Sound Journey with Nirmal Chandraratna
First Parish welcomes Nirmal Chandraratna, a New York City-based Kirtan artist and composer with a passion for nurturing connection – to spirit, to community, and to one’s deeper self – through music. Using the voice, the harmonium and the cello, he creates music for Kirtan and meditation, and works for communal performance. He will collaborate with our director of music Rip Jackson. In this evening experience, set in a dynamic, meditative environment, you are invited to connect with your intentions, both for yourself and for the world, and to let them take flight using the transformative power of sound. Layered textures of the human voice, cello, and percussion will weave a tapestry of music and mantra. Though sound vibration works on subtle levels, even at the level of human perception, we are able to receive and interact intentionally with vibrations, not only through our ears but also through our bodies: we respond viscerally to beauty in the form of harmonics, rhythm and melody, and we can work in this space to align our lives with our vision for a better world. At the beginning of the evening, we’ll come together as a community, singing together and sharing our intentions. We’ll raise the intensity, and then you’ll be invited to settle into a comfortable position to meditate in a darkened, candle-lit environment as a concert of expansive music and textures unfolds.
Nirmal Chandraratna was born to Sri Lankan parents in Rochester, New York. He began studying cello at 9 years and continued until the end of his undergraduate years at Brown University. There he received his BA in Music, led a jazz a cappella group and arranged music for a 24-member cello choir. Nirmal found his passion in music composition and received his Masters in Music in 1998 from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he concentrated on vocal composition and opera, and then further explored dramatic music at the BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theater workshop in New York City. In 2010, Nirmal discovered Kirtan, a call-and-response practice of singing mantra, and fell in love with Kirtan’s intentionality and immersive nature. He began studying Sanskrit, Eastern philosophy and mantra, and has been leading Kirtan ever since; he has sung Kirtan in the Netherlands, Quebec, Boston, New England, upstate New York and New York City. Kirtan and mantra have influenced his other compositions in his desire to continue to include the audience into a musical experience in an intentional manner, and he also offers guided meditations on the chakras, Sound Journeys, live music for yoga classes, and other creative offerings.
Free will offering.