Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Bach and the magnificent culture that binds us together
Wednesday, 30 January 2019
I love the way Yo-Yo Ma talks about "our culture".
This is magnificent.
Yo-Yo Ma performs the Prelude from Bach’s First Cello Suite.
He asked people to send in footage responding to the prompt “Show the world how you express yourself and what brings your community together.”
Entitled The Culture of Us, the video features Ma playing on a New York City rooftop, and in Central Park. Cut-aways show responses to the creative prompt, including dancing, ice skating, playing music, making art, and spending time with friends, family or animals. The video opens with a quote from Ma:
“Culture – the way we express ourselves and understand each other – can bind us together as one world.”
It closes with the hashtag #cultureconnectsus.
The video is a part of Ma’s Bach Project in which the cellist will perform Bach’s six suites for solo cello in one sitting, in 36 locations worldwide. Each concert is paired with a day of action. According to the Bach Project website, the days of action are “a series of conversations and collaborations that explore how culture can help us imagine and build a better future.”
Since August 2018 Ma has performed the project in a number of US cities, Leipzig (Germany), Montreal (Canada) and Mumbai (India). Ma will perform the suites in Sydney and Melbourne in November 2019.
The Bach Project aims to explore and celebrate the ways the culture makes individuals, communities and society stronger. According to Ma: “The shared understanding that culture generates in these divisive times can bind us together as one world, and guide us to political and economic decisions that benefit the entire species.
“We are all cultural beings — let’s explore how culture connects us and can help to shape a better future.”
Thanks to ABC Classics for the tip on this story.