Cellist Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble Continue Their Exploration Of The Links Between Eastern & Western Music

New York City, USA – Now in the fifth year of their
internationally acclaimed collaboration, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road
Ensemble continue to explore the musical cultures that flourished along the Silk
Road – the ancient trade route between China and the West – with their latest
recording entitled Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon (Sony

The music for Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon was created in
the fall of 2004, to be heard on the soundtrack of a television series about the
Silk Road created by the Japanese network NHK. To develop the repertoire, Ma and
the musicians returned to the grounds of the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox,
Massachusetts, where they held their first musical workshops in 2000. The
recording includes music by two of China’s leading film composers – Zhao Jiping
and Zhao Lin – as well as the works of such innovative members of the ensemble
as the Iranian kamancheh virtuoso

Kayhan Kalhor
, vocalist and
master of the Azerbaijani mugham musical tradition; Indian tabla virtuoso
Sandeep Das; and Wu Tong, who also plays ‘the xun, a type of ocarina that is
among the most ancient of Chinese instruments. “For me, the music on this album also crosses boundaries of time and
space, revealing the unity among seemingly different traditions
,” Ma says. “The
first part of the album begins with a work by Sandeep Das entitled ‘Mohini’
(Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon). The second part explores origins and
rootedness, evoking the memory of the nomadic peoples who traveled and lived
along the Silk Road. The final third of the album is revelatory, including the
transcendent vocals of Alim Qasimov and the serene harmonies of Zhao Jiping’s
‘Sacred Cloud Music

Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon features 15 new works – one is
an ensemble improvisation – that encompass the full scope of the Silk Road
Project, founded in 1998 by Yo-Yo Ma, who is also its artistic director.

The Silk Road is the name for the trade route that, for centuries, linked
Europe and the Eastern world. Travel along the Silk Road resulted in a complex
web of interconnections between cultures that affected not only formal aesthetic
expression but folk expression as well in a vast array of cultures.

During the course of the Silk Road Project, composers from Armenia,
Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia. Tajikistan, Turkey
and Uzbekistan have been invited to contribute music that evokes this
intersection of cultures, and these works are sampled on the project’s first

Silk Road Journeys
: When Strangers Meet, released by Sony Classical
in 2002.

Yo-Yo Ma’s most recent release is

Plays Ennio Morricone
, a collaboration with the renowned Italian
film composer that includes new treatments of some of Morricone’s most popular
film scores.

Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon

Author: World Music Central News Department

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