Lumonics Event: Holiday Kirtan

McNichols Building

12/16/2018 · 2:00PM

Lumonics & the Cultural Parner Program Present:

Holiday Kirtan featuring Tom Fuhrmann & the Little Rishikesh Kirtan Band
Accompanied by Lumonics light sculptures on stage.

About the Band:
Tom Fuhrmann leads the singing and plays the harmonium. Tom is accompanied by percussionist extraordinaire Gilly Gonzalez. Gilly and Tom have been performing together in Denver for over 5 years. Gilly is well known in Denver’s musical community as a local percussion artist and performs with ensembles Lunar Fire, Jam Key Jam, and Lil Sum’n Sum’n. Tom is also accompanied by bassist Robert Rand plus various members of the Denver Community Kirtan choir. These members assist with vocals and lead the audience response on call & response chants.

About Kirtan:
Kirtan is the chanting and singing of Sanskrit mantra, an old and revered technique that has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Asia to embody and express the emotional and devotional aspects of spiritual practice. In western genre, we could describe kirtan as the singing of the praises of God or the recitation of the holy names of God.

The kirtan is structured, through the use of call and response style singing and the accompaniment of drums and musical instruments, to engage the audience. In this aspect, kirtan varies from other forms of performance arts. Whereas kirtan music is often beautiful and pleasing to listen to, its main objective is an invitation to all in attendance to discover and experience their own natural joyful and ecstatic nature. Participants often find themselves clapping or dancing in response to the spontaneous feelings that may arise as the kirtan develops.

About Tom Fuhrmann:
Tom Fuhrmann is the founder of Denver Community Kirtan and Little Rishikesh, a new spiritual center in South Denver. Tom began his musical career as a classically trained pianist at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. He later switched to engineering and has a BS degree from Colorado School of Mines in Golden. Following a successful career as a structural engineer and business owner, Tom returned to his love of music and eastern spiritual practice. He has been leading weekly kirtans at his home in Littleton and at other locations around the Denver area since 2003. Tom's ambition and intention is to bring the eastern concepts of kirtan and spirituality to Denver in a way that makes it more accessible to everyone.

About this Kirtan Event
The kirtan generally runs about 2 hours. It begins with the chanting of ‘Om’ followed by the Gayatri mantra, a prayer taken out of the Vedas, an ancient text of eastern religion and perhaps the oldest religious reference on the planet. It then consists of a variety of bhajans (songs) such as Shri Ram Jai Ram and Om Namah Shivaya, set to western musical motifs and melodies and sung by all attending. In between the chants, there is generally a period of silence in which the participants experience sublime quiet, rest, and peace. Attendees are encouraged, not required, to participate, sing from their hearts, and if so moved, get up and dance or clap. The event ends with a sung prayer that all sentient beings be happy, free, and peaceful followed by a brief period of silence.

The kirtan is designed to be accessible to everyone regardless of experience level. The mantras are simple and printed sheets with the words will be available. Om Namah Shivaya!

The Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery will be bringing in light sculptures to accompany the performance. The concert takes place on the second floor of the McNichols Civic Center Building amid the art exhibit, Light in All Darkness: Images and Icons from William Hart McNichols. Be sure to allow time to see the exhibit on the third floor, Street Art Ink: From the Body to the Wall.

This event is supported by Denver Arts & Venues Cultural Partner Program.Special thanks to The McNichols Civic Center Building and Denver Arts & Venues.

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