MANTRA: Tell us about your name. What is the significance of Wah!, with an exclamation point? When and why did you decide to make your name change legal?
Wah!: I changed my name when I was 18 years old, I wanted to be closer to the essence of this name. Wah is a word that exists in many languages. In Japanese it means peace. In Chinese it means flower or bliss. In Korean it means energy. In Hindi it means bliss. It is the speechlessness that comes with an amazing moment. I translate it into English as Wow! It’s pretty hard to say wow without an exclamation point.
MANTRA: What was the first instrument you learned how to play?
WAH!: Violin at age 2. My mom is a professional classical violinist. I grew up around music.
MANTRA: You are now on tour entitled The Healing Concert Tour. For those new to your unique blend of music, images and meditation, could you offer a brief preview of The Healing Concert experience?
WAH!: The Healing Concert uses visual and sonic images of nature and our universe to create a feature-length presentation of profound beauty set to music. In planetariums, the audience gets a slow visual journey through the solar system before the healing lights come on, bathing the audience in rejuvenating patterns and light frequencies. I perform live, singing with loops, delays, and keyboards to gently guide audiences into deep relaxation and rejuvenation. At the end of the concert, everyone gets flower petals to take home to loved ones or to bless their gardens, trees, lakes, oceans, and favorite nature spots.
MANTRA: Tell us about your work with cancer patients and their caregivers. How did you get into this form of “healing work”? Why do you find it so rewarding?
WAH!: A R.N. asked me to join her in teaching yoga and self-healing techniques to cancer patients at The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in San Francisco. I taught monthly for several years. I’m inspired by how open and receptive these people are to the self-healing techniques I teach them. Yoga is a path of self-healing and self-awareness; my work with them helps them participate more fully in their recovery.
MANTRA: Speaking of “healing work,” do you believe that music, meditation, and yoga should be regularly incorporated into healthcare? What would you say to convince skeptical Western doctors?
WAH!: Integrative Medicine is the new model for Western medicine. Yoga, meditation, sound healing, acupuncture, massage and other healing modalities are proving their legitimacy with latest research studies. The key is integration: increasing our understanding about how these healing modalities can best work together. We have started hosting forums throughout the country, inviting Western, Ayurvedic, Yogic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Qigong professionals to sit together, talk, and answer questions from the public on various health issues.
Wah! has been leading audiences and doing field work in the area of personal development for 30 years. She has recorded 18 albums. Praising music as therapeutic, she also performs healing work in hospitals. She has performed globally.