Sing Me Home Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
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- 1Green (Vincent's Tune) feat. Roomful of Teeth04:21
- 2O'Neill's Cavalry March feat. Martin Hayes02:43
- 3Little Birdie feat. Sarah Jarosz02:49
- 4Ichichila feat. Balla Kouyaté and Toumani Diabaté06:31
- 5Sadila Jana feat. Black Sea Hotel03:26
- 6Shingashi Song feat. Kaoru Watanabe05:06
- 7Madhoushi feat. Shujaat Khan09:36
- 8Wedding feat. Dima Orsho06:08
- 9Going Home feat. Abigail Washburn05:32
- 10Cabaliño feat. Davide Salvado, Anxo Pintos and Roberto Comesaña of Rustica07:42
- 11St. James Infirmary Blues feat. Rhiannon Giddens, Michael Ward-Bergeman and Reylon Yount07:23
- 12If You Shall Return... feat. Bill Frisell06:50
- 13Heart and Soul feat. Gregory Porter and Lisa Fischer03:55
Info for Sing Me Home
The latest album by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will surprise and delight, with guest performers and imaginative sounds that transform the traditional musical landscape. Sing Me Home is the sixth album by the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble and its founding member and guiding light Yo-Yo Ma.
Sing Me Home is a companion album, developed and recorded alongside The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary feature from Oscar® and Emmy-winning director Morgan Neville that tells the story of the Ensemble and Silkroad, its parent organization. The Music of Strangers is slated for theatrical release in June.
Produced by Silk Road Ensemble member Johnny Gandelsman and Grammy Award winner Kevin Killen (U2, Kate Bush, Elvis Castello, David Bowie), the album examines the ever-changing idea of home, with original and traditional tunes composed or arranged by members of the Ensemble's unique collective of global artists. Each piece invites listeners to explore the 'music of home' through the individual experiences of Ensemble members, many of whom are immigrants. The result is a compelling collection of innovative and deeply moving tributes to the rich cultural heritage of the Balkans, China, Galicia, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Mali, people of the Roma, Syria, and the United States.
'Throughout the Silk Road Ensemble's travels and performances, we have come to understand the wealth of creative potential that exists when cultures intersect,' says Yo-Yo Ma. 'The music composed, arranged, and performed by Ensemble members for Sing Me Home demonstrates the power of curiosity, evolving tradition, and cultural exchange.'
In one example, the stunning voice of rising guest star Rhiannon Giddens, along with influences of music of the Roma, infuses the American folk tune 'St. James Infirmary Blues' with a gripping intensity. On another track, improvisation by acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell layers rich texture onto an enticing melodic conversation between shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and tabla (Indian percussion).
Grammy-nominated singer Sarah Jarosz pays homage to the late Pete Seeger in an arrangement of the classic folk song 'Little Birdie,' featuring pipa (Chinese lute) and sheng (Chinese mouth organ). 'Going Home' reinvents the wistful melody from the slow movement of Dvořák's 'New World' symphony, transformed into a beloved spiritual by Paul Robeson. The song is interpreted in both Chinese and English by vocalist and banjo player Abigail Washburn and Ensemble member Wu Tong.
From a haunting Irish march with renowned fiddler Martin Hayes to the musical realization of a Syrian village wedding, each track tells a unique story reflecting the artists' own passions.
Sing Me Home saves one of the biggest surprises for last, closing with an exquisite interpretation of the pop standard 'Heart and Soul' by the Ensemble with jazz vocalist Gregory Porter and — from Oscar®-winning 20 Feet from Stardom — two-time Grammy award-wining singer Lisa Fischer.
Additional guest artists include Grammy-winning vocal octet Roomful of Teeth, Cristina Pato's dynamic Galician band Rustica, the world's most prominent Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté, and the great Indian sitarist Shujaat Khan, among other international icons and virtuosos.
Eager to forge connections across cultures, disciplines, and generations, cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the nonprofit organization Silkroad in 1998. Since 2000, the Silk Road Ensemble has welcomed more than 70 performers and composers from nearly 25 nations into what the Boston Globe has called 'a kind of roving musical laboratory without walls.' Through performances, the creation of new music, and recordings, the Ensemble is an inspirational musical collective that draws on the rich tapestry of each other's traditions to redefine classical music for 21st century audiences.
'Every tradition is the result of successful invention,' Yo-Yo Ma says in the documentary The Music of Strangers. 'Human beings grow by being curious and receptive to what's around them. A lot of people are scared of change, and sometimes there's reason to be fearful. But if you can welcome change, you become fertile ground for development.' Sing Me Home is a vivid musical realization of that philosophy.
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
The Silk Road Ensemble
Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, Mr. Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination.
Yo-Yo Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities. He draws inspiration from a wide circle of collaborators, creating programs with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Kayhan Kalhor, Ton Koopman, Yu Long, Edgar Meyer, Mark Morris, Cristina Pato, Kathryn Stott, Chris Thile, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wu Man, Wu Tong, and Damian Woetzel. Each of these collaborations is fueled by the artists’ interactions, often extending the boundaries of a particular genre. One of Mr. Ma’s goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication and as a vehicle for the migration of ideas across a range of cultures throughout the world. To that end, he has taken time to immerse himself in subjects as diverse as native Chinese music with its distinctive instruments and the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa.
Expanding upon this interest, in 1998, Mr. Ma established Silkroad, a nonprofit organization that seeks to create meaningful change at the intersections of the arts, education and business. Under his artistic direction, Silkroad presents performances by the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble and develops new music, cultural partnerships, education programs, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Silkroad’s ongoing affiliation with Harvard University has made it possible to develop programs such as the Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute for educators and teaching artists, held in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a new Cultural Entrepreneurship initiative in partnership with Harvard Business School. More than 80 new musical and multimedia works have been commissioned for the Silk Road Ensemble from composers and arrangers around the world.
Through his work with Silkroad, as throughout his career, Yo-Yo Ma seeks to expand the cello repertoire, frequently performing lesser known music of the 20th century and commissions of new concertos and recital pieces. He has premiered works by a diverse group of composers, among them Elliott Carter, Richard Danielpour, Osvaldo Golijov, Leon Kirchner, Zhao Lin, Christopher Rouse, Giovanni Sollima, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, John Williams and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. In February of 2017 he will premiere a new concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, Mr. Ma is partnering with Maestro Riccardo Muti to provide collaborative musical leadership and guidance on innovative program development for The Negaunee Music Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and for Chicago Symphony artistic initiatives. Ma’s work focuses on the transformative power music can have in individuals’ lives, and on increasing the number and variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities. In March 2016, he was appointed Artistic Advisor at Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of their expansive initiatives honoring the centenary of JFK’s birth and to encourage the idea of creative citizenship.
Yo-Yo Ma is strongly committed to educational programs that not only bring young audiences into contact with music but also allow them to participate in its creation. While touring, he takes time whenever possible to conduct master classes as well as more informal programs for students – musicians and non-musicians alike. At the same time, he continues to develop new concert programs for family audiences, for instance helping to inaugurate the family series at Carnegie Hall. In each of these undertakings, he works to connect music to students’ daily surroundings and activities with the goal of making music and creativity a vital part of children’s lives from an early age. He has also reached young audiences through appearances on “Arthur,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street.”
Mr. Ma’s discography of over 100 albums (including 18 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. He has made several successful recordings that defy categorization, among them “Appalachia Waltz” and “Appalachian Journey” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer, and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, “Obrigado Brazil” and “Obrigado Brazil – Live in Concert.” Mr. Ma’s recent recordings include: “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” with Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan, which received the 2013 Grammy for Best Folk Album, and “Songs from the Arc of Life,” with pianist Kathryn Stott. His most recent release, “Sing Me Home,” recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble, was released in April 2016 as the companion album to documentary film The Music of Strangers. Created by Oscar-winning producer Morgan Neville, the film follows the Ensemble’s more than 50 musicians, composers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution. In spring 2017, Mr. Ma will release and tour “Bach Trios,” recorded with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile. Mr. Ma remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field. All of his recent albums have quickly entered the Billboard chart of classical best sellers, remaining in the Top 15 for extended periods, often with as many as four titles simultaneously on the list.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and soon came with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. He sought out a traditional liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard University in 1976. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Leonie Sonning Music Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), the Polar Music Prize (2012) and the Vilcek Prize in Contemporary Music (2013). In 2011, Mr. Ma was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree. Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by the United States Department of State in 2002, Mr. Ma has met with, trained and mentored thousands of students worldwide in countries including Lithuania, Korea, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and China. He also serves as a UN Messenger of Peace. He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.
Mr. Ma and his wife have two children. He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.