Opening 7 Jun 2018
A “kirtan” is a coming together to sing certain songs in which the performer calls and the audience responds. In this case the songs are “mantras,” which can be a combination of single words or syllables or sounds. The first mantras were created 3000 years ago by Hindus in India. Now, in the 21st century, many talented musicians have adopted the idea of mantras and adjusted them according to their own interpretations; they perform around the world to enthusiastic audiences of people who have no trouble learning the words and singing along full-heartedly. Here we see Mc Yogi from New York. Deva Premal & Miten perform in Moscow and Corfu. Jai Uttal even goes to San Quentin Prison in California where some prisoners hear mantra for the first time. Lama Gyurme and the blind French pianist Jean-Philippe Rykiel perform in Paris. There is Stephen Rechtschaffen who founded the Ecstatic Chang Festival at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Krishna Das talks about the Barcelona Yoga Conference. Participants, e.g., prisoners or a housewife suffering from depression, describe how singing along affects them. A neuroscientist discusses the influence on our brain.
Mantra: Sounds into Silence is highly interesting and newsworthy, whether you have a professional connection to music, like to hum, or have no musical talent at all. It is also in no way a discussion about religion, but completely neutral. It’s fascinating to experience these talented musicians and listen to their attachment to mantras and how this culture has developed over the years to be still contemporary and extremely popular in the 21st century. (Becky Tan)