Letter: 'Silk Road' provides path to understanding

'Silk Road' provides path to understanding

To the editor:

We can all stop worrying about the presidential election. According to film producer Sheila Nevins, there is a viable candidate we can all agree upon. He's committed to individual expression and group cooperation. He knows how to bring people together harmoniously and is great with foreign policy. He's also a renowned cellist. His name is Yo-Yo Ma. He could run for president on a ticket of global sanity.

"Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble" is a documentary that references, in its title, the famous path of trade that linked one world to another by bringing together musicians from China, Iran, Syria, the U.S. and Spain, to name just some of the countries. Individual differences vis-a-vis musical training are not left behind so much as joined in a complex weave that could be an Isfahan rug design.

Sometimes, while the music is being developed, a visual artist "draws" on an extended canvas. Yo-Yo Ma charts a course to global cooperation through music. This is a man who had been a child prodigy, and later a national and international treasure. Still, he allows himself to be in the background, bringing together the rarest of combinations, talent, best intentions, connections, along with the bandwidth to make things happen.

Never mind president. Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble for Nobel Peace Prize.

M.E. Mishcon, Monterey Editor's note: Sheila Nevins was an executive producer on the film for HBO. "Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble" screened Thursday in Great Barrington at the Berkshire International Film Festival.


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