Kirtan (KEER-tahn) is a call-and-response format of chanting. It has many of the mind-calming benefits of a yoga class or sitting meditation. It will have varying effects for different people, by providing the same stillness of mind, without the struggle or striving to concentrate in meditation or yoga ananas. Repeating mantras or words can release the mind from its daily chatter. Mantras are words, phrases, and syllables that are repeated until they become integrated into the chanter’s consciousness. The Sanskrit alphabet has a strong energetic and vibrational component—it is said that the words, when chanted, create a powerful vibration in the body, affecting a person’s mind and spirit.
Traditionally, kirtan is sung in a group with the kirtan walla, or chant leader, calling out words or phrases, which the audience repeats back in kind. Everyone is encouraged to join in. Whether it’s a sense of community, the joy of music brings, or the pure love of singing that draws you to consider this a great opportunity to explore.
Mark Nanni is a Syracuse, NY-based musician and keyboardist, both as a solo artist and with The Intention, Dark Hollow, and Los Blancos. He has been voted best instrumentalist and keyboardist by the Blues Connection, Syracuse Area Music Awards and Syracuse New Times, among other awards.
This event was first published on April 15, 2019 and last updated on April 24, 2019.