Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble Fly High With ‘Ascending Bird’

Silkroad Ensemble
Stop The Presses!

By Wendy Geller

To call the Silk Road Ensemble "international" is a bit of an understatement, as this unique collective -- founded under the artistic direction of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 -- comprises members from a range that includes China, India, Spain, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Switzerland, Israel, and the United States.

What can't be understated is the delightful power and diversity of this mix, brilliantly displayed in its latest video for "Ascending Bird" -- an arrangement of a traditional Persian folk melody by Silk Road Ensemble members Colin Jacobsen and Siamak Aghaei. This colorful tune musically tells the story of a bird's attempt to fly to the sun. The creature fails twice, but on the third attempt loses its physical body in the glow of the sun; creating a metaphor for spiritual transcendence.

The song comes from the Silk Road Ensemble's latest DVD, Live From Tanglewood, which was released in conjunction with its new CD, A Playlist Without Borders.

The Silk Road Ensemble works together to preserve authentic musical traditions from around the world, as well as foster global connections; and since its inception has released five albums and performed to an extensive worldwide audience. Most recently the collective toured the West Coast, visiting universities as part of its trek. If you'd like to keep up with their schedule of events, check here.