Silk Road Project
Found in: Iranian music
Silk Road Project, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization, initiated by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, promoting collaboration among artists and institutions, promoting multicultural artistic exchange, and studying the ebb and flow of ideas among different cultures along the Silk Road. The Project is an umbrella organization for a number of artistic, cultural and educational programs.
The organization has published a book, commissioned 20 new chamber music compositions, and created educational material entitled "Silk Road Encounters." As of October 2008, the Silk Road Ensemble has produced five CDs.
At its height from the second century BCE until the 14th century, the Silk Road was a vast network of trade routes that connected China to the Mediterranean through Greater Iran. For centuries ideas, objects, and people traveled along the Silk Road, making it one of the most fluid and broad arenas of exchange the world has known and a major conduit of culture and civilization. The name Silk Road Project serves as a metaphor of the cultural exchange of ideas envisioned by the project.
The Silk Road Ensemble
The Silk Road Ensemble is a musical collective and a part of the Silk Road Project. The ensemble is not a fixed group of musicians, but rather a loose collective of as many as 50 musicians from various Eurasian cultures interested in maintaining the authenticity of their own cultural heritage and, at the same time, exchanging ideas across ostensibly dissimilar cultures.
The Ensemble has regularly commissioned new works from across a broad musical spectrum, including works by Zhao Jiping and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and is known for its series of interdisciplinary festivals and residencies presented in North America, Europe, and Asia. They have performed in many locations along the historic Silk Road, including Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, India, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.
The Ensemble uses various instruments from the Silk Road region, including a pipa, a Chinese short-necked plucked lute; a duduk, an Armenian double reed woodwind; a Shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute; a sarangi, an Indian string instrument; and a morin khuur, a Mongolian horse head fiddle; among many others.
In addition to Ma, members of the ensemble include:
Sandeep Das, tabla
Wu Man, pipa
Joel Fan, piano
Silk Road Chicago
Silk Road Chicago was a yearlong, citywide celebration, from June 2006 to June 2007, with special events, performances, and exhibitions that explored cross-cultural discovery and celebrated the artistic legacy of the historic Silk Road. Silk Road Chicago was a partnership among the Silk Road Project, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Office of Tourism, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and The Art Institute of Chicago.
The collaboration was initiated by Yo-Yo Ma, who dreamed of bringing the historic Silk Road and the ideas it represents to life in one of the most diverse cities in the world. With this initiative, Chicago became the first city in the world to collaborate on a yearlong partnership with Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Project.
[[Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet]]
[[Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon]]
[[The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan]]
Interview with Yo-Yo Ma about the Silk Road Project - Weekend America