Crown of Eternity travels to perform yoga, music programs
Watching and listening to the videos and music put forth by Crown of Eternity, which feature chanting and music to focus on energy, awareness and self-healing, can be deceptively soothing.
With bright colors, a presentation reminiscent of the '60s psychedelic, and instruments including singing bowls, bells and gongs, the effect on the listener is meditative, almost a lull.
The sounds, though, also can cause a buzz, a vibration that keeps one perceptive, alert for what is coming next.
A live concert video shows New Kensington native Mike Tamburo, 40, striking gongs on a stage bathed in pastel lighting.
Tamburo and his wife, Gallina Tamburo, 42, together are Crown of Eternity.
Multi-instrumentalists and yoga instructors, they are touring and traveling throughout the United States and Canada. They have three events in the local area this month.
“Music was my first love. I run a small record label. I play gong, bowls, metal percussionist instruments, guitar, sitar, hammered dulcimer, accordion, banjo, about 40 instruments,” Mike Tamburo says.
He was very active in Pittsburgh's independent music scene for years before discovering sound healing and yoga. He describes his current music as bridging Indian classical and Western folk.
“It is highly vibrational, meditative, psychedelic, transportive,” he says.
The two trained at the Kundalini Research Institute, becoming instructors of Kundalini yoga.
Online references to Kundalini yoga describe a blending of movement, breathing techniques, meditation and chanting.
It sends vital life energy through the body for direct healing, Tamburo elaborates.
“Kundalini combines many aspects of yoga into one practice. ... It's the kind of yoga anyone can do,” Gallina Tamburo says.
She's taught senior citizens, students in after school programs, pregnant women and mommy-and-me classes.
“If you can breathe, you can do this kind of yoga and benefit from it,” she says.
After living in Pittsburgh for years and teaching yoga at various studios, the couple eventually remodeled their home and turned it into a makeshift ashram, or retreat, holding privates sessions for clients.
They began traveling to hold workshops and events, only occasionally returning home.
“It became increasingly challenging to serve our local community and travel,” says Gallina Tamburo.
In January, the couple sold their Highland Park home and hit the road in a van she describes as a “tiny house on wheels.”
It allows them to transport their instruments and gear from booking to booking.
“During the week we explore the national parks and different areas of the country, and have concerts on the weekends,” Mike Tamburo says.
“The main thing we are doing are these meditative sound sessions,” he says.
The couple will hold a cosmic chant concert June 23 at Wilkinsburg's Mookshi Wellness Center.
“They have done a few events with us before. ... A lot of what they do is like an interactive practice,” says center owner Cara Freidheim.
“They have a strong community of people who take classes with them,” she says.
“One thing I appreciate in their yoga is they always incorporate live music. That and the element of their partnership, the masculine and feminine energy,” Freidheim says.
The gong is a tradition in Kundalini yoga, she says.
“They are somewhat pioneers for the practice in Pittsburgh. They paved the way for it,” Freidheim says.
The vibrations of a hammered dulcimer, Mike Tamburo says, can be felt in one's chest.
“It's helped me unwind from stress and strong emotions,” he says.
He's been playing Himalayan singing bowls for 20 years. The gong is the major instrument in their yoga practice.
“We share live music in all of our classes,” Mike Tamburo says.
During a live performance, the two may play gongs, trigons (triangular harps) and singing bowls.
“Every session is different. I'm playing the audience, I'm playing the room,” he says.
Crown of Eternity was the name of the couple's former yoga studio.
“Now, it's the collaborative experience of the two of us working together. We are sharing sound therapy and healing. We have run training and retreats, inspired people on how to work with the instruments,” Mike Tamburo says.
Gallina Tamburo describes their June 23 event in Wilkinsburg as more of a concert or sacred chant.
Their June 24 and 25 events in Scott and Aspinwall, respectively, are similar and geared more toward sound therapy.
“It's a really immersive experience. People get cozy and comfy and bathe in vibrations,” she says.
While her husband plays instruments, she may walk through the room and work with individuals, placing singing bowls on their bodies so they can feel the vibrations.
“We do look at this as being more of a therapeutic healing ... creating a soundtrack for stress relief and self-healing,” Mike Tamburo says.
Those attending their sessions should bring a yoga mat, blanket or cushion for extended floor relaxation.