MANTRA-Sounds Into Silence, a feature-length documentary exploring the social phenomenon of chanting ancient mantras – known as Kirtan – is launching a crowdfunding campaign today here. Kirtan, a practice of devotional or Bhakti yoga, which highlights participatory call and response singing, is growing in popularity as westerners discover its uplifting, meditative effects. Practiced by enthusiasts of all religions or no religion at all, Kirtan blurs the lines between musician and audience as participants play a vital role in the music through their singing to produce a powerful, often transformative experience.
MANTRA-Sounds Into Silence documents stories of people around the world who are finding healing and a sense of inner peace by singing mantras, interwoven with inspired performances and interviews with international Kirtan stars, including Grammy-nominees Krishna Das and Jai Uttal, plus Snatam Kaur, Deva Premal & Miten, MC Yogi, Lama Gyurme with Jean Phillipe Rykiel, C.C. White, Mirabai Ceiba, Dave Stringer, Donna De Lory and more.
With a target release date of Spring 2016, Barcelona-based production company TengoTwo will use the proceeds from the crowd-funding effort to complete production on MANTRA-Sounds Into Silence, shooting in the U.S., Spain, France, Greece, India and Nepal to capture compelling performance from the featured artists – in both large arenas and smaller, more intimate Kirtan gatherings, as well as life-changing stories from the film’s protagonists.
The MANTRA team has partnered with The Call and Response Foundation, a registered nonprofit devoted to serving and expanding the mantra music community, to create compelling offerings for a tax-deductible crowd-funding campaign, running from May 11 through June 22. Supporters can participate with contributions to enhance the reach of this moving documentary, with potential perks including passes to the BhaktiFest of your choice and the Barcelona Yoga Conference including Jai Uttal in concert, tickets to any Deva Premal and Miten tour dates, signed prints from photographer Wari Om’s collection, personalized autographed CDs from the featured artists, and other perks.
MANTRA-Sounds Into Silence Director, Producer and Editor Georgia Wyss comments, “I first discovered how mantra music and the practice of Kirtan could be deeply healing when a very close friend of mine died. This music helped me come to peace with something that was very difficult to accept. Through this personal experience I became aware of the power of music, mantras and meditation, and the importance of belonging. Many of us have lost, or, in some cases, never had, a sense of community in our “always-on” world. The film will explore this in detail, with the aim of de-mystifying the world of Kirtan and sharing the joyfulness of Mantra music.”
In addition to founding TengoTwo Productions, Wyss’ credits include projects “No Plorar Mai” (Never to Cry) for Spanish television; award-winning documentary A Crude Awakening, Spanish television’s 2011 Best Documentary The Lightbulb Conspiracy as well as music documentaries for PBS, ABC, VH1, MTV and Nickelodeon. An editing workshop with Georgia in Barcelona is also amongst the MANTRA-Sounds Into Silence crowdfunding perks.
The MANTRA Movie production crew also includes acclaimed international Yoga photographer Wari Om as co-director and camera operator, award-winning director of photography Jordi Azategui, production designer Mick Walsh bringing decades of design credits, and award-winning international producer Ray McCormack.