The Music of Strangers (2015) Movie Script

So, this is my cello.
Have you ever seen one before?
...the many faceted career
of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is
a testament to his
continual search
for new ways to communicate
with audiences...
Mr. Ma maintains a balance
between his engagements
and his solo...
He's recorded over 90 albums,
including more than 17
Grammy Award winners.
...studied at the
Juilliard School...
I didn't get in there...
...President's Committee on
the Arts and the Humanities.
After Mr. Ma's remarks tonight,
we will have an opportunity
to ask questions...
So without any further ado,
please welcome Yo-Yo Ma.
Hi there.
I'll start off with this.
There's an old joke.
A six-year-old boy
tells his father,
"When I grow up, I want
to be a musician."
And the father looks at the son,
shakes his head sadly, and says,
"I'm sorry, son,
you can't do both."
I think when I was a kid,
a lot of things just happened.
There has come to us this year
a young man aged seven,
bearing the name Yo-Yo Ma,
a Chinese cellist playing
old French music
for his new American
Being good at something
can carry you really far
for a long period of time,
and not require a lot
of introspection, right?
Because... you're good at it
and everyone tells you that.
I would think that somebody
who has mastered his art
so early in life, so completely,
would have the problem that
most wunderkinder have,
which is, how do you
keep your interest up?
That's part of my problem. When
you grow up with something,
you kind of don't make a choice.
I never committed to
being a musician.
You know? I just did
it, I fell into it.
I was interested in a
lot of things, but...
I didn't particularly
pursue any of those.
Leon Kirchner said to
him when he was young,
"You're a phenomenal musician,
but you haven't
found your voice."
And this notion was
stuck in my dad's mind.
"What does that mean?
How do you do that?"
I think he started
looking for answers.
I'm always trying to
figure out at some level
who I am and how I
fit in the world,
which I think is something
that I share with seven
billion other people.
I was calling my mom in Damascus
before... before
you guys came in.
And she's like, "Oh, Kinan,
did you clean the place?"
I'm like, "Yes, Mom, it's okay."
- She wants to make sure...
- Moms are always moms.
No, she wants to make sure
that the CDs are not here,
because, you know, they're there and,
you know, it's like, "Is it all tidy?"
I said, "Yes, I've tried my best.
It's going to be fine."
I mean, growing up in
Damascus was great.
Just had, you know, lots
of friends and family.
I don't think of myself
as somebody who just,
you know, packed his stuff
and left, actually.
I mean, I still have a little
apartment back in Damascus.
And my parents are still there.
I miss it a lot. I do miss it.
Now I'm thinking a lot
like, "What is home?
"Is it where your friends are?
Is it where your family are?
"Is it the place
where you grew up
or is it the place that y...
where you want to die?"
I mean, you know, all the...
all these questions,
and I think now I'm
realizing that
it's basically the place where you
feel you want to contribute to
without having to justify it.
And here is your coffee,
whoever wants my
little Arabic coffee.
I mean, since I left Syria,
lots of things have changed.
There's always a fight
in each one of us
between believing in the
power of the human spirit
and dreading the power
of the human spirit.
March 2011...
when the Syrian
revolution started...
I found myself experiencing
emotions that are, by far,
more complex than...
than what I can express
with my music.
So the music fell short,
and I found myself not
able to write any music.
Like, can a piece of
music stop a bullet?
Can it feed somebody who's hungry?
Of course, it doesn't.
You question the role
of art altogether.
When I was a student at Harvard,
Leonard Bernstein came to visit.
In his lectures,
he was searching
for a universal
musical language.
That idea stuck
with me ever since.
What's the relevance of all
this musical linguistics?
Can it lead us to an answer
of Charles Ives' unanswered
question, "Whither music?"
And even if it eventually can...
does it matter?
The world totters,
governments crumble,
and we are poring over music.
Out of the 35 years
I've been married,
I've been gone for 22 of
those years, away traveling.
I used to throw up
before every trip,
you know, just... I would just
feel so awful and anxious,
and just like, you know...
it's like I'd get so paralyzed.
What is my role?
I'd better find a good reason
to say, "Why am I doing this?"
Play... play a song.
Which song? Um...
play... "Iron Man."
Let's own it.
My interest is kind of
jump out of the box...
...not only limiting myself as a
Chinese musician or pipa player.
Yeah! Woo-woo-woo-woo!
Thank you, thank you.
Hey, wait. What do you do?
I mean, Wu Man was not
supposed to be here.
She was just supposed to be
a music professor, right,
at the Central Conservatory
or somewhere in China.
I remember 1966,
starts the Cultural Revolution.
And then my parents actually
asked me to learn music...
to escape from that situation.
Wu Man was in the first
class of students
that reentered Conservatory
after the Chinese
Cultural Revolution,
and she became a
sensation overnight.
We had no information
about Western culture.
Right after revolution...
everything was
destroyed, culturally,
so we are, I guess,
standing on the ruins,
dreaming, "What's
the next music?"
Oh! Surprised they open.
It's all very different.
Isaac Stern gave a
master class here,
right here on this stage.
It's like opened another idea.
It opened the door to me.
"American orchestra, that's...
that's very interesting."
I wanted to see what's
going on outside China.
In the '80s,
when I was asked in an interview
about what my next
project might be...
What's next for you?
I'm casting about for
something, anything,
I said that I had always...
I said, "I have always been
fascinated by"... guess what...
The bushmen of the
Kalahari Desert.
I think he went
because he wanted...
He wanted to put some
dirt in his bones.
He wanted to get
down into the soil.
He wanted something that was
going to radically alter
his ways of thinking
about things.
Where the hell is the "F"?
There we go.
I'll tell you one thing
that stayed with me
that actually became the event
that unlocked all of this.
They do a trance dance...
...and I was invited
to participate.
They get into trance,
and then they lay hands on
people who need healing.
I asked the women why they
do their trance ritual...
and they said the
clearest reason
for music, for culture, for
medicine, for religion.
They said, "Because
it gives us meaning."
So one day, I sat with
Yo-Yo at the caf
and we were talking about
where creativity comes from...
...where new ideas come from.
And so he drew... on a
napkin at the bar,
he drew circles intersecting.
And he said... then he shaded
the intersections and said,
"This is, you know...
this is a culture,
"this is another culture,
and in the intersection,
that's where new
things will emerge."
The Silk Road Project
we started as an idea...
a group of musicians
getting together
and seeing what might happen...
you know, when strangers meet.
We went and scoured from
Venice through to Istanbul,
central Asia,
Mongolia, and China
looking for incredible talent.
This was like the Manhattan
Project of music.
We invited about 60 performers
and composers from the
lands of the Silk Road,
meeting in a kind of workshop.
No one knew what
was gonna happen.
"Did Yo-Yo go off his
tracks or something?
What... what did he
drink?" You know?
We gathered in the summer
of 2000 in Massachusetts.
I was scared to death.
Yo-Yo Ma is, of course,
a golden child.
He can touch anything
and do anything,
and everything... everybody
thinks it's great.
But you could not expect
that someone from Africa
or China picks up on the...
on the subtleties of a culture
that is not their own.
A lot of people thought that...
what we were doing was not pure.
It's, uh... What is it called?
Cultural tourism.
Let's go. Yeah.
This is basic rhythm.
I mean, just not the accent.
Try... dut-dut, ba-ba-ba-ba.
Ba-ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba...
Kayhan, he's such a
well-known figure in Iran,
and he was here at
the very beginning.
That's fantastic. Ah.
So the nail going back
and forth, right?
Yeah. Right, left, two rights.
Does it...
My intention is to
represent my culture
and the contribution
that this very old culture
made to human life.
If you go back, you know, in the
beginning of the 20th century,
every Eastern culture was
so fascinated with West...
you know, the technology, cars,
and music, of course.
My instrument, kamancheh,
it was not being taught.
And I was really lucky, because I got
to professional music very early,
so I had the chance to work
with the older generation.
Kayhan, he brings you
closer to the horse
or to the cow or to
the... to the source,
you know, that you forget.
But Kayhan has had a
very tragic life.
The revolution.
You realize that your life's not
going to be the same anymore.
I was 17...
my parents decided
that I had to leave.
I just walked... walked,
you know, out...
out of the country like that.
I... I worked little by little
in every country,
kind of farm work.
Turkey for nine months, and then
Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy.
Yeah, I had a little backpack...
and, um... I had a kamancheh.
That was it. Yeah.
When I left...
meeting a lot of different
world musicians...
that was very attractive to me.
I always wanted to do something
outside of my culture.
I think that was a...
a very important turning
point in my career.
How's it going, Kayhan?
Uh, fine. We definitely
need more rehearsal time.
But... um, they're
very good musicians,
and they're much
better than yesterday,
so... there is hope.
The Tanglewood workshop
was fantastic,
because we don't speak
necessarily perfect English
or perfect Chinese
or perfect Persian,
but we speak perfect
music language.
Some projects, you know,
at the end of it,
that's wonderful.
It was a great thing,
but it's done.
This one... is different.
You make a connection.
You make a cultural connection.
You make a connection
to another human being.
That's very precious.
We were faced with the decision,
"Should we go on or is this it?"
And we were very careful
to try to not just say
we should go on because
we would like it to.
What's the reason for going on?
so, but of course,
the major concern is human loss.
I mean, do you know if there
were many people
in the building?
Oh! Another one just hit!
Something else just hit.
A very large plane
just flew directly
over my building,
and there's been
another collision.
- Can you see it? I can see it on this shot.
- Yes. Oh my...
Ellio Something else has just...
that looked more like a 747.
We just saw a plane
circling the building.
I was in a hotel room at nine
o'clock the morning of 9/11.
My wife called me and said,
"Turn on the television.
Something's happening."
I saw a large plane, like a jet,
go immediately heading directly in
towards the World Trade Centers...
It was surreal.
The, you know,
nation was in shock.
And I had a lot
of time to think.
We really wondered that, in
the face of the xenophobia,
it might just not be
possible to do this anymore.
Everybody, in the
face of disaster,
reexamines who they
are in their purpose.
We are a group that has so
many disparate elements.
We could have been a group
of adversaries, essentially.
And I think all of us
kind of knew that,
you know, we had a
responsibility to...
to work harder.
This piece is called "Quartet
to the End of Time,"
and it's written by a composer
named Olivier Messiaen.
He wrote this while he was a
prisoner of war during World War II.
How does Messiaen do that?
How do you express
incredible grief
or eternity and love?
You add a little vibrato,
and you suddenly feel
that you might be bathed
and blanketed by the warmth
of an intense light.
That love is mythic,
eternal, and unconditional love.
It's a paradox.
By trying to kill
the human spirit,
the answer of the human spirit
is to revenge with beauty.
Culture doesn't end.
It's not a business deal
where, at the conclusion
of the business deal,
it's... it's done.
You know, it's not
an election cycle.
It... it's about keeping
things alive and evolving,
and so we decided
to go on, and...
and then that's when all
of our trouble began.
Cristina is one of those people
that we were lucky to
meet through Osvaldo.
He said, "Guys, you have
to work with Cristina.
She is amazing."
She brings... something...
so sensual, so... earthy.
She needs to be here,
because she brings something
that is essential to...
to the universal soul and
I... and it was missing.
There is something very primitive
about the sound of the gaita.
To me, it's like hearing
my father speaking.
In the generation I come from,
it's like you have two choices,
of playing soccer or
playing bagpipes,
if you were born in Galicia.
Ah! Man: Ah!
Whoo! Oh!
If I ask you to
think about Spain
and to think about what is
the first music that
comes to your mind...
Galicia doesn't have
anything to do with that.
Galicia is in the northwest
corner of Spain,
and geographically speaking,
it has been always
kind of isolated.
It has its own language,
its own culture,
and if you were to shrink
everything to just one sound,
the sound of the bagpipe
is the sound of Galicia.
That part of Spain...
is culturally rich and
economically poor.
Cristina is hugely conscious
of what her friends and
family go through in Galicia.
I knew exactly what
the tradition meant
to the elder generation.
But I was excited
about everything
that was happening in
the present tense.
It was like something explosive.
She took the instrument
to an extreme
that people could not
even think about.
She's the Jimi Hendrix
of the gaita.
But, you know, I don't think
everybody likes Jimi Hendrix.
When you play an instrument
that really represents
your country or your
area of the world,
that has implications.
The first bad reviews I got
were from the kind of people
that really wants to preserve
pure, traditional Galician music,
and some of them were
not very nice to me.
I was 18 years old.
I wasn't thinking about any
other political meaning.
I just played bagpipes.
One day I woke up
and I saw myself
doing that for the
rest of my life,
and I didn't like that feeling.
I decided to put all that
life away and go away.
I didn't even bring my bagpipe.
I mean, I moved to New York
about 10 days before
9/11 happened.
And do I say it was easy?
It wasn't easy, because
all the stereotypes come.
And, you know, you're
judged by the way you look,
and I had a big
beard at that time.
I was born in Paris.
We moved to New York,
and I had nothing
to do with that,
except things just
changed around me...
the way things look,
smell, taste.
And it was confusing.
A lot of friends said, "Why
are you going to America?
You're crazy." And... I
was crazy, actually.
No English.
Nobody know what a pipa was.
The very first thing
that I learned
was that my experience
as kamancheh player
would not count as anything.
It was zero.
The moment you place yourself
in a different context...
...then you have to
stretch yourself,
because nobody knows the pipa
or the kamancheh or the gaita.
I worked in a restaurant.
I drove a cab.
But I wanted to learn,
I wanted to study and
become a better musician.
Play in a Chinatown with...
local musicians,
you know, factory
worker, taxi driver.
That's the only
way I keep it up.
The good thing about
being in New York,
everybody comes from
a different place,
and we all bring our roots.
Those roots get re-rooted here.
Definitely, America's
very different.
But I'm more interested in actually...
in appreciating the differences...
what you have that I don't have.
Not that I want to
take it away from you,
no, but I want to
learn from it, no?
I do remember a press conference
which was one of the first times
that we got up as a group
to talk about what we did
in front of cameras,
in front of the press.
And they were asking questions
along the lines of, you know,
"It's like you're taking
this traditional music,
"you're mixing it together,
and you're diluting,
you know, these traditions."
Nick, you want to go? Uh, sure.
I was just terrified.
Share a little bit about...
We were not at the
point of describing it
as a family or as this
creative cauldron.
We had none of that,
really, to stand on.
Thanks, everybody,
for being here.
I'm gonna go to the bathroom.
To try to describe what
we were trying to do,
what this meant and all
that was... was a nightmare.
I knew that whatever we did,
there was going to be
naysayers from all sides.
Kinan and Wu Man,
are you... you ready? Kinan: Yep.
All set.
Yes, criticism hurts.
But you actually have
to have conviction
in the genuineness and
the power of your ideas.
And I'm sort of saying,
"Gee, let's take a chance."
What a view!
This project, it
adds your voice.
I think this is what is
exciting about the journey is,
you look for your
voice, you know?
Sometimes you think
you found it,
and then once you have
it, it changes again.
Oh, look, look, look.
They're playing badminton.
Oh yeah, let's go see this.
This is... I love this.
- Look.
- Wow.
Oh. Whoa!
That's great. That's great.
It's very, very necessary for me
to go and live in Iran,
because what happened
after the revolution...
all of the better
teachers moved out.
I went back 2002 to
teach Persian music.
I think living with
tragedy for many years
and being alone is
really, really tough.
So when he moved back to Iran...
he started teaching,
met Zohreh...
and it changed his life.
It's very dangerous.
The Iranian government
really keeps their...
their eye on... on
artists like Kayhan
and other musicians
that are quite popular.
They were warned that they
should not be participating
in conversations about
what's happening in Iran.
One thing that I cannot
accept is violence.
I've been outspoken,
I've been active,
you know, to try to help that.
Did anything happen
to you personally?
Yes, but, you know, I... I
wouldn't want to talk,
you know, to camera about it.
I can choose to be part
of that society or not,
and-and... and that's not a
very idealistic society
for me to be a part of...
so I had to leave.
But... Zohreh stayed.
I haven't been back for
five years now, yeah.
You know, I miss her,
and I miss my homeland,
and I always want to go
back and live there.
I haven't been able
to do it so far.
But I think it... it will happen.
Yeah, I think I missed one.
Okay, guys, all right.
Okay. I'd like to
ask you something.
I would like a very free rhythm
and almost nothing.
It's sort of intimate
and atmospheric and...
So, how does it go?
It can go... It can
do something there.
Good. Something like that.
Mongolian birds'
wings fluttering.
And if you want to do...
you know, it could be wind, right?
- Is that okay? Yeah.
- Let's do it.
So it should sound like
a giant horse fart.
You know? Like...
Back to the top.
In the States, the first few
years was really difficult.
But music circle and the music
community is very small.
So when you're interested,
you went looking for something,
and definitely,
it's there or there
if you pay attention.
My instrument, nobody knows it.
And I remember one
day, I get phone call.
"How come this string quartet
wanted to work with me?"
She is a total rock star.
She started playing with
so many different people.
It's like, "I need a pipa
player!" "Call Wu Man."
In America, people
think you're Chinese.
You play Chinese
instrument and from China.
But when I go back to China,
they say, "Oh, you're American."
"You... you don't
know today's China."
When you leave your
home, your country,
and you have this picture
of it in your mind.
When I went back, nothing fit
that picture I had in my mind.
Everything changed.
People were even
speaking differently.
I think the challenge
in Galicia right now is
the same challenge that exists
in the rest of the world,
which is keeping
your roots alive.
There is no tradition
that exists today
that was not the result of
really successful invention.
But unless a tradition
keeps evolving... naturally becomes
smaller and smaller.
That leads me back to China,
to rediscovering "What
is China's music?"
None of us can prove
anything about how...
much of the past
we carry with us.
I had thought that this
is, in Yo-Yo's mind...
his investigations
into his own past.
My father was born in 1911...
and he left China when he was about
25 to go to France to study.
And he wrote about that
fusion of what Chinese music
might sound like with French
techniques of composing.
Isn't that strange that,
so many years later...
the apple did not fall
that far from the tree?
That's Yo-Yo, the dog.
Okay, come on in.
Home is this for me.
Every birthday of mine
since I was first,
my first birthday, was celebrated
here or in this house.
And for us to keep that
cultural identity alive
is probably one of the
most defining aspects
of what it means
to be a Galician.
During the history of time,
many different
civilizations have tried
to take away that identity...
like Roman Empire.
...they will lose
their memories.
Their... They couldn't
remember anything.
That's the legend
behind the piece
I wrote for my mother,
who maybe like four years ago
started to... to...
lose her memory.
We want to protect
what we have...
our culture, our music...
and we want our children to
keep the language alive.
And in order to be alive,
you have to let it grow.
Lots of people, when they
think of the Middle East,
they think of divisions,
like Sunni, Shia,
Christian, Armenian,
Kurds, Turks.
I don't think of the
Middle East this way.
You know, I think
it's an ancient place
where all the cultures happen
to exist at some point.
- How much are these?
- Excuse.
That's okay, that's okay. I'm
just going to play this, yeah?
When we were in Juilliard,
Kinan and I, Kinan
was graduating.
He made this very moving,
beautiful piece.
And I told Kinan, I said,
"I think I can contribute
something in this piece."
We think very similarly,
even though he's Muslim Arab
and I'm Armenian Christian.
It's... it's not necessary.
We grew up without even knowing
who's Christian, who's
Muslim in Syria.
It was not a necessary thing.
So this place was...
used to be a church,
and then it turned
out to be a mosque.
And then here it is,
now it's a museum.
No, "This is so beautiful,
I don't want to cover it."
That's the power of art,
one crosses any... limitation.
It's the "F" word.
Fa... fun.
Apparently I thought
my father worked
at the airport when
I was a child,
because that's where
he was always going,
and so it was a bit of
a massive revelation
that he was not, in fact...
employed by Logan Airport.
But he knows what's important,
and I think he sees
his obligation,
particularly when he
goes to smaller towns,
as beginning the moment he lands
and lasting the entire
time he's on the ground.
He's there to spread
his sense of the world
in every conversation
and interaction
that takes place.
Good evening.
I'm Yo-Yo Ma,
and this is my brother,
Kayhan Kalhor.
Now, we were twins,
but we were separated at birth.
But we found out
from DNA analysis...
that even our life choices...
are the same. Almost, yeah.
Everybody is afraid of going
somewhere they
haven't gone before.
But you build enough
trust within a group,
and sometimes you can
turn fear into joy.
A lot of us in our own careers
have developed in
different directions.
We have our own bands,
or we have our own
work here and there,
but this is the one place where
you can come together...
and play music that you... that
you don't get to play otherwise.
That tells people like me,
it's okay to be doing
what I'm doing.
Music is their whole life,
and they told me they're
already 11th generation.
So I asked them, "What
about 12th generation?
Is there any 12th, 13th?"
They look at me.
There's no answer.
So that... to me,
really emotional.
I don't know who
writes the scripts
for different revolutions, but
they all look the same...
...and they affect people's
life in the same way.
Cultural Revolution is
the darkest history
time period of China.
And for artist, there
is no creation.
The party tell you what to do.
I question the role of art.
I question my role, like,
"What am I doing?"
What is my role in comparison
to somebody who's on the ground,
peacefully demonstrating
at the risk of being
shot, you know?
If you ask me, "Do you
want to go home?"
Of course, I want to
do... I want to go home,
but in what circumstances
would I go?
We humans are...
we have a tendency to
control everything...
the earth, animals, you know,
even the humans around us.
It's endless.
Later on, when the
Iran-Iraq war started,
it was a very, very
difficult period.
I lost two of my friends.
I lost my best friend.
And later on... a
missile hit our house.
I lost all of my family,
my parents and my brother.
I mean, you see how the
world is reacting to Syria.
Nobody gives a fuck,
if I can use the real language.
It's like...
Just three days ago,
people die of cold.
I mean, as simple as that.
I mean, the fact that they
tried to cut the aid for...
for the refugees, because
it's too expensive.
You know, it's just people
are not... are not bothered.
We are not our
political identities.
Nobody remembers who was the
king when Beethoven lived.
But culture stays,
language stays as a
part of culture,
music stays as part of culture.
The arts is more about opening
up yourself to possibility.
Possibility links to hope.
We all need hope.
Hey, Yo-Yo. Hi, Fred.
So glad to see you.
Nice to see you.
Thank you. When you play,
I'm sure you have a lot
of different feelings.
And as you played as a child,
did you ever play happy
things or sad things
or angry things, just
'cause you wanted to?
Oh, sure. One of my favorite
was "The Swan," which is...
And you can imagine the swan...
You look at anybody's life,
you could find tragedy.
Nobody escapes either the great
things or horrible things.
That's the space between
life and death.
How do you deal with
the fears and doubts?
Do you dare go there?
Can you put all of
yourself behind something
and be absolutely authentic in doing
it to the best of your ability?
All right then.
This is the first time that I tried
to smuggle flutes into somewhere.
It feels like smuggling
flutes, actually...
but it's smuggling
for a good cause.
Of course it's emotional, yeah.
It's just simply emotional.
I'm going to teach...
Syrian children who have been...
they left their homes by force.
I was like them when I was kids.
Look, I didn't have...
a hope that I'm going to be
in New York doing my art.
And definitely, one or two of those
kids, they're going to make it.
So if we can inspire them and
can help them to do this,
they're going to just
continue this... this circle.
It's one of those moments
again in your life, you know?
Just you realize that...
considering what I'm
doing for the culture
and for the country, you know,
I shouldn't be treated that way.
This is what I don't deserve.
You know, I miss my wife.
It doesn't really matter
where the base is...
as long as we try to see
each other, you know,
as-as... as much as we can.
We have a tendency not
to be appreciative
of beautiful things
that surround us.
But if you realize what
you have in this life
and how precious is the
breaths that you take,
the water that you drink,
the music in your life...
and your loved ones around you,
it's just enormous
wealth and happiness
that doesn't have...
to have anything
else to complete it.
It's just complete by itself.
What's the purpose?
Everything I've learned
about performing,
about music,
about what happens
between the notes...
that's about making sure
that culture matters.
I don't think Yo-Yo sees
himself as a cellist.
I think he sees himself
as someone who wants
to change the world,
and he happens to have a cello
with him half the time.
And he wants us to be
collaborators with scientists
and be collaborators with
historians and educators.
I would love it
to be contagious.
It's nice just to see that
it's a new way of thinking,
also about music, about what
people can do together.
Cultural identity,
it actually shapes your
decisions all the time,
and you can take that
as a good challenge
or a bad one.
Being part of this experiment
did make me understand
what it means to keep
your identity alive.
I have dreams about having
some sort of role in...
in the arts in Galicia
in the future.
And for that, I... I started the
festival, Galician Connection.
This is a festival where I put
together international artists
with Galician
traditional artists.
When you learn something
from another culture,
you will grow more if you're
giving back to your own culture.
Just imagine, if we don't have
Silk Road musicians
moving around,
Chinese music scene
or Western music
scene are different.
To me, the world is round.
There's no east or west.
It's just a globe.
As a four-year-old,
what I wanted to do in
life was to understand.
As T.S. Eliot said,
"We shall never cease
from exploration...
"and the end of all
of our exploring...
"will be to arrive
where we started...
and know the place
for the first time."
I don't think that the Silk Road
Project was his trying to go home.
I think it was his trying to
go away, away from music,
away from a single repertoire.
And I think through
that process,
he found himself at home again.