Posted on December 31, 2003 at 02:08 PM
Listening to Yo Yo Ma discuss music and culture with Chris Lydon just happens to be a great way to spend an hour. If you’re remotely curious about this exquisite musician and the range of his work outside of the classical genre, that in itself is reason enough to listen. In this journey about journeying, there’s fascinating talk of different cultures, musical styles, instruments, conflict, communication. Lydon gives Ma lots of room to expound, and their back and forth is so relaxed you feel like you’re eavesdropping on a leisurely after dinner, cognac-sipping kind of conversation. The production is beautifully mixed with lots of music. Lydon’s intelligence and writing skill are nicely displayed in the introduction and close to the piece. Plus, anyone who’s seen Fog of War will discover that Robert McNamara and Yo Yo Ma have something in common! Both elevate the notion of empathy for other cultures as essential to the struggle for world peace.
This piece can be aired whenever, just to air because it’s so darn good, or in connection to any Yo Yo Ma appearance or new recording, or violent world events (as I said, any time!), UN in the news, etc. Just air it. sl