The Music of Strangers
“The intersection of cultures is where new things emerge.” Yo-Yo Ma
The new documentary by Morgan Neville, Oscar-winning director of 20 Feet from Stardom, tells the story of an extraordinary musical collective created by celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Named for the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa and Europe, the Silk Road Ensemble was founded in 2000 and features a revolving line-up of performers drawn from over 50 vocalists, instrumentalists, composers, visual artists and storytellers, who gather in locations across the world to perform and explore the ways in which art can preserve tradition and cultural heritage. Their work – hailed as ‘vibrant and virtuosic’ (Wall Street Journal) and ‘a roving musical laboratory without walls’ (The Boston Globe) – exemplifies music’s ability to blur geographical boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope in both artists and their audiences.
Mixing performance footage, interviews and archive film, Neville focuses on the journeys of a small group of performers and their personal stories of talent and sacrifice, painting a vivid portrait of an inspiring musical experiment.