Wednesday, 29 September 2010

September's Celestial Kirtan

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
William Blake

Our September kirtan, replete with autumn fruits and flowers, was sung with 'jolly voice'! Although there were several 'new' first-time chanters, everyone joined in with gusto and the result, as one chanter described it, was a 'celestial atmosphere'.

Our very newest chanter was little Ananya, whose mother brought her to her first kirtan. She was as good as gold the whole way through and charmed us with her smiles. Her mother, Swetha, covered the cost of the refreshments afterwards, in honour of the event. Thank you Ananya and Swetha!

Gaura, brought two friends from Cambridge, and the three of them took turns in leading the chants. Craig and his Croatian wife Dunja are planning to start kirtan programmes in Cambridge - and we hope to join them there sometime, to return the compliment.

Gaura hari sings Govinda jaya jaya...

Dunja, who has a lovely voice, singing the ancient chant 'om namo bhagavate vasudevaya'

We finished up with autumnal mulled apple juice, nut biscuits and coconut sweet balls.

We're very grateful to Gaura, Craig, Dunja and friends who travelled so far to bring us a wonderful experience of chanting. Thanks chaps!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Kirtan This Sunday

We have a young Irish kirtaniya to start us off into a new season of Kirtan Experience. Gaura Hari lives with his Russian wife near London and has many years of kirtan experience under his belt, having toured extensively in Poland, Australia and India with various chanting parties. I've known Gaura since he was six, but haven't seen him for years, so am curious to see what all this chanting has done for him! Gaura is bringing some kirtaniya friends with him and we look forward to chanting with them all this Sunday, 19th September. Hope you can make it too!

In Nambour, Australia.

Gaura Hari absorbed in chanting bliss - Melbourne, Australia

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

We Say Goodbye to Meru...

Our June kirtan was tinged with sadness as we said farewell to the founder of the Kirtan Experience in Oxford - Meru Ostland - who left a few days later to return to Sweden, whence she came. As well as the inspiration behind the monthly kirtans, Meru was also a great singer and led many chants for us, with spirit and a strong voice. What's more she is a top class cook and her banquets, once tasted, are never forgot. Meru we miss you!

Nevertheless, we put a brave face on it and the June kirtan was very sweet, with Meru and Gopal taking turns to lead.

Gopal on harmonium.

Shaunaka on mridanga (clay drum).

Tea and biscuits at the end.