Shaft of Sunlight

April 8, 2012, 3:36 PM · Not long ago, in the middle of my yoga class, I had a small revelation while all of us were standing in the pose called "tree."

"Be a tree!" said our instructor, helpfully, as we each attempted to balance on one leg, bend the other, and hold our arms at a variety of branch-like angles.

If I'm a tree, I thought as I struggled with gravity, I'm no longer a sapling. I'm getting to be one of those less-bendable trees that's been standing around for some time. Yet, no matter what, trees of all ages typically sprout shiny green leaves in the spring. Some even sprout colorful and fragrant flowers that grow into fruit.

Cherry Blossoms

In other words, if I'm at all like a tree, I still have new life in me, I can still grow, still flower. I can still give.

I tend to think in these terms, when it comes to Easter. We may feel ourselves given new life, by religion, by music, by spring. But it's important to take that inspiration, go back into difficult circumstances, and do something to make a difference: resurrect worthy projects, resurrect good ideas, resurrect another person's hopes.

For me, the Bach Chaconne says this all in music. The Chaconne begins in a minor key, intense and laborious. Serious. The pace picks up, and it gets busier, more complex. And then, stillness: that shaft of sunlight, when it changes into the major key (below, it's the beginning of the second video). Resurrection. Hope. Inspiration. But it does not simply ascend to heaven from here. It goes back to earth, back to the minor key, and gets back to the work at hand, with more energy and purpose than ever.

At least there's one way to look at J. S. Bach's Chaconne, from the D minor Partita. Here we have Julia Fischer performing. Happy Easter, and happy spring to all:


April 9, 2012 at 01:47 AM · Bach Chaconne is my favorite piece of music. Period.

April 9, 2012 at 03:51 AM · Thank you, Laurie. Happy Easter.

April 9, 2012 at 09:51 AM · What a coincidence! I had a major "high" this weekend after listening to the Bach Chaccone twice in a row. My heart was racing, my mind couldnĀ“t focus on anything but the music - an almost out of body experience, with no need for drugs...

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine