Lili Hayden believes in the healing power of music, and she used it to pull herself out of the huge mess that became her life. In the midst of this major setback, she started scoring music again, regaining her love of playing and creating.
It all began five years ago, when Hayden became neurologically sensitive to the pesticides all around us.
But through playing music on her violin, she managed to spark a complete recovery that inspired her to write the song “How I Got My Brains Back,” for her upcoming album. The track begins with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor and morphs into into an exuberant rock 'n roll violin solo.
LA.COM: How do you make your violin shred like a guitar?
Lili Hayden: I think music is music, so it really doesn't matter what instrument I'm playing. Whatever the medium is, is not as important as the soul. That said, I have had the honor of playing and touring and being schooled by some of the great rock guitar players who are alive. And I've been an eager student.
So when Michael Hampton says, “Do it like this ...” you try. Or if you're on stage with Jimmy Page, and he says, “Do it like this ...” you keep your ears open.
LA.COM: Do you ever get intimidated sharing the stage with these huge rockstars?
Lili: Well, it is intimidating on a lot of levels. But again, when you're really playing from your heart and really listening from your heart, only the music matters. Once you get past the initial stage of being scared or wowed, and you're just really present, then you're having the most beautiful exchange you can have.
LA.COM: Talk about your new album “Lililand”? Sounds like a great place to visit and get inspired.
Lili: (Laughs) It's a great place to visit and be inspired. It's not just light or dark, it's like life … kind of like a jungle – where one finds oneself losing everything, climbing out of whatever that hole is with the spark of the muse and finding freedom when there is a light in there that says, “You don't know the price of freedom till you're free.”
It's about this experience that I had where I got brain damage and lost everything because of this pesticide poisoning. And I was able to rehabilitate myself quickly with music.
So there's inspiration and love and compassion for the world. There's an awareness of when you lose your own sense of identity, purpose and possessions and whatever it is that we consider ourselves, that other people are also going though the very same things.
I was connected to the world in a way that I had not been before. “Lililand” is a place where I was able to go and experiment with every kind of sound I could imagine. Essentially I had just recovered from this terrible kind of loss. And all I wanted in the world, I kept dreaming and visualizing and praying for a place in my studios, a paradise of being able to go and to have an idea and execute it – and just play with music again and just frolic in the joy of music. So out of this tragedy, once I got myself set up again, I started scoring films at the time as well. I was really making music, but I started getting the love of playing music back.A lot of these songs – especially the first half of the record, the first songs came out of this absolute delight of playing with music. And so it's imagination that's informed both by challenges and inspiration and a complete sense of absurdity and total imagination. That's the literal place where Lili-Land is, a sacred, delightful and playful place.