Friday, September 18, 2015

Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project

I saw many of the musicians from The Silkroad Project on stage in 2009 and was more than happy to see and hear them again at Massey Hall this week.

The ensemble performed to mark the premier screening of the documentary The Music of Strangers at the Toronto International Film Festival.

It was a joy to watch and listen. Not only are they all virtuoso, they revel in each other's company and the energy emanating from the stage almost created a fifth dimension. The end of the performance brought a standing ovation, pleading for an encore that was generously given.

the gaita from Northern Spain, played by Cristina Pato
Some highlights for me were watching the tabla player carefully tune his drums during intermission by tightening the skins. Seeing an amazing green-haired woman play bagpipes that originated in Northern Spain. Hearing the vocals of Aynur, a contemporary Kurdish singer, as she evoked an incredible range of emotion in the piece Layers of Lonliness, based on three love poems. Being mesmerized by the bass, the clarinet, and of course, Yo Yo Ma with his cello.

Such a fusion of sounds and presence. Can't wait to see the documentary!

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