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MOHINYA is a creative entity through which classical musicians bring atmospheric explorations of their art form to the audience.
42 backers pledged $2,145 to help bring this project to life.
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The energy behind the MOHINYA is inspired by the Hindu goddess-enchantress, Mohini, and the Hindu word Shunya, meaning boundless. MOHINYA'S mission is to re-contextualize Western Classical Music so that its depth and emotional power can be better understood and received by a greater number of people, young and old alike. Because it is an art form so steeped in tradition and therefore easily viewed as non-progressive, classical music can often be completely overlooked or written off by the younger generation — i.e. my own peers — in today's hip culture. I strongly believe, however, that this music can be presented and given to an audience in a way that unmasks its stiff and staunch connotations and reveals more plainly the pure beauty and striking power inherent in its intricacy and gesture.  

This vision is not loud or excessive or extravagant and in no way threatens the integrity of the music that will be performed — quite the contrary, in fact. The idea is to create an experience that lets the music travel through the performers as we engage all of our senses, as well as those of the audience, in a full and immersive experience that allows for the unexpected; one that, without boundaries, lets us fully into the breath-taking places that Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Mozart, Bartók, their contemporaries and ours, can take us to.      

                                                                    — Roseminna Watson, founder

MOHINYA'S first project will feature two women—Roseminna Watson, violin, and Jillian Bloom, cello—coming together to explore a new perspective on the aesthetic of the classical string duo. As I mentioned in the video, my body has long been the basis from which I create and draw the most truth — that instinctual part of myself that is unconcerned with the mind's second guesses. Similarly, Jillian uses her body to create new personal experiences through extreme sports and exploration, the echo of which she translates into her playing. Therefore, in this exploration, the body will play a crucial role. Jillian and I will employ minimal choreography and a heightened focus on the body as the vehicle responsible for the transference of energy, beauty, and gesture, as we move with the audience through a continuous experience — one that is uninterrupted by clapping and bowing between pieces.  

We will perform Maurice Ravel's Duo for Violin and Cello, Zoltán Kodaly's Duo for Violin and Cello, and an original improvisation on our instruments. Throughout the performance, we will highlight the unique qualities of energy that we each innately possess. Both Jillian and I are of the conviction that by thoroughly feeling our own beings, we will more authentically pass energy between one another and therefore out to the audience. Our hope is to bring a vibrant and cohesive reinterpretation of the classical concert to a wide audience through donation-only productions at various venues in Austin, TX between May 27th and June 10th, 2014.

Having trained rigorously in the traditional classical world since we were three years old, both Jillian and I are overflowing with excitement as we prepare to put a wider and freer range of ourselves into the music that we feel so passionate about and to which we have devoted our entire lives.

* To view videos of Roseminna and Jillian performing together in the Aiana String Quartet, please visit aianastringquartet.com . Please note, these videos were made by the same sound and recording engineer who will be documenting this project !

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge will actually be getting enough funding to get Jillian and her cello roundtrip plane tickets to Austin from Bend, Oregon where they currently reside ! The cello requires a ticket and a seat all to itself because it cannot be stowed under the aircraft due to its antique and delicate nature. Once Jillian arrives, cello in hand, we feel quite certain that with the help of a trusted recording engineer we will be able to get a high quality video and audio recording or our shows, but of course the one-shot nature of capturing a performance comes with an element of risk and unpredictability.

We have performed in countless concerts, even some untraditional, but having never been fully in charge of producing a more all-inclusive show, this exploration will involve a lot of organizational focus and coordination in the realm of some unfamiliar territory (lighting, choreography) and will require us to think about a variety of things as we perform, while maintaining the same level of precise rigor in terms of the music itself.

In order to make our shows feel successful, it will be crucial to gather a large audience which will require clever advertising and a range of publicity tactics in order to clearly represent what it is we will be doing. However, even if there is only one person in our audience every time, make no mistake — we will still pour our hearts out to him or her!

The only thing that would actually prevent us from going through with this project would be severe illness or injury on one or both our parts. Other than that, we feel we could get around any obstacles that may arise !

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    ...all of the above, plus a professional audio recording of one of our shows from this project

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    ...all of the above plus a DVD of one of our shows from this project

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    ...all of the above, reserved seating at our shows, and a signed poster

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    ...all of the above plus an invitation to attend an open rehearsal in Austin, or a Skype rehearsal if you live outside of Austin. Questions and interaction encouraged !

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    ...all of the above, a Skype meeting with the artists so that we can get to know one another, and an original composition by Roseminna and Jillian, recorded professionally and dedicated to YOU

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Funding period

- (31 days)