Search - Fikret Amirov, Sandeep Das, Indrajit Das Sandeep / Dey :: Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon

Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon
Fikret Amirov, Sandeep Das, Indrajit Das Sandeep / Dey
Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon
Genres: International Music, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

It is a perilous proposition when genres clash--and no such collaboration is more potentially fraught than when improvisation-trained folk musicians sit in with Western classical instrumentalists, who are taught to interpr...  more »


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It is a perilous proposition when genres clash--and no such collaboration is more potentially fraught than when improvisation-trained folk musicians sit in with Western classical instrumentalists, who are taught to interpret a printed score. The renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma has devoted much of his professional life to such intercultural experiments. But the traditions of nations situated along the ancient Silk Road, which began in the Far East, meandered through Asia and terminated in Europe, are especially dear to him. These lushly arranged pieces range from moody scenic vistas to percussive Turkish hip-shakers and they make very pleasant listening. If they owe more to the European canon than the ethnic sources that inspired them, they are also the result of respectful give-and-take between a team of acknowledged masters. And nobody is more of a team player than Maestro Ma, an impassioned, fearless musical seeker and a gracious, deferential colleague. --Christina Roden Interview with Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma speaks about his latest adventures involved in this new installment of the ongoing Silk Road Project--an epoch-making collaboration among musical colleagues. Read our special interview to learn more about Ma's musical philosophy.

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CD Reviews

Worth Taking the Journey
Kristopher Spencer | Royal Oak, MI | 04/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Beyond the Horizon is a fitting companion to the ensemble's 2002 release, When Strangers Meet. Both CDs marry multi-cultural music traditions to classical performance discipline. The music heard on Beyond the Horizon provided the soundtrack for a Japanese television series about the ancient Silk Road trade route from the Far East across the far expanse of Central Asia to Mediterranean Europe. Ma and his diverse ensemble developed the CD's repertoire by working closely with composers of such cultures as China, Iran, Azerbaijan and India among others.

Yo-Yo Ma has said that the music on this album crosses boundaries of time and space, revealing the unity among seemingly different traditions... that it evokes the memory of the nomadic peoples who traveled and lived along the Silk Road.

Split into three sections entitled Enchantment, Origins, and New Beginnings, the CD's music blends haunting melodies with disciplined arrangements. Traditional western instruments like the harp, violin and cello commingle with the exotic sounds of the sarangi, sheng, kamancheh, tabla, pipa, dudak, tar and many others. The uninitiated have nothing to fear from such an imposing assortment of instruments, as each is described and pictured with its player in the liner notes.

It comes as no surprise to learn that this music was used as a soundtrack. Like the legendary 1992 recording Pieces of Africa by the renowned Kronos Quartet, Beyond the Horizon is highly evocative of the landscapes and cultures of Asia. The emotional undercurrent that shades this music calls to mind the dramas that Silk Road caravans must have encountered during the early days of global travel. And like the influential Kronos recording (which Yo-Yo Ma claims to admire), this Silk Road recording captures the essence of otherworldly places and makes them accessible for Western ears.

Just as the musical traditions of the ancient world provided pleasure and spiritual sustenance to Silk Road travelers, this "soundtrack" is certain to enliven more than one modern day commute.

Rizgar | Sweden | 11/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

This is definitely the best album the Silk Road Ensemble has yet produced! It's consists of a variety of moving and beautiful themes with great orchestration. The pieces are so varied and beautifully arranged for the instruments. The orchestration is clearly Western influenced in a way or another.

Although I wish that It would contain some Kurdish and Arabic music, the Silk Road Project is a very nice idea that could be one of the means of achieving mutual understanding and respect between the different peoples in that region as well as broadening the horizons of the Western listeners. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!"
Beyond the first Silk Road CD
Malan Strbenc | Ljubljana, Slovenia | 11/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yo-Yo Ma went beyond indeed. The first CD with Silk Road ensemble (When Strangers Meet) was inconsistent and somewhat experimental. This one however, is superb. As if in the 5 years the musicians got to know each other (but in truth, only a few musicians are the same). 23 traditional Eastern instruments are listed plus a number of western strings and other percussion was used. So the music on this CD gets my full attention, and as the title of first track suggests, you (can) get enchanted.

The tracks are ordered into three parts: Enchantments (1-5), Origins (6-9) and New Beginnings. First track is strangely familiar (like it was used in some film, but there is no mention of this). In third track this theme gets Chinese interpretation. The style from one track to the other changes, so you can't get bored or overexcited. Second is simply very nice, the fourth great intro of Armenian wind instrument duduk (played by famous Gevorg Dabaghyan), accompanied by percussion mostly, albeit the piece is short. 5 is gentle with cello and xun (Chinese ocarina), 6 orchestral from slow to cool, 7 again gentle with cello and vocal, 8 starts with yearning duduk and turns into orchestral battle, 9 cello and percussion. Track 10 is the only one with prominent vocal (love song) and introduces us to the last part of CD, which are more like jam sessions of all instruments. 11 and 13 are very lively. The last one, track 15, brings us a new interpretation of very ancient Chinese melody played on pipa.

Some would probably say this CD is commercialized. Personally I don't see any wrongdoings in this as long the music stays a high quality one. For the more authentic Silk Road one can always buy The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan."