"This is one of the most beautiful things
to happen to me in a long time."
— Karrishma, Vak Choir Member
WHAT IS VAK?
Vak is the ancient Indian Goddess who brings the world into being through sound. We are the Vak Choir, inspired by the idea of Vak, and the vivifying power of voice and listening. We practice ancient yogic sound techniques that we've discovered bring great benefits to our modern lives. And we've been asked to perform at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts this fall.
Six months ago Vak Choir Director and professional vocalist Ann Dyer was commissioned by the YBCA to create a full-length concert inspired by her many years of exploration of ancient Indian sound practices. Ann titled the new work Vak: Song of Becoming, and decided to build it on an enormous, sonorous foundation of vocal resonance.
And so the Vak Choir was born. 108+ "everyday" voices exploring how voice and deep listening can awaken us to different dimensions of awareness. We have quickly grown to over 150 choir members, people now passionate about their new connection to sound and self, and eager to "share the love" in performance this fall at the YBCA.
Vak does, indeed, seem to have a mighty momentum all her own. What began as a concert, quickly became a choir, and is now The Vak Project, with plans destined to outlive our premiere at the YBCA, including future performances and educational outreach programs that inspire and awaken through voice and listening.
And we need your help to move forward.
"It's actually like I'm tuning my soul!" — Scott
“I find myself singing, in the car, in the house, walking down the street, and it feels really good. And I've never done that before.” — Cathy
“The Vak Choir is taking chanting that is sometimes done in yoga class to a new level of experience"– Brooke
"It's as if my head has fallen into my heart." — Simmy
The Vak Choir is a diverse group of over a hundred people (and growing!) who are discovering the power and beauty of their own voice — many for the first time — through the study of yogic sound practices. The Choir meets weekly (a session in San Francisco and another in Oakland) learning skills and understandings about sound and voice to support their upcoming YBCA performance, but more importantly, that benefit their day-to-day lives now, and for years to come.
Vak: Song of Becoming is a contemporary, interdisciplinary concert experience which explores the profound impact of sound — and particularly voice — has on our experience of being. Co-composed by Ann Dyer and Tim Volpicella, with choreography by Erika Chong Shuch, this unique work features vocalist Ann Dyer and the Vak Choir performing with a progressive ensemble of Bay Area-based musicians including bassist John Shifflet, drummer Jason Lewis featured soloist, saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh. The full-length concert carries the audience through a musical experience inspired by the sound meditations performed by hatha yogis of the medieval period, gradually moving from a state of everyday awareness into increasing deeper, more subtle dimensions of attention.
Vak: Song of Becoming blurs the lines between audience and performer, time and space, ancient and contemporary, aesthetic and spiritual in a concert experience that Dyer refers to with a smile, as a "modern musical awakening.”
The YBCA has given us a generous commission to launch this project. But concert production in a state-of-the-art union facility costs more than a song. We need your help to raise the additional funds to support the artistic and healing goals of the program. Your contributions will go toward:
• summer rehearsal space large enough to accommodate over 100 people.
• technical support for this production which requires the finest sound engineering.
• public programs in "sound and self" offerred free to the public this summer.
• artist wages for our incredibly talented Bay Area based artists.
• video documentation to help us support future Vak Choir activities.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Make a financial donation. All donations are tax deductible (above value of gift) AND come with generous thank you gifts we think you'll love, like free yoga classes, passes to the cast party, yoga and chanting retreats, Vak Choir-infused mala beads and more. Waive your perks to make your donation 100% tax-deductible!
2.Help spread the word. If you believe in what we’re doing, please telli your friends about this campaign. Just emailing this video to 10 friends, reposting on your Facebook page, or Tweeting about it will make a significant difference.
3. Join the Vak Choir. If you live in the Bay Area, start enjoying the benefits of opening to your voice and deepening your sense of sound by joining the choir AND perform with us at the YBCA September! Two new sessions starting in April, one in the East Bay and the other in San Francisco.
We really appreciate your support and are so excited to see what we can do together to create this inspiring concert this fall and beyond.
Ann Dyer and the Vak Choir