From the director of the Oscar® -winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, and the critically-acclaimed Best of Enemies, The Music of Strangers tells the extraordinary story of The Silk Road Ensemble, an international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The Sound of Silk follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.
Over the past 15 years, an extraordinary group of musicians has come together to celebrate the universal power of music. Named for the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa and Europe, The Silk Road Ensemble, an international collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, exemplifies music’s ability to blur international boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope for artist and audience. The Music of Strangers, the latest film from the creators of the Oscar® -winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, and the critically-acclaimed Best of Enemies follows an ever-changing lineup of performers drawn from the ensemble’s more than 50 instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.
Blending performance footage, personal interviews and archival film, director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays from across the globe to create an intensely personal chronicle of passion, talent and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind.
Quotes & Reviews
"MUSICALLY DELIGHTFUL! (A first-rate music film capturing a restless desire to communicate)... the spirit of hybrid creativity is infectious." - John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
“POWERFUL AND THOUGHT PROVOKING!” – Matthew Ritchie, Exclaim.Ca
“A TOTAL BLAST! SPIRITUALLY TRANSPORTING” Transporting in the spiritual as well as the sonic sense. totally blissful!” – Bob Strauss, LA Daily News
"AN IRRESISTIBLE KALEIDOSCOPE (OF MUSIC AND GOOD FELLOWSHIP)... FINDS POETRY IN THE ABILITY OF MUSIC TO BRING US HOME AGAIN, WHEREVER WE MAY TRAVEL." - Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times
"WONDERFUL! A world tour of sights and sounds. The performances are just as impressive as the showstopping numbers of TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM. A symphony for the eyes and ears alike!" – Patrick Mullen, POV Magazine
"CONSISTENTLY ALIVE! So fun to watch. It's most insightful message: changing the world through music." - Tina Hassania, RogerEbert.com
“ENTERTAINING! Yo-Yo Ma is charming and funny” – Janice Page, Boston Globe
"Offers an INSPIRING LOOK at creative people from very different walks of life who nonetheless communicate beautifully with one another. They don’t need to speak a common language: THEIR DAZZLING MUSIC SAYS IT ALL - Washington Post
"An AFFIRMATIVE ANSWER to Leonard Bernstein's question of whether music can truly serve as a 'UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE'." - Chicago Reader
"...spiritual...delicious and COMPLETELY IRRESISTIBLE" -StarTribune
"It’s COMPELLING, and of course the music, taken from all parts of the world and played by musicians on every sort of instrument, is INTRIGUING."- Arizona Republic
"An AURAL CELEBRATION that’s about using the past to break free of boundaries." - Variety
"...lovely to watch...even more BEAUTIFUL TO HEAR." - NY Times
"A JOYOUS REVELATION, a group portrait of superb musicians from all over the world offering music as an emblem of what people can do in these fractious times when they live in concert with one another." - The Wall Street Journal