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Dave Stringer

Dave Stringer got an early start with musical experimentation. He was only nine years old when he recorded "Within You, Without You" on a reel-to-reel machine, cut the tape into pieces of varying lengths, then spliced them together at random. Where do you go from there? Stringer chose a path that would lead him through jazz ensembles and choirs, sonic art and experimental films, and an internship at Columbia Pictures. A film editing project that sent him to a meditation ashram in India would further seal his fate. Until that time, his only dabbling in Eastern spiritual practices was a bit of hatha yoga to ease his back pain. Once at the ashram, Stringer began to soak up the Sanskrit mantras that were chanted throughout the day. Initially, he kept his distance, picking out the tunes on his dulcimer and accordion just for fun. Soon enough he was drawn into this other world and chose to stay in India after his project was finished. Though he studied some with the ashram's musicians, it was through his volunteer work at a local elementary school that he really learned about kirtan chanting. Upon his return to Los Angeles, film editing paid his bills, but chanting held his heart. On the side, Stringer taught meditation, chanting, and hatha yoga to prison inmates through a volunteer organization. Around that same time, he began recording some songs and invitations to lead chanting programs for various groups starting to come his way; first only in L.A., then New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Detroit, and elsewhere. Gradually, chanting became Stringer's full-time gig and led to collaborations with Donna De Lory, Lionel Cole, Greg Ellis, and Azam Ali, among others. He has also performed with the two pioneers of kirtan, Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. In 2002, his debut album, Brink, was released; it featured an easy blend of original English compositions and traditional Sanskrit chants. Subsequent albums included Japa (2005), Mâlâ (2005), Divas & Devas (2007), and Joyride (2010). In 2012, Stringer delivered the live album Yatra, followed by the studio effort Ojas in 2013. In 2015, he collaborated with former Madonna back-up dancer/vocalist Donna De Lory, and singer/songwriter Joni Allen on Elixir: Songs of the Radiance Sutras. ~ Kelly McCartney
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