Instructor of Hindustani Voice (Raga Singing)
Michael Stirling is a singer of North Indian Classical Music and a vocalist of the venerable Kirana Gharana. He is a Disciple of the late master of Indian Classical Raga Singing, Pandit Pran Nath (1918-1996), and a student of Nathji’s Senior Disciple, the renowned composer/performer, Maestro Terry Riley.
In August of 2019, Michael assembled a 10 piece ensemble consisting of Indian instruments and others, to perform a concert of Indian Classical Vocal Music plus a suite of compositions by John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, “The Creator has a Master Plan/A Love Supreme”. The concert celebrated Michael’s 10th year performing and teaching at the Beloved Festival of Sacred Art & Music.
In November 2018 Michael assisted his teacher, Terry Riley, in a series of events (classes, workshops, and concerts) that took place in Northern California, celebrating their Guruji Pandit Pran Nath’s 100th birthday. Happy 100th Guruji!!
Michael has offered his voice at Nritya Mandala Mahavihara, Shri Janmasthan Bhoomi (the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Mathura, India), Beloved Festival of Sacred Art & Music (for 10 years), Dzogchen Community Temple in Berkeley, Yale Union, the Portland Composers & Improvisers Festival, the Creative Music Guild and elsewhere. He has accompanied his teachers at the Dharga of Hazarat Inayat Khan (New Delhi), Diggi Palace in Jaipur, India, the Rothko Chapel, and elsewhere. He has also performed with such artists as Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Uday Bawalkar (Dhrupad), Ustad Hafizullah Khan (sarangi) Sri Karunamayee, Ruchira Panda, Mahesh Kale, Fanna Fi Allah (Sufi Qawalli Ensemble), and others.
Michael Stirling’s raga singing offerings of classes, workshops, or concerts are accompanied by Tambura, the majestic and indispensable drone necessary for Indian Classical Music and Tabla, the set of two, highly refined and tuned hand drums.
In 2014 Mississippi Records released, Deva Loka, a limited edition, hand screen printed LP of Michael’s singing of Classical Indian Music and featuring Michael Stirling, vocal; Benjy Wertheimer, tabla; Lucy Stirling and Peia Luzzi, tamburas. Available on Bandcamp.
Michael is on the music faculty at Lewis & Clark College, teaching Hindustani Vocal Music, serves on the Board of Directors of Tarabuq Arts (supporting the efforts of Sufi Qawwali Ensemble, Fanna Fi Allah), is a long time volunteer for Kalakenrda, and offers private instruction and small group classes in the community.