Stories » Yo-Yo & Silk Road: Music of Strangers / National Post

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Yo-Yo & Silk Road: Music of Strangers / National Post

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Yo-Yo Ma is renowned as a cellist, but he's also a master communicator. One of his peers remembers him drawing two overlapping circles on a restaurant napkin. The Venn diagram, he said, represented two cultures. The overlap was where new ideas are formed. This was the simple yet profound thinking that led Ma, at the turn of the century, to create the Silk Road Ensemble, taking its name from the ancient trade route and bringing together musicians from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Director Morgan Neville (Best of Enemies, 20 Feet from Stardom) spends time with Ma and several of the group's musicians, exploring their cultures and the sometimes tragic life stories that come from living through revolutions and political upheaval. But as more than one of the performers notes, music transcends culture, history and even language.