Cellist Yo Yo Ma on “Open Borders”

Cellist Yo Yo Ma will play 36 solo concerts on 6 continents to "explore how culture connects us" in his Bach Project.

One of 36 solo concerts by cellist Yo Yo Ma took place at the southern Chile observatory, the most powerful in the world. With his two year Bach Project the musician declares, “We are all cultural beings – let’s explore how culture connects us and can help build a better future.”

In April of this year, world renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma played a Bach suite for solo cello in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico at the border crossing to the U.S. For an audience filled with persons who daily cross the border to the U.S., the Chinese-American musician noted how his own personal life and his art have been about crossing borders. “I’ve lived my life at the borders between cultures, between disciplines, between musics, between generations.”

Ma had planned to play the concert on the bridge linking the U.S. and Mexico but the U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not approve it. In a Laredo interview he responded to a recent statement by the U.S. President that the country was already “full”.  Ma asserted,“A country is not a hotel and it is not full”.

Designated by the United Nations as one of its “Messengers for Peace”, Ma will play the Bach six suites for solo cello in 36 locations on 6 continents over a two year period. His web site describes the mission of what he calls The Bach Project, “The shared understanding that culture generates in these divisive times can bind us together as one world and can guide us to political and economic decisions that benefit the entire species.”

Watch an excerpt here of the Nuevo Laredo, Mexico performance filmed and commented on by Texas Public Radio:

About erasingborders

The blog title harks back to an ancient Church history document, The Address to the Emperor Diognetus reporting on the lives of third century Christians in Asia Minor: “They live in their native lands but like foreigners…They take part in everything like citizens and endure everything like aliens. Every foreign country is their native land and every native land a foreign country…. They remain on earth but they are citizens of heaven.” Kate Moyer's wedding present to Doug Smith of a dancing jester figure bore the quote, “I like geography best, he said, because your mountains and rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.” They dedicate this blog then to helping bring about the day when human beings share the resources of the planet equitably and without borders. Our geography experience features childhoods in the Midwest. Kate lived for over twenty years as an adult in the small town of Neodesha, Kansas while Doug has been an urban dweller all his adult life. She is able to readily identify most crops and keeps a close watch on her partner’s snob tendencies. The Nile Valley of Egypt, for Kate, and the Congo rainforest for Doug have left deep marks on their interior landscapes.

Posted on October 5, 2019, in U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policies, U.S. Peace Movements and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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