Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet

Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet

5.0 3
by Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble
     
 

Yo-Yo Ma has played tangos, jazz, and Appalachian fiddle music, but the Silk Road Project is certainly the most far-reaching of his musical explorations. Gathering together musicians from Iran, India, China, and other countries along the historic trade route, as well as a few Americans, Ma and musicologist Theodore Levin have woven a newSee more details below

Overview

Yo-Yo Ma has played tangos, jazz, and Appalachian fiddle music, but the Silk Road Project is certainly the most far-reaching of his musical explorations. Gathering together musicians from Iran, India, China, and other countries along the historic trade route, as well as a few Americans, Ma and musicologist Theodore Levin have woven a new tapestry of sounds from many different threads, some old and some new. The result is an ear-opening, mind-expanding kind of fusion. Among other pieces, Ma plays a work based on the classical traditions of Azerbaijan accompanied by a piano prepared à la John Cage, as well as Finnish folk songs. Recording in big jam sessions, Ma says he had "a huge amount of fun," and that's perhaps the most memorable feature of this disc. Authenticity is beside the point -- the disc captures a joyful spirit of sharing and cooperation among people whose backgrounds are vastly different. In today's world, so full of conflict and misunderstanding, this spirit is of incomparable value.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Recorded as part of the ongoing Silk Road Project, Silk Road Journeys brings together composers from the elusive, ancient Silk Road that crosses from China to the Middle East with musicians from both West and East. It's both ambitious and daring, two qualities that have been trademarks of Yo-Yo Ma's career. For its modernity and mix of Asian and Western instruments, though, it hews close to tradition (and not merely on "Mongolian Traditional Long Song"), although the departure into the Italian Renaissance for "Chi Passa Per'sta Strada" makes for an interesting, more formal and graceful aid in the whole. But the multicultural Silk Road itself makes for a good metaphor for this album, with the sheng, an ancient form of mouth organ, alongside the cello on the traditional "Blue Little Flower," for example. While it might seem strange to find Michio Mamiya's "Five Finnish Folksongs" here, it makes sense; the Saami people of Finland were nomadic, and traveled as far as the Silk Road. But the instruments, from Wu Man's pipa to Joel Fan's piano, work together, whether on traditional or commissioned material, to create something that's challenging to both listeners and performers and offers a strong impression of the journeys of the past.
Gramophone
This CD opens with the spine-tingling sound of a Mongolian Long Song... Sharav provides some glorious voicings, [and] this 11-minute work sets out the Silk Road Project's fertile agenda admirably. Ganbaatar Khongorzul's vocals and the tones Ma draws from the morin huur often merge eerily and effectively.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/16/2002
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998978225
catalogNumber:
89782
Rank:
1979

Tracks

  1. Mongolian Traditional Long song  - Mongolian Traditional  - Cristin Bagnall  - Esther Won
  2. Legend of Herlen  - Byambasuren Sharav  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Jim Pugh  - Shane Shanahan  - Cristin Bagnall  - Joseph Gramley  - Mark Suter  - Esther Won
  3. Blue Little Flower  - Chinese Traditional  - Edgar Meyer  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Wu Man  - Shane Shanahan  - Xue Ke  - Cristin Bagnall  -  Sandeep Das  - Joel Fan  - Joseph Gramley  - Mark Suter  - Wu Tong  - Esther Won
  4. Mido Mountain  - Chinese Traditional  - Edgar Meyer  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Wu Man  - Shane Shanahan  - Xue Ke  - Cristin Bagnall  -  Sandeep Das  - Joel Fan  - Joseph Gramley  - Mark Suter  - Wu Tong  - Esther Won
  5. Moon Over Guan Mountains  - Zhao Jiping  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Cristin Bagnall  - Wu Tong  - Yang Wei  - Esther Won
  6. Finnish Folksongs (5), for cello & piano: No. 3, Miero vuotti uutta kuuta  - Michio Mamiya  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Cristin Bagnall  - Esther Won
  7. Finnish Folksongs (5), for cello & piano: No. 5, Joiku  - Michio Mamiya  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Cristin Bagnall  - Esther Won
  8. Avaz-e Dashti  - Persian Traditional  - Kayhan Kalhor  - Cristin Bagnall  - Esther Won  -  Siamak Aghaei
  9. Habil-Sajahy for cello & prepared piano  - Franghiz Ali-Zadeh  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Cristin Bagnall  - Esther Won
  10. Blue As the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur  - Kayhan Kalhor  - Edgar Meyer  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Todd Reynolds  - Kayhan Kalhor  - Cristin Bagnall  -  Sandeep Das  - Esther Won  - Edward Arron  - Nicholas Cords  -  Siamak Aghaei
  11. Chi Passa per 'Sta Strada, for voices, lutes & violin  - Fillippo Azzaiolo  - Edgar Meyer  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Todd Reynolds  - Wu Man  - Shane Shanahan  - Xue Ke  - Cristin Bagnall  -  Sandeep Das  - Joel Fan  - Joseph Gramley  - Mark Suter  - Wu Tong  - Yang Wei  - Esther Won
  12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, film score: Desert Capriccio  - Tan Dun  - Yo-Yo Ma  - Shane Shanahan  - Xue Ke  - Cristin Bagnall  - Joseph Gramley  - Wu Tong  - Yang Wei  - Esther Won

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