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Music in Yoga Training

An Interview for the Catalogue of the French label Prikosnovenie.


(April 2004)

Ivo Sedlacek, who are you?


Well, if I REALLY knew this, I would be most happy :-)

How did you discover the violin?


I didn't so much discover the violin, rather, the violin came to me on its own. My parents sent
me to a music school when I was about seven. I immediately became very obsessed with the
violin, and with music in general. I used to play enthusiastically for hours. I remember I always
wanted to be able to play the most difficult things.

How did you learn to play the violin?


First, at the children's music school in our small town. Later, after a break in my training, I
studied violin at the Academy of Music in Prague. After that, I spent 5 years in India studying
Indian classical music. I had the great fortune to study with several premiere Indian violinists -
N.Rajam, Sangeeta Shankar, Kala Ramnath, D.K.Datar, T.N.Krishnan and R. Swaminathan. Also
during this time, a deep musical treasury was begun for me through my long-term association
with Hariprasad Chaurasia and Dinkar Kaikini. During these years in India, in addition to my
formal training, I was able to travel a great deal and had the opportunity to systematically
learn some of the deeper aspects of yoga, mantras and spiritual disciplines from several great
Indian spiritual masters. In India, I was also teaching Western classical music and violin (at
Bombay School of Music and American International School), and performed many violin
recitals with foremost Indian pianists. Apart from violin, I also play different kinds of flutes,
guitar and other instruments.

Where do you find your inspiration? How do you create your songs with your musical
partners?
I hardly create anything fixed. Music just flows and is never the same

Your music turns us in to our inner sensibility with a wide range of emotions. It's
like you open a door into ourselves. For me, your music is relaxing but also healing.
Can you explain your work with yoga, mantra, music therapy?
During my classical studies, I became more and more drawn to music which has no
boundaries, which is not dependent on any particular style and which just flows freely from
heart to heart. This kind of music touches some very subtle levels in listeners. I have always
felt that something very deep and powerful is happening in those moments when you just fully
open yourself to some higher unknown inspiration and simply let the music flow This kind of
experience can not only happen during regular concerts (we have performed many with this
mood, all over Europe) but can also occur during special, even more powerful occasions when
you are not confined by a common, formal concert setting. When such music is connected with
some intensive techniques of inner harmonisation and self-exploration, everything becomes
very very deep and touching.. Together with a friend, Geza Timcak (a yoga teacher from
Slovakia), we have created our own original system called "Savita Yoga", where certain yoga
and transpersonal techniques merge harmoniously with live music and mantras. During the last
twenty years (approximately) we have conducted a great number of Savita Yoga workshops
and seminars in Europe, India and Taiwan. Additionally, for two years, I had an opportunity to
conduct music therapy with mentally handicapped children. I still often conduct workshops on
"Healing Power of Music" and "Mantra Chanting". But, of course, my main passion and direction
is performing and recording music. Thankfully, even in a recording you can project that special
inspiring energy.

We don't know much about your country. What can you tell us about Czech Republic
and your town?
As you may know, Czech Republic is located in the very heart of Europe. Its capital city of
Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There is very long and
famous music tradition here, which has brought the world composers such as Smetana,
Dvorak, Janacek , Martinu and many others. The classical music hall of fame owes a lot to
Prague! The Czech Republic is also well known for its beer, ice hockey, etc. but these hallmarks
are not exactly the things closest to my heart.
I presently live in a small village at the foot of our highest mountain range, the Krkonose.

What is the situation is your country (politic, economic, cultural, spiritual,


human!!!)?
Although it is 15 years after the communist nonsense was finally removed from our land, we as
a nation and people are still working towards even better tomorrows. There has been always a
deep thirst in many people in the Czech Republic to explore and experience the deeper spiritual
levels of life. As a result, you can find many branches of various spiritual disciplines practiced
here.

Which other artists do you like in your country?


Whether in this country or anywhere else, I always like musicians playing with full heart and a
full surrender to the higher spirit. Shallow equilibristics or dry academic attitudes have never
really impressed me (not to mention some rather empty and aggressive music styles). For me,
a performance should always have a "soul": something which leaves you sitting speechless and
immersed something which remains inside you even long after the performance is over.
Specifically though, since you asked, I would like to mention three Czech musicians whom I
really enjoy and admire: the guitar magician Stepan Rak, musical "mystic" Pavel Klikar, who
makes incredibly uplifting performances and recordings of early baroque music and Jaroslav
Krcek, composer, conductor and founder of the ensemble Musica Bohemica.

Did you ever come to France? How do you find France?


I have been to France several times. The first time was about 15 years ago, when I played in a
cathedral in Strassbourg with an early music enemble. Some time ago we also played several
concerts in Nice with Yamuna - a trio with Japanese singer Sujata Kimiko, myself and Canadian
guitar player Shepherd. About two years ago we were invited for a yoga conference in Annecy,
where we played concerts and conducted several Savita Yoga workshops. I really love France
and look forward to traveling there again soon

What are your future plans?


After several CDs with vocals (3 CDs of Mantras and 2 Yamuna CDs) I am once again entering
the realm of pure and unlimited instrumental music. Currently, I am finishing a CD called
"Reflections". Together with a brilliant drum player Tomas Reindl, we are working on to create
a very dynamic album full of drums and vibrating energies, which step by step slowly rise from
earthly, watery, fiery etc. up to celestial levels. I am looking forward to the summer, as this
year I want to record lot of music in inspiring acoustic spaces like churches, castles etc. I
forgot to mention my very passionate hobby: over the course of time I have managed to set
my own very high end studio recording facility and I truly love to be involved in the never
ending process of music recording alchemy. There are also some tours in the future - this year
we are invited to Italy, UK and Switzerland to play concerts and to conduct Savita Yoga
seminars And I am, as always, open to the possibility of meeting new inspiring musicians,
since a musical dialogue at a deeper level is always a very uplifting experience.