The Richmond Register

Local News

March 21, 2013

Silk Road still links East to West, thanks to Yo-yo Ma

RICHMOND — For millenia, the Silk Road linked East to West, as well as to points in the middle.

Much more than silk traversed the route from China to Europe. Ideas and culture were carried, along with silk, spices and other prized goods.

Ships, trucks, trains and planes, even wired and wireless media, may have supplanted the old Silk Road, but without an interpreter, cultural exchanges can get lost in the chaos and noise.

Yo-yo Ma, who brought his Silk Road Ensemble to the EKU Center for the Arts on Wednesday night, demonstrated that he is the master of modern cultural exchange.

To those unfamiliar with his fame and accomplishments, you might have mistaken maestro Ma for “just another” member of the ensemble. The group appears organized to highlight the young talent that Ma has discovered and cultivated while introducing unfamiliar music and instruments to new areas of the world.

In that regard, Ma is like composer, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who brought his jazz ensemble to EKU last year.

When you’re already acclaimed as the world’s greatest living cellist as Ma is, you don’t have to worry about self promotion.

The ensemble’s 14 men and one woman proved that Ma is just as good at weaving together disparate instrumentalists and music as he is at playing the cello.

Skeptics may have doubted whether the Silk Road Ensemble’s music would be well-received by a central Kentucky audience, even in a university town. But, when a master like Yo-yo Ma is pulling or stroking the strings, literally as well as figuratively, any listener will relish the music.

That is true whether the music comes from or is inspired by the cultures of China, Japan, India, Persia, Arabia, Turkey, Austria, Spain or England. The Silk Road Ensemble could be called a United Nations of music. And it is much more successful at weaving the world together in harmony than its political counterpart.

That was the case Wednesday at the EKU center and a nearly full house couldn’t get enough of the ensemble's music, even if many had never heard such sounds or seen such instruments before.

Ma’s ensemble proves that music, especially when exquisitely performed, can put any listener in touch with a timeless beauty not limited to place or culture.

Even when most of the ensemble left the stage to one or two players, coaxing out light or slow, heavy or rapid rhythms from drums, strings, boards or bagpipes, they struck chords that could evoke response from any human soul. If anyone in the audience thought bagpipes are confined to Scotland, they learned that other cultures have their own variations.

Ma seemed content to let the younger musicians he is mentoring take the spotlight. He face showed little emotion until the audience, which had been enthusiastic throughout the evening, rewarded the performers with a thunderous ovation at the concert’s conclusion. Then he beamed with pride and pleasure.

For their encore, the performers and audience seemed to meld together as those on stage and those standing by their sets clapped along to the music’s rhythm.

Text Only
Local News
  • Berea utility doubles solar farm, again

    Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
    Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
    Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.

    July 30, 2014

  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies


    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results