LILI HAYDN BIO
~Rolling Stone called her music “fiery and virtuosic...” George Clinton called her "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin."
Lili Haydn has released four critically acclaimed recordings as a solo artist. Lili (Atlantic Records), Light Blue Sun (BMG Music), Place Between Places (Nettwerk Music Group), which was a favorite on NPR, praising it as "A mix of neo-psychedelic flower child and rock star virtuoso...Heifetz meet Hendrix," and LiliLand, released in late 2014, with its single, Sea of Gold reaching commercial radio success. LiliLand was written in the aftermath of a freak chemical accident resulting in the loss of everything Lili owned. Lili describes this record as "the jungle of my mind. Fun, fragile, and ferocious songs about losing everything and getting it back”
In July of 2015, Lili will release a new “Classical Crossover” album titled Evocations, with Master pianist/composer Bill Goldstein, a completely improvised work which highlights the duo’s distinct genre bending virtuosity and ability to create “Instant Composition.”
Lili is also known for her legendary collaborations; she has played with, sung with, and opened for everyone from Roger Waters, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Josh Groban, Seal, Cyndi Lauper, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and George Clinton's P-Funk All Stars to name a few.
Both as a solo artist and as support, Lili has toured the world and performed in premiere concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl.
In addition to Lili's extensive recording and touring career, Lili’s music has been licensed for TV, film, and commercials, and she is the featured voice and violin on several films with Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean 3 & 4), among many others. Lili is also a film composer in her own right, with ten feature films to her scoring credit, and a Film Composing Fellowship to the prestigious Sundance Film Institute.
A humanitarian and activist, Lili also performs regularly for various human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Global Security Institute (for whom she recently performed a concert at the UN). Above all, Lili believes that music has the power to uplift and heal, and she’s very excited to share her new music with you.
I've done a lot of talking about how I lost everything and got it back through music. You can hear an entertaining version of this story in a TEDx talk I did called How Music Saved My Brain.
I want to explain with a little more factual detail, in case anyone reading this is curious, or wondering if they're affected...
I became chemically sensitive to a pesticide called Chlordane, which exists in 30 to 60 million homes in the US, pretty much any structure built between 1948-1988. It was used to prevent termites, but they later found it to be carcinogenic. It has no halflife and it is pervasive, found in 90% of breast milk. It can cause a whole host of problems, and in my case, it caused me to be foggy headed, so foggy that I literally couldn't think or follow instructions, or process information. I once was in traffic and rear ended the car in front of me because I thought 'red' meant 'go.' It's called "Toxic Inebriation."
Only about 1% of the population is chemically sensitive, but the human body can only sustain so much environmental toxicity before it can no longer handle even one molecule of a given toxin, and my immune system was battered by an earlier incident in which the generator that was powering my recording studio melted over the course of a year, and I was breathing melting wires and flame retardant, through the heating and AC vents in the house.
In the process of remediating the melting generator, we disturbed the foundation of the house, which had Chlordane in it, which became airborne, travelling through the vents and contaminating everything I owned. I had to evacuate and get rid of everything, my grandma's grand piano, my pictures, because it couldn't be cleaned to a level that wouldn't make a "chemically sensitive person" sick.
I had to figure out how to save my house, my sanctuary. Once I figured out what it was, I found out that there is a very specific and costly protocol for fixing a house with Chlordane in it (not all houses are able to be fixed. In more humid areas like the South, they used a lot more of it, and those houses can be too contaminated to fix). It involved replacing the HVAC system, meticulously wiping down EVERY surface and crevice in the house in a specific method, and encapsulating the crawlspace with an impenetrable substance which prevents any other chemicals or mold or pests or you name it from entering the house. I spent my savings doing all these things and more, in order to save the only possession I had left (besides my violins). After doing all this, I hired the same toxicologist and Industrial Hygenist who discovered the Chlordane to test it for safety, and THANKFULLY all the tests came back fine! I had saved the house.
But I was still sick. I wasn't myself. Electroencephalograms (tests of the brain) confirmed what I was feeling, and indicated that my brain waves were abnormal and typical of someone who had been poisoned and had brain damage. Western medicine had absolutely no solutions. A child of alternative medicine, I did a 6 month detox (the Purification Rundown), Neuro-feedback, Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy, and so many other healing modalities, and they helped, but only about 65%...I was still not fully there.
I was really scared. I remember one night in bed with my beloved Itai, crying because I thought I had lost myself. I didn't even care about the possessions any more. I couldn't write lyrics, and my concentration was shot. I was fucking up at recording sessions and stopped getting hired by my main employers. I didn't know how I was going to live like that.
And then I decided to start practicing my violin more rigorously, forcing myself to concentrate, and sight reading classical music again. And literally every day I practiced, I would wake up the next day feeling more present and smart. I kept it up, and had a full recovery...a miracle.
I found out in the process of researching this for my TEDx talk that music literally causes neuro-genesis, activates the whole brain in a way that nothing else does, and is 65% more effective than any other form of neuro-therapy in tests of people affected by strokes. Children who study music test as much as 30% higher in math and reading, and it is not an airy-fairy proposition to say that music is medicine.
If you have more questions about this, please feel free to write me. Here is a link for the remediation of Chlordane, and I hope you take the time to make some music every day!
How to remove Chlordane: http://www.chem-tox.com/chlordane/repair.htm