hillscene blog

Kirtan in the Hills

Kirtan in the hillsKirtan in the hills

Kirtan is a form of yoga, only musical – it’s basically chanting, call and response of ancient Sanskrit with live musicians playing traditional and western instruments, and is becoming very popular in various communities throughout Melbourne/Australia. Paul Watt a local tabla player and musician has been playing with different Kirtan groups around town for the past couple of years, and due to popular demand has decided to set up a regular Kirtan event in the Hills.

Paul Watt at Kirtan in the hills

A few months ago Paul wanted to see if the people of the Dandenongs might be interested in a local Kirtan Event. So the “Dandenong Ranges Kirtan Needs Assessment” was drafted and sent out via survey monkey. Paul had about 160 replies with the results being positive. 60% of respondents said “Yes, absolutely they have been waiting for this to come to the Hills” and the majority of the remainder said they were curious to find out more. Paul then decided to move their monthly Kirtan from Warburton to Kallista and is now presently hosting the sessions at Evolve Fair Food Store in Belgrave.

He has called in some talented ‘Kirtaneers’ from all over Melbourne who assemble just once a month to present Kirtan to the Dandenong Ranges.

The chants are easy to join in, as they are a line-by-line call and response format. Beautiful tones and music fuse together using a combination of instruments, both traditional Indian and Western. This together with voices chanting through singing produces a beautiful resonance that brings an uplifting peaceful feeling, a connection to the heart space.

Kirtan in the hillsKirtan in the hills Kirtan in the hills

The November Kirtan Band will feature – Harmonium, Tabla, Flute, Electric Bass and steel string guitar with special guest Michael (Arvo) Arvanatakis on cello and sitar. It will include six chants and six singers with opening and closing by ‘The Sivamantra’. Chant, sing and move with pleasantly grounded yoga traditions to evoke and imbibe your inner Shiva, divine masculine and divine feminine.

“It is yoga for the heart, soup for the soul through the heart with the chanting of mantra. There is an energetic factor that we are connecting into, giving ourselves space in creating balance, harmony, ease, openness, joy, love whatever it may be. It’s about letting go of the mind space and stepping into the space of the heart, like a child. In the practise of Kirtan we touch into this through the energy of sound also called naga, with voice and music which you also will be connecting with.”  Sivamantra

Sivamantra at Kirtan in the hills Sivamantra at Kirtan in the hillsKirtan-in-the-hills6

For more info and event details go to the Kirtan monthly events on facebook.
Evolve Cafe 64-68 Monbulk Rd, Belgrave.
7:30 -10:00 pm Friday 6 Nov and Friday 4 Dec (first Friday of the month).
Entrance fee $15

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