Devotional chanting, a centuries-old practice in India, is newly in fashion in the West. Following the yoga boom in recent years there has been and infectious interest in a chant practice called Bhakti Yoga, also known as Kirtan.
Emerging first in the 1960’s when Hare Krishna devotees took Bhakti practice into the streets and then in 1969 George Harrison produced a recording of the Hare Krishna Mantra which reached Britain’s music charts. Back then devotional singers were called ‘Kirtan Wallahs’ today they are commonly referred to as the “yoga rockstars”!
On the Wings of Mantras will intimately follow some of the most well known chant artists artists who focus on devotional music and Sanskrit mantras. Their music does not only fill the yoga schools world-wide, but the up and coming yoga rockstars also tour the world filling concert halls with thousands of people, all singing mantras together. Some say the Woodstock phenomena has morphed into the new Bhakti fest phenomena, only now it’s drug free and it’s ‘in’ to ‘go inside’.
Their own success is an experience which these artists find hard to verbalize. They say that it’s heart-opening and it’s a way for them to stay connected. The music is innocent, and emerges from a space of silence and meditation. Is this why so many listeners experience effortless connection and a feeling of ‘oneness with the cosmos’? Or is it the cellular based ancient language of Sanskrit from which the mantras originate that touches us on deeper levels?
The dynamics of the different life stories and the styles of music of each participant will enrich the film. They all come from different backgrounds and have been on different spiritual paths yet in essence they are connected.
Although Indian tradition is strongly evident, the music of yoga’s new rock stars has an unmistakeably Western imprint which links old traditions and eastern philosophies with contemporary life, generating a new fast-growing musical movement.