number of albums available in the Find Bliss Music Store with sample tracks of each song, including – Divas and Devas, Japa and Mala.

Download Music by Dave Stringer in the Find Bliss Music Store:

Dave Stringer - Divas and Devas Dave Stringer - Japa Dave Stringer - Mala
Divas & Devas Japa Mala

2008 TOUR SCHEDULE

REGENSBURG, GERMANY
Thursday, October 2
– Sunday, October 5, 2008
Kirtan Flight School
Höllbachhof Retreat Center
www.remembering.de
For more info and regstration contact: [email protected]
www.jivamukti.de

BERLIN, GERMANY
Wednesday, October 8, 7:00 PM
Yoga class with live music
Hanuman’s Move
SalaTeatro – Mittenwalder Str. 15
10961 Berlin
www.hanumansmove.de

BERLIN, GERMANY
Thursday, October 9, 8:15 PM
Workshop
Spirit Yoga – Mitte
Rosenthaler Straße 36
10178 Berlin
www.spirityoga.de

BERLIN, GERMANY
Friday, October 10, 8:15 PM
Kirtan
Spirit Yoga West
Goethestr. 2-3
10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg
www.spirityoga.de

HAMBURG, GERMANY
Saturday, October 11, 8:00 PM
Pantarhei
with special guests Swaha
Ferdinand-Beit-Str. 7b, 3.OG
20099 Hamburg
[email protected]
www.saramayoga.de
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY
Sunday, October 12, 8:00 PM
Vishnu’s Vibes
Inacker & Steffen GbR
Schirmerstraße 61
40211 Düsseldorf
www.vishnusvibes.de

KOELN, GERMANY
Wednesday, October 15, 7:30 PM
The Yogaloft
Neusser Str. 27-29
50670 Koeln
www.theyogaloft.de
UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS
Thursday, October 16, 8:00 PM
Venue TBA
www.yogamoves.nl

DEN BOSCH, NETHERLANDS
Friday, October 17, 8:00 PM
De YogaStudio
Hinthamereinde 17
5211 PLs-Hertogenbosch
www.yogastudio-denbosch.nl
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Saturday, October 18, 8:00 PM
Svaha Yoga
Willemsstraat 133
1015 JB Amsterdam
www.svahayoga.com
ANTWERP, BELGIUM
Sunday, October 19, 7:00 PM
Antwerp Yoga
AntwerpYoga
Frankrijklei 107
2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
www.antwerpyoga.be/index2.htm
PARIS, FRANCE
Friday, October 24, 8:00 PM
Studio Anjali Om
144 Boulevard de la Villette
Paris 75019
www.anjaliom.com
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Saturday, October 25, 8:00 PM
Entre Ciel et Terre
Atelier de Yoga
1267 Vich
[email protected]
www.atelier-yoga.ch
BERN, SWITZERLAND
Sunday, October 26, 7:30 PM
Die Quelle
Museumstrasse 10
3005 Bern
www.die-quelle.ch
KAUAI, HI
Saturday, November 1, 7:00 PM
Church of the Pacific
4520 Kapa Ka Rd.
Princeville, HI 96754
[email protected]
HAIKU, MAUI, HI
Sunday, November 2, 7:00 PM
The Studio Maui
810 Haiku Rd, Suite 265
Haiku, HI 96708
www.thestudiomaui.com
PAHOA, BIG ISLAND,HI
Wednesday, November 5
November 5-10
Retreat with Ram Dass, Dr. Michael Beckwith and Mark Whitwell
Kalani Oceanside Retreat
RR2, Box 4500
Pahoa, HI 96778
www.ramdass.org/retreats
WAIMEA, BIG ISLAND, HI
Monday, November 10, 7:00 PM
There’s No Place Like OM Yoga Studio
65-1237 Kawaihae Road
Waimea, Hawaii Island
www.omhawaii.com
AUSTIN, TX
Friday, November 14, 8:00 PM
TBA
MEXICO CITY, DF
Saturday, November 15, 8:00 PM
Mexico Yoga Conference
Details TBA
SAYULITA, MEXICO
Saturday, November 22
Yoga, Chanting and Surfing retreat with Denise Kaufman
November 22-29
Haramara Retreat Center
Contact: Melissa Howden
[email protected]
www.haramararetreat.com
GLENDALE, CA
Friday, December 5, 8:00 PM
Yoga at the Village
1306 Sonora Avenue
Glendale, CA 91201
www.yogaatthevillage.com
SANTA BARBARA, CA
Saturday, December 6, 8:00 PM
Yoga Soup
28 Parker Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
www.yogasoup.com
LOS ANGELES, CA
Wednesday, December 31, 9:00 PM
New Years Eve with Desiree Rumbaugh and Sianna Sherman
Blankenship Ballet
132 Brooks Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
www.cityyoga.com

2009

TELLURIDE,CO
Friday, July 10
Telluride Yoga Festival
Kirtan
July 10-12, 2009
Www.tellurideyogafestival.com

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