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

I went to work and got through it without too much enthusiasm.  During my late lunch, I watched the Partridge Family episode “Where Do Mermaids Go?”  I took a nap and then went out to see “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble.”  It didn’t really excite me all that much, in spite of all the talent of the musicians.  You can put together an all-star team, but we would rather see a champion.  The movie was some good footage, like Yo-Yo Ma performing for John F. Kennedy, and meeting Mister Rogers.  I wondered, though, if he was being genuine at some moments, like checking out some hacky sackers, or having a sample of some food and saying that it was good.  Yo-Yo Ma said that he saw Leonard Bernstein at Harvard as Bernstein spoke about a universal musical language.  I’ll have to say that I don’t find the cello very thrilling, although I could sit still for some Bach.  We see one of the ensemble, Kayhan Kalhor, affected by politics in Iran, living in Cherry Valley, California.  One scene I liked was Cristina Pato’s birthday party.  She had Mickey and Minnie Mouse candles on her cake.  I liked Wu Ma, who was able to play “Iron Man” on her instrument.  I liked “20 Feet From Stardom” more than this film.  I didn’t feel that I learned that much about the musicians or the nature of music.  I have questions about whether the musicians in this film can really attract broad audiences.  I walked over to the record store and looked through the Criterion Collection Blu-ray bins.  I bought “Blow Out.”  I sat around at home watching Family Feud and Match Game until I became sleepy.  Some of the people who died on June 25 include Johnny Mercer (1976), John Fiedler (1980), Jacques Cousteau (1997), Farrah Fawcett (2009), Michael Jackson (2009), and Patrick Macnee (2015).  Today is a birthday for Ricky Gervais (55), Jimmie Walker (69), Carly Simon (71), and June Lockhart (91).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 25, the New York radio station WMCA played the entire Beatles album “A Hard Day’s Night” ten days before its planned release, which prompted a rushed release of the album the next day.  In 1967, The Beatles performed “All You Need is Love” on the Our World television program broadcast by satellite around the world.  In 2009, Michael Jackson died in Los Angeles at age 50.

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