Unlike some of my bolder friends, I do not walk up to celebrities in restaurants or while they are shopping, and in fact, there are places guaranteed to commingle the masses with Hollywood elite, and I am usually the last one in a group to even notice.
There are numerous opportunities to meet interesting public figures at book signings and Distinguished Speakers Series, of course, but I’m looking for a little more. I would like to have a nice cup of coffee with Yo-Yo Ma.
A good friend took a hint from my Amazon wish list and purchased his latest recording for me, The Goat Rodeo Sessions. Four bluegrass and classical musicians collaborated to create a musical experience that isn’t easily classified as either classical or bluegrass. Yo-Yo on cello joined with mandolinist Chris Thile, fiddler Stuart Duncan and bassist Edgar Meyer. Thile described their combo as a “little Frankenstein music monster” and suggested that classical music listeners would think the session was bluegrass, and bluegrass listeners would hear classical. It’s true to Ma’s eclectic style, and simply beautiful with a heavy note of interesting.
Mr. Ma was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors this year and the show’s finale was an extended tribute to his talented exploration of musical migrations. His explorations communicate ideas across many world cultures with more than 60 works directly attributable to the Silk Road Ensemble he established in 1998. Then there’s Obrigado Brazil, Soul of the Tango, Appalachian Journey…well, I could go on and on, but since I recently noted that a boxed set of his works contained over 90 albums, I won’t name them all.
So what would we talk about? I’d like to know how long he considers a new project before he launches into a completely new musical direction. Does he have one Muse or many? How does he first begin to imagine some of his most unique pairings? Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin—unique, fascinating and I’d say, completely unexpected. I’d probably like to know if he was nervous playing at the 56th Presidential Inaugural Ceremony, or if being on stage since the age of five made that a piece of cake. Mostly, though, I’d just like a private concert.
So I’m thinking that perhaps a combination of very focused positive thinking and speaking my intentions out loud by asking for help might get me closer to Yo-Yo Ma. It’s a shrinking world. How about six degrees of separation? Any help out there? His website says we can be friends on facebook…
In case this meeting isn’t going to happen in the very near future, I’ll make plans, and recommend that you join me, at a live theatrical performance January 31st. Fathom Events will feature a live performance of The Goat Rodeo Sessions in theaters across the country. The Goat Rodeo Sessions LIVE featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile. One night only, and I plan to be there. I will spend the rest of the month looking forward to it and attending will just plain old make me happy!
Any curiosity about what a goat rodeo is? I thought it was a little quirky, but figured it a literal description of a goat-roping event. Always read the CD liner. According to the website urbandictionary.com a goat rodeo describes a situation in which at least 100 things have to go right all at once in order to come out right. Apparently the four talented musicians on this recording thought the project tricky enough to merit the title. And it might describe what it would take for me to set up my coffee date.
So tell me who you’d like to invite to coffee? Maybe there’s someone out there who can make the arrangements!
Smiling as I think about it…Debra
- Music Review: Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile – The Goat Rodeo Sessions (writer.fitzhome.com)
- The Goat Rodeo Sessions On World Cafe (npr.org)
- Two more reasons to love Yo-Yo (modernletters.wordpress.com)