The bariolage part isn’t only exciting because of the chromaticism — all those repeated A’s are intense too, in a way that doesn’t come across fully in MIDI form or played on a piano. On violin, you’re not just hammering the same note over and over. You’re really playing two different notes that are both very close to being A — you alternate between the open A string and the D fingered at the equivalent of the seventh fret in the guitar. These two A’s are a little out of alignment with each other.
As for taking oneself too seriously… If I wasn’t able to make fun of myself, especially considering what I’m trying to do with my life, I don’t think I’d be able to cope. That’s not to say I don’t take anything seriously, because that’s essential too. But at the end of the day, being able to throw your hands up and laugh when a project goes horribly awry, or bringing an attitude of openness and humor onstage, can make space for very magical things to happen out of the blue, and that’s what I love most of all.