Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Kundalini and the Arts (Hillary Hahn) 

One of the most interesting questions about kundalini is whether it somehow underlies much of the creativity found in the arts (as well as other areas.) When we think of a Mozart or a Beethoven, we are astonished at both the quality and amount of what they created. Such people seem to work from an endless fountain of energy and inspiration, while the the rest of us can only observe as awe struck witnesses.

Where do such seemingly superhuman capacities come from? Some have postulated that such geniuses are fueled by kundalini itself, a force which gives them the drive and stamina and imagination to achieve far beyond the norms.

Recently I watched a program on Ovation TV about Hillary Hahn, who is now recognized as one of the master violinists of our time. Now, Hillary Hahn, who is clearly a brilliant performance artist, is a young woman still in her twenties (though she looks almost like a teenager.) She follows a challenging schedule, traveling from city to city, country to country, as she plays as featured artist with symphonies over the world. To many of us, such a schedule would be grueling, but she seems to thrive on it. Clearly, she loves what she does, and seems to be able to renew her energies easily--she can sleep a few hours on an overnight flight to Europe, then be ready for rehearsal and performance in a major hall the next day.

And she does something else that struck me as quite original--on her website she posts her own journal, giving us an insider's view of what it is truly like to be a "wandering musician." Her journal is crisp, well written, and filled with interesting detailsof her daily life. And, since she is so young, she tells her story from a youthful point of view. Thus, when she gets soaked when she is caught by surprise in a heavy rain, she is not daunted. Rather, she tells us that she loves the rain and enjoyed the entire adventure.

Check out Hillary Hahn at her website http://www.hilaryhahn.com/

I find her site totally delightful--it includes everything from where to shop for fresh food when you are on the road to advice on how to look at an orchestra while it is playing. She has a great sense of humor and fun. Here is one example:

Brass players' eyebrows:These musicians' eyebrows are a virtual map to their phrasing structures and tone production. They go through all manners of contortion, depending on the instrument, the expressiveness of a certain phrase, the amount of effort it takes to produce the tone, and the mood of the passage they're playing. Also, watch for oboists' and clarinettists' facial color and muscle tone --when they have to play long sections without taking a breath, their skin turns from red to purple, their veins and eyes start to pop out, and their facial muscles look very strained. I think I'd pass out if I had to perform such a feat.

And the webpage even includes art from fans, some obviously quite young, as well as information on such things as what kind of violin she plays, what kind of bow she uses, and even the kind of rosin she applies to the bow (many violinists would be curious as to such details.)

If you get a chance to hear her play, either on CD or in person, do so. She is a kind of miracle in our time, perhaps one of the "new children" we keep hearing so much about.
(Photo from Hillary Hahn's website)

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