London based concert violinist, wine aficionado and snowboarder, Yi-Jia (E Ja How) Susanne Hou tells us how she balances everything in her life despite a very busy touring schedule and why she is fascinated with physics. Yi-Jia talks about how her parents encouraged and supported her to play the violin and how she committed herself to playing violin. Yi-Jia shares with us the story behind the wine and the music connection.
“No matter what you do, if it doesn’t feel right, you can’t do it well.” – Yi-Tia Susanne Hou
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Worst Moment in Music
- There were projects where Yi-Tia started to get involved in, but later stopped because she didn’t feel quite right about them. Yi-Tia thought that this comes back to the decision making process for an artist. Yi-Tia says that a lot of artists, especially young artists to do anything that forwards their careers. Yi-Tia was put in situations where she was given very attractive projects and they simply didn’t feel right, whether it was originally pieces of music that she was to record or make premiere concerts, they didn’t resonate with Yi-Tia. Those experiences taught Yi-Tia a lot about herself. First of all when faced with projects she wasn’t excited about she was reluctant and started procrastination which wasn’t like her. Eventually Yi-Tia realized before it was too late that it just wasn’t for her and so she passed along the project to somebody else who absolutely loved it. Yi-Tia learned that it’s not about taking all the opportunities, it’s about taking the right one. Yi-Tia says that it’s also not about choosing what you do, but it’s also about choosing what you don’t do.
Musical Lightbulb Moment
- There was one recording Yi-Tia did called “Possessed”. The music is some of the most challenging pieces written for solo violin. Nobody else is there, it’s just for you, it’s for inner exploration of yourself. It’s one of these experiences where you have a mirror in front of yourself and you carry on with nobody but yourself. This recording was really an inner monologue and it put her in an emotional and psychological state Yi-Tia is not used to being in. Yi-Tia is generally a happy person and the music on this album was really a journey down the dark side. The first time Yi-Tia was preparing for this recording, Yi-Tia just got lost. Yi-Tia was just absolutely drawn into this other side because of the nature of how difficult the music is. She just got dragged into it and sometimes it became too painful and too real. Yi-Tia was preparing for recording and it was 2-3 weeks before the recording at CBC studios. Yi-Tia was waking up in the middle of the night crying. Finally about one week before the recording Yi-Tia woke up and couldn’t move her neck. That day before Yi-Tia had been practicing for 5 hours absolutely no problem and the next morning Yi-Tia woke up and couldn’t even roll over to get herself out of the bed. It took her 45 minutes to just stand up. Yi-Tia couldn’t move. Yi-Tia somehow got herself into the car and drove to her doctor. Yi-Tia doctor told her that it was a good thing that Yi-Tia didn’t get rear ended that day because her spine had actually curved outward at her neck and if someone could have rear ended Yi-Tia, she could have been paralyzed.
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