The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

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USA | 2015 | 96 minutes | Morgan Neville

From the director of the Oscar®-winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom comes the delightful globe-trotting story of celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his multicultural collective of inspiring master musicians from around the world.

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Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom, SIFF 2013) trains his lens on the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble, an internationally acclaimed collective of master musicians, visual artists, and storytellers who join forces to foster a multicultural exchange of ideas between Eastern and Western artists. Founded by the ever-restless Ma in 2000, the Ensemble initially gathered artists who wanted to make innovative music that is also authentically rooted in tradition. This pursuit of what some consider contradictory goals leads this group around the world in their quest to show how music can sustain tradition, create cultural growth, and engender hope. Traveling through both space and time, Neville follows the globe-hopping Ensemble as they teach and perform, interweaving their arresting performances with accounts of the personal, often complicated histories that brought these virtuosos together. From Wu Man, China's astonishing master of the pipa, to exiled Iranian kamancheh violinist Kayhan Kalhor; from the war-torn Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, to Cristina Pato, the "Jimi Hendrix of gaita bagpipes," The Music of Strangers captures these artists' astonishing quest to "create unexpected connections" with everyone they meet.

Director Biography
Morgan Neville is an award-winning filmmaker from Los Angeles, noted for his work on music documentaries. His 2013 documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom won the 2013 SIFF Golden Space Needle Award for Best Documentary and the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Documentary.

Sponsored by EMP Museum, KEXP 90.3 FM

  • Director: Morgan Neville
  • Principal Cast: Yo-Yo Ma, Wu Man, Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, Cristina Pato
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 96 minutes
  • Producer: Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers
  • Cinematographers: Graham Willoughby
  • Editors: Helen Kearns, Jason Zeldes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Keith Richards: Under the Influence (Doc, 2015); Best of Enemies (Doc, 2015); Twenty Feet from Stardom (Doc, 2013); Troubadours (Doc, 2011); Search and Destroy: Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power (Doc, 2010); Johnny Cash’s America (Doc, 2008); The Cool School (Doc, 2008); Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan: 'Cowboy' Jack Clement's Home Movies (Doc,2005); Shotgun Freeway: Drives Through Lost L.A. (Doc, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: The Orchard
  • International Sales: Submarine Entertainment