Dave Stringer is profiled in publications worldwide as one of the most innovative artists of the new Kirtan movement. Kirtan is an ecstasy-inducing, call-and-response form of mantra chanting that is currently undergoing a worldwide renaissance. Stringer’s sound invokes the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sensibility of American gospel and the ringing harmonies of Appalachia. His work translates the venerable traditions of kirtan and yoga into inspiring and thoroughly modern participatory theatre, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all. Dave and his band tour tirelessly, giving concerts, workshops and retreats throughout North and Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
“India blasted me into billions of spinning particles and then slowly reshaped me, a process that was somehow simultaneously both excruciating and ecstatic. I can’t begin to claim complete knowledge about all of the layers of history and philosophy and theology represented by the mantras I learned to chant while I was there, but I can attest to their power. I’m not a Sanskrit scholar and not always a particularly focused practitioner, but I am deeply committed to the process of inquiry that the practice of yoga suggests.
I do know that my sustained encounter with mantra chanting has acquainted me with a state of expansive stillness and conscious repose, and that this encounter has irrevocably shifted the course of my art. I once read that Thomas Jefferson took a copy of the Bible and cut out the parts that most resonated with him, then reassembled his selections into a work that reflected his own way of saying his prayers. I suppose it is fair to say that as an artist, I am engaged in something of a similar process with yoga. I don’t know exactly where the journey I am making ends. I’m just trying to report honestly from where I am.”