Stories » How Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble use music to build bridges / WFMT Radio

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How Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble use music to build bridges / WFMT Radio

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"Since the advent of the nuclear age, we've developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. We can commit mass mutual suicide. We can now do this in a number of different ways," cellist Yo-Yo Ma reflected in a recent interview. "But with the power of the human spirit, we can all work collectively together to not have horrible things happen," he added with hope. "We have to do the work that's in between. The greatest possibility of what a Steve Jobs or a Michelangelo or a Leonardo Da Vinci can create is kind of like a goal post of what we should all aim towards, because if we don't aim for something like that, we can all just slide."

Ma's goal? To bring people together through music. To help him achieve that, he founded Silkroad, a non-profit organization that serves as an incubator for intercultural exchange through music. The Silk Road Ensemble brings together musicians from around the world and has been touring the world since 2000. Since then, Ma said, "I think the thing we've learned about the human spirit, or at least what activates it, is common values. Our message is very simple: we build bridges, not walls."

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