Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kirtan...Chanting...A New Way to Talk to A Rambunctious Parrot

Kirtan is the art and practice of devotional chant. When Mr. Spock, our cheerful cherry-head conure, gets a little wild or hyped up on life in general, I have found that a quick way to calm him down and get him into a cozy parrot fluff, is to play some beautiful, melodic chant music. It is Kirtan time for Mr. Spock. This music, with it's rhythmic beat patterns and inspiring voices, speaks to our bird in a way that no other bird talk does. The chanting and melodies see to reach him at a primal level. From a raging string of loud, unending squawking, he will hear the sounds and almost immediately become interested and quiet and begin the listening.

Traditionally thought of as Indian classical music, the sounds are enchanting and almost hypnotic. The traditional Indian musical instruments for Kirtan are the harmonium and the tabla. While many of the Kirtan chants are sung in a traditional manner by the devout, there is also a contemporary style of Kirtan chanting which may intersperse more modern musical sounds, and might even incorporate instruments like the guitar and violin. Kirtan is often a highlight at a yoga retreat, where the participants can all gather and relax and share a special moment. You can have Kirtan with your bird, and speak to his or her at a level that your voice just cannot go. Try it.

Please listen to a sample of this chanting so that you understand how enchanting is is for birds, and people, alike. Our conure's all time favorite chanting diva is Wah! You can hear Wah chanting via her website's sampling of her 18 albums To hear a clip, click here.

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