Kirtan

posted Sep 5, 2011, 5:56 AM by Christa Bedwin   [ updated Sep 7, 2011, 10:00 PM ]
If you ever have a chance to go to a kirtan, or actually, any chance at all to sing with other people, do! Singing is so healthy for us.

Anyway, I wanted to put a shout-out to an extremely talented new kirtan leader in Calgary. Her name is Amy Thiessen, and as you can see from her web page http://amythiessen.com, she sings a lot of things besides kirtan. Shout-out also to the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre for hosting her.

What I loved about her way of leading the kirtan included:

1. She's incredibly talented all on her own. Honeyed voice, great range from high to low with no need to show off. Mellow and modest and fantastic at the same time.

2. Great understanding of a variety of musical styles. From guitars to singing bowls and tons of other stuff besides.

3. Most importantly, the third thing: She totally knows how to welcome other musicians into the circle, and how to bring even the quiet folks out into glorious shared song. I absolutely loved hearing the other voices around the circle, especially when, as Amy invited us to, people embellished the main thread of song with whatever they felt.

4. She has an incredible understanding of sound, and though she didn't talk a whole lot about it, I suspect, the spirituality and healing power of sound. 

I haven't written much about it on this web page yet but sound is a huge force in our peace and discord. Seek out sounds that make you feel good. They are nourishment, just as the food you put in your body is. Get yourself away from sounds that feel bad.

And even more, revel in the silences between sounds. Create and cherish and really feel those silences. Amy knew how to do that, too, in the kirtan she led recently.

Go. Sing. And do it often. Sidewalk, church. Hilltop, yoga studio. Let your voice ring out.
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