Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Project

Nine years ago, Yo-Yo Ma founded the Silk Road Project, a non-profit aimed at  studying the ebb and flow of ideas among different cultures along the Silk Road.

Tonight, Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble performed at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle. 

The music was stunning, with three pieces (“Once We Were…”, “When the Wind Circles…” and “The Silent City”) standing out for me.  The latter was composed by Kayhan Kalhor and commemorates..

the Kurdish village of Hallabja in Iraqi Kurdistan… who are often called a ‘nationless nation’ and who have been the subject of numerous assaults and difficulties because of their demand for sovereignty.  In a way, The Silent City is a tribute to all of the cities that were somehow destroyed by humanity, war and natural disaster.

It is a painfully beautiful piece, with viola, kemancheh, violin, cello, and bass interweaving to create a poignant, complex sound.

In the concert, Yo-Yo Ma only had one solo (and it was a short one).  Some day, I hope to hear him play the Bach cello suites in person.  Still it was awesome just to see him on stage tonight.  Music has such a subjective quality to it… which makes seeing someone who is no-question THE BEST at such a powerful art all that more humbling and inspiring.

1 comment

  1. You’re lucky to have seen him. I listen to his music all the time. He is the best! Oh, by the way, I love your blog too.


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