“Where words fail, music speaks.”
― Hans Christian Andersen
One of the most soul-inspiring forms of music is spiritual chanting, or kirtan. The collections featured below include music by some of the best-known kirtan artists in the world. But sometimes it’s just nice to listen to good music—whether classical or pop or international—beautifully performed for its own sake! Please note that many of these items are available in CD, MP3, and streaming formats. Thus, the prices shown below may not reflect all the choices available to customers.
Deva Premal and Miten
Born in Germany in 1970, Deva Premal is a musician known for her meditative spiritual music, which puts ancient Buddhist and Sanskrit mantras—as well as chants in other languages—into atmospheric contemporary settings. She has been touring with her partner Miten since 1992, offering concerts and chant workshops worldwide. Best known for her top-selling chant CDs, Premal is a classically trained musician who grew up singing mantras in a German home permeated with Eastern spirituality. Her albums have topped the New Age charts throughout the world since her first release, The Essence (1998), which features the “Gayatri Mantra.”
Also recommended (more music by Deva Premal):
An American kirtan singer and peace activist raised in the Kundalini Yoga tradition, Snatam Kaur has taught and shared Naad Yoga, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, and Kirtan through her recorded CDs, concerts, and workshops. She studied with and grew up at the feet of her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan; and at the core of this practice is an essential experience of peace which has made it accessible to people of all walks of life to receive its healing effects. She has an amazing ability to transform traditional chants into a contemporary sound that appeals to the modern ear and awakens an ancient yearning in the soul. This collection includes the mesmerizing “Suni-ai,” which for a long time was the “theme song” of my online store.
Also recommended (more music by Snatam Kaur):
Heart Full of Soul
Layering traditional kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star.” With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling western chant artist of all time. “The chanting just hits you and you want to be a part of it,” KD promises. “That’s the point of this whole thing. That’s what cuts through all the ‘stuff.’ You get lit up. You don’t have to know what it means.”
Also recommended (more music by Krishna Das):
Music from the Works of James Joyce
Kevin McDermott (Tenor) and Ralph Richey (Pianist)
The close relationship between the great Irish author James Joyce and music has long been recognized by his readers, critics, and biographers. Joyce, like his father, was both an excellent singer (with a sweet tenor voice) and an accomplished pianist with an encyclopedic mastery of music of every type and genre, rivaling his vast knowledge of world literature. It is not surprising, then, that as a writer he incorporated music into all his works in increasingly complex ways. Beside deepening our understanding of Joyce, studying his use of music is a wonderfully entertaining way to make the works more immediate and accessible!
Also recommended (more music by Kevin McDermott and Ralph Richey):
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection)
Leonard Bernstein (Conductor)
The Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler, known as the “Resurrection Symphony,” is arguably his best and most profoundly spiritual. Apart from the Eighth Symphony, this symphony was Mahler’s most popular and successful work during his lifetime. It was the first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection. In this definitive and passionate recording, Bernstein leads the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, with Jennie Tourel, Richard Tucker, et al.
Also recommended (more music by Gustav Mahler):
Leonard Cohen: Live in Dublin (3CD/1DVD box set)
An extraordinary full-length concert recording and film, filmed at Dublin’s 02 Arena on September 12, 2013, documenting a peak performance from the musician’s monumental sold out 2012–2013 world tour. This audio–visual presentation of a full length concert from the Old Ideas world tour delivers this artist’s repertoire (backed by a band recognized by critics as Cohen’s best ever) with the intimacy, wisdom, and intensity that has become a trademark of a Leonard Cohen concert.
Also recommended (more music by Leonard Cohen):