Vocal Medicine Music
Group singing changes the chemistry of the brain and dissipates feelings of isolation and depression. Singing sends vibrations through the entire body, acting like an internal massage.
The nature of chanting allows the mind to focus in a relaxed way and creates a flow of energy that is reinforced with each repetition. Chanting is a calorie-free, drug-free, full body buzz! For many people, chanting is the fastest and easiest way to a sense of freedom, connection and bliss.
What is kirtan?
Kirtan is a gathering for singing devotional songs, mantras and chants. Kathleen Karlsen emphasizes singable chants from multiple traditions that are easy to learn and help to focus the mind. Participation in group singing fosters a connection with others as well as your own spiritual source. You do not have to be a musician or a singer. If you can talk, you can chant! See Events for more information.
Full description of chants on this album below.
Recordings above from 2018 include Nataraja (a traditional Hindu chant); Gate Gate, Paragate (a contemporary take on a traditional Buddhist chant) and Chakra Chant (an original chant utilizing the seed syllables for each of the seven major chakras).
The full-length Vocal Medicine album above includes the following chants:
Parvati Parashakti: Parvati, also known as Uma, is the Hindu goddess of love and devotion as well as divine strength and power. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of the Hindu goddess Shakti. Parvati carries a trident. The three-pronged trident removes evil on the physical, mental and spiritual levels. In the human body, the trident represents the place where the three main nadi or energy channels meet at the third eye. This is a comforting chant calling to the divine feminine in all of us.
Udu drum, vocals, recorder
Bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
Andrew Karlsen: Andrew Karlsen is a multi-faceted musician contributing vocals, recorder and udu drum to Vocal Medicine. Andrew loves folk music and collects traditional instruments. Andrew originally hails from Norway and returns to his homeland regularly to visit family and friends and soak up the incredible nature of the fjords and spectacular mountains of his native country.
Paul Bohak: Paul Bohak is a multi-instrumentalist, song writer, recording artist and producer. His instruments include guitar, bass, drums, percussion and voice. For Vocal Medicine, Paul plays bass and acoustic guitar. He has released three solo albums. Paul has co-led kirtans, playing guitar and percussion and singing for seven years.
Mahima Giri: Born and raised in Nepal, Mahima plays the hand cymbals (kartals) as well as provides vocal support and expertise in Sanskrit for eastern mantras. Mahima has a Master’s in Environmental Science. When she isn’t having fun with the band, you can find her somewhere in the great outdoors with like-minded friends.
Book Kathleen Karlsen or the Vocal Medicine band for your event, conference or retreat. Contact form here.
Lokah Samastah: One of our favorite chants! This mantra is one of the most beautiful of all prayers, meaning “May all beings be happy and free and may my life contribute in some way to the happiness and freedom of all”. This melody for chant was written specifically for an event devoted to preserving peace in spite of political differences and difficulties through the world.
Om Tare Tuttare: This is called the Green Tara Mantra, a traditional Buddhist mantra. The word-name Tara is variously interpreted as Shining Star, Liberator, Rescuer, Savior, or One Who Ferries Across. Tara is a Bodhisattva of compassion who manifests in female form. In particular she represents compassion in action.
Sita Ram: Sita Ram refers to the Hindu goddess, Sita, and her consort, Ram, or Rama. Sita is the main female character in the Hindu epic poem, the Ramayana, and is an incarnation of Lakshmi. Rama is the central male character and an incarnation of Vishnu. Reciting these names is believed to balance both sides of the brain. They represent the yin and the yang or the masculine and the feminine.
Devakinanadana Gopala: Gopala is one of the childhood names of Krishna, the son of Devaki, queen of the Chandravanshi clan. Devaki’s brother was Kansa, an evil tyrant. Fearful that Krishna would be a threat to his throne, Kansa set out to murder the young Krishna. Krishna was sent to live in the country for his own protection. As a result, Krishna’s childhood was spent as a herder. This is the origin of Krishna’s childhood names, Gopala and Govinda. “Go” means cow, a sacred animal that may also symbolically represent sacred scriptures. “Go”is sometimes translated as “light.”
Padmadevi Chant: This is a chant to Pandaravasini, one of the five female Buddhas associated with the Dhyani Buddhas. Her name means the White Robed One which suggests that she is vested with purity. Pandaravarsini’s mantra is “Om Padmadevi Pushpadevi Pam Svaha.” Padma means a lotus flower and devi means a goddess or queen. Pushpa also means a flower. The mantra honors Pandaravasini as the goddess of the lotus and of flowers.
Lalita Shanti Om: The name Lalita means “she who plays.” Lalita is highly independent. She insists on retaining complete freedom. Lalita is a consort of Shiva, signified by the garland she places around his neck. Lalita’s beauty is noted in the term “sundari” meaning beautiful. “Ma amba” means “mother of the universe” and “shanti” means “peace.” This chant can be translated as “Victory to Lalita, the beautiful goddess who is the Mother of the universe and brings peace.”