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7 Silk Road residents play SCU: New Music Festival / Santa Clara Weekly

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Seven musicians from the eclectic Silk Road Ensemble, formed by world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2000, traveled to Santa Clara University (SCU) for the New Music Festival Jan. 30 to Feb. 4. Their week of music classes, collaboration, and concerts culminated Feb. 3 in the free public concert "Exploring Home." Perhaps the biggest concert surprise for those not familiar with the Silk Road Ensemble was the atypical pairing of instruments in the opening piece. First came a background buzz, as if the sound equipment were malfunctioning. Next came the sound of Kojiro Umezaki's shakuhachi, a Japanese flute. Then the buzz got louder, becoming the distinctive drone of a Galician bagpipe as Cristina Pato piped her way onto the stage, joining Umezaki for an energetic east meets west interplay bridging their cultures." And that was only the beginning of the concert, not the end," said Ensemble violist Nicholas Cords, from the U.S., once the applause finally died down.

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