2005 2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
YOYO MA'S SOLUTION FOR THE GREAT POVERTY OF IMAGINATION IN MUSIC
Silk Road Project Concert Review (Hollywood Bowl)
For those who state the well-founded position that there is a great poverty of imagination from much of the music world, hearing Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project provides a tangible hope that there might be a great future ahead of us. Utilizing music as a tangible expression to communicate one’s most profound aspirations while transcending self-imposed humanistic restrictive borders/conflicts among us – Silk Road Project was and is a celebration of what the arts should aspire to be.
sold-out multicultural audience of 18,000+ people at the Hollywood Bowl
of all ages sent a strong signal that, despite the various issues of diversity
in the media and the clashes between various racial groups, many ethnically
diverse communities can come together to celebrate as one voice. The broad
spectrum of the appreciative audience came close to matching the diverse
collection of musical visionaries within Silk Road Project such as Yo-Yo
Ma, Siamak Aghaei, Mike Block, Nicholas Cords, Sandeep Das, Joel Fan,
Ganbaatar Khongorzul, Jonathan Gandelsman, Joseph Gramley, Colin Jacobsen,
Siamak Jahangiry, Kayhan Kalhor, Liu Lin, Max Mandel, Shane Shanahan,
Mark Suter, Wu Man, Wu Tong, DaXun Zhang, Miles Anderson, Michael Becker
and James Miller.
Yo-Yo Ma was the genial emcee, enthusiastic ringleader, embracing creative center, driving force and the music’s “common ground” for Silk Road Project’s polystylistic creativity where he was almost having more fun than the audience – as noted by the various images that were displayed at the Hollywood Bowl’s various large television screens. Most of the time, he was just another component of an exciting musical ensemble while incorporating his playing of various instruments such as the ancient two-string morin khun – along with his famed cello.
"Ambush From 10 Sides” provided the fusion based on a tone poem about an ancient Chinese battle that included various percussive punctuations that highlighted the impressive work of pipa virtuoso Wu Man and Wu Tong’s harmonica-like passages from a sheng utilized in a fashion of an acoustic rock guitar-type strumming. The gypsy-flavored selections allowed Wu Man to play the pipa in a sedate fashion within the delicate Persian classical musical textures.
The drone-based workout "Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur" continued the meditative nature of the various Persian-based compositions. The night featured various performance combinations from 2 to 3 performers (within the Persian composition that was a little too long) to a full ensemble.
night ended on a high note with the full ensemble performing various selections.
With the crowd asking for more, the encores included compositions where
the various musicians were "playing off of each other" (improvising)
that included extended solos on their respective instruments in full-fledged
celebration of the magic and unity that existed that night. The audience
was a recipient and beneficiary of the collective joy of the musicians
reveling in a night where all our respective differences became a collective
strength and a reason to celebrate.