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The Music of Strangers / HeyUGuys review

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Two years ago Morgan Neville was an Academy Award winner with Twenty Feet from Stardom, a film which used music as a prism to explore society, culture and politics – which he has sought to emulate with his latest offering The Music of Strangers. Though undoubtedly achieving all of the above, what transpires is a film lacking that certain spark, and the ability to sustain a viewer's engagement for the entirety of this feature length documentary.

Our story centres around the renowned, multi-Grammy winning (18 in total) cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who was behind the conception of The Silk Road Project, assembling a collection of some of the world's most resourceful, talented musicians, from a host of different cultures and backgrounds. Including the likes of Chinese pipa player Wu Man, to Spanish bagpiper Cristina Patp. Also among the ranks are Syrian clarinet player Kinan Azmeh and the Iranian Kayhan Kalhor, a virtuoso on the traditional instrument the ‘kamancheh'. Between them comes a myriad of conflicting styles, and while initially many doubted whether this ambitious endeavour would work, the millions of records purchased, and sold-out concerts around the world, would suggest it's been something of a success.

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