| Home | News| Living in China| SMS | About us | Contact us|
 Language Tips > 2002
Updated: 2002-05-10 01:00
Yo-Yo Ma  
cellist (!955--) Notes:

Yo-Yo Ma Ends His Silk Road Caravan Tour Into Carnegie Hall

Yo-Yo Ma, left, performs with two members of the Silk Road Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York, Saturday, May 4, 2002.

Cellist and eternal optimist Yo-Yo Ma swallowed some water and paused for a long moment before recalling the time his long-planned Silk Road Project nearly got swept away by the tide of history.

On Sept. 11, he was in Denver to give a concert, Ma told an audience at Carnegie Hall last weekend.

"My wife called up and we talked on the phone for an hour," he said. "I couldn't turn on the television."

In subsequent days, he and planners of the project a celebration of music and culture from the ancient route that linked Europe and Asia held discussions.

"We constantly questioned, 'Should we do it?'" Ma recalled.

They canceled trips to the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kazakstan, but instead of dropping the project that was hatched three years earlier, they added performances in Dallas and Atlanta.

"There was a need for people to be together. There was a need to continue," Ma said. "I think we'll do it with even more devotion, more passion."

Those cities were selected because of their Muslim populations, he said.

During the first millennium B.C. through the middle of the second millennium A.D., civilizations traded everything along the Silk Road from noodles to knowledge, rice to religion, silk to spices. Ma calls it "the Internet of antiquity."

This week, Carnegie Hall became the latest caravansary for the tour, which began last August in Europe and has played in Japan, Chicago, California and Washington, D.C. This summer, the Smithsonian Institution will devote its 36th annual folklife festival to the project. And more concerts are scheduled for Seattle, Chicago, California and Vancouver through fall 2003, when the musicians finally go to Central Asia.

With funding from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Ford Foundation, Siemens and others, the Silk Road Project has brought together hundreds of folk musicians and spawned compositions for Eastern and Western instruments. A study guide has been developed for teachers and students. A CD, "Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet," was released in April by Sony.

Ma, born in Paris to Chinese parents and raised in America, is the thread that stitches the project together. On Saturday night, the first of three concerts at Carnegie Hall, he played in seven of the nine pieces.

Throughout the itinerary, which included pieces from China, Uzbekistan and France, Ma's charismatic personality and entrancing playing broke through any language or cultural barrier.

The program began with Khongorzul Ganbaatar singing a Mongolian long song. Dressed in silken robes of turquoise, purple, red and gold, white boots and a black hat that looked like a tower, she offered an example of traditional desert communication. Singing without accompaniment, her voice echoed through Carnegie's Isaac Stern Hall.

cellist: 大提琴演奏者
eternal optimist:永远的乐天派





















Go to Other Sections
Story Tools
Related Stories
· Ex-chess champ Fischer applies for asylum
· DNA scientist Francis Crick dies at 88
· Wife seeks to bolster Kerry
Copyright by chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved

None of this material may be used for any commercial or public use. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.