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Sing Me Home

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 22, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

The new album from Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble will surprise and delight with imaginative sounds that transform the traditional musical landscape. Sing Me Home is the sixth album by the Grammy®-nominated Silk Road Ensemble and its founding member and guiding light, Yo-Yo Ma. The album features special guest performers Rhiannon Giddens, Sarah Jarosz, Abagail Washburn, Gregory Porter, Lisa Fischer, Grammy Award®-winning jazz guitarist, Bill Frisell and more.
Produced by Silk Road Ensemble member Johnny Gandelsman and Grammy Award® winner Kevin Killen (U2, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, David Bowie), Sing Me Home examines the ever-changing idea of home, with original and traditional tunes composed or arranged by members of the Ensemble s unique collective of global artists. Each piece invites listeners to explore the music of home through the individual experiences of Ensemble members, many of whom are immigrants. The result is a compelling collection of innovative and deeply moving tributes to the rich cultural heritage of the Balkans, China, Galicia, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Mali people of Roma, Syria and the United States.
Sing Me Home is a companion album, developed and recorded alongside The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary feature film from Oscar® and Emmy®-winning director Morgan Neville that tells the story of the Ensemble and Silk Road, its parent organization. The Music of Strangers will be released theatrically nationwide in June and will air on HBO in the fall.

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Digital Booklet: Sing Me Home
Digital Booklet: Sing Me Home
Album Only

Product Details

  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma
  • Conductor: Various
  • Composer: Various
  • Audio CD (April 22, 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • ASIN: B01B8OHQ1M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 22, 2016
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The concept of the Silk Road Ensemble from the very beginning was to echo what surely occurred in ancient times along the fabled Euro-Asian trade routes: musicians come together, typically over the campfire, to share their music, compare their instruments, and jam, creating new tunes and tuning. The Arabic oud went east to become the pipa and biwa and west to lead to the lute [al-oud] and then guitar. At first, Yo-Yo Ma brought his group of world musicians to American audiences to introduce little known traditional instruments and sounds, and next to play newly composed works. After blending the timbres of Galacian bagpipes with Japanese shakuhachi and Iranian daf drums, Ma has now expanded the Silk Road to the New World and to sub-Saharan Africa, and his guests on this new album come from jazz (Gregory Porter, Bill Frisell, Lisa Fischer), bluegrass/Americana (banjo player Abigail Washburn, who actually lived in China and already interacted with Chinese musicians, and country vocalist Sarah Jarosz), contemporary classical music (Roomful of Teeth, the a capella vocal group who incorporates world vocal techniques), and other world musicians (Ireland's fiddler Martin Hayes; India's sitarist Shujaat Khan; Japanese-American flutist and drummer Karu Watanabe; Mali's kora player Toumani Diabaté and balafon player Balla Kouyaté; Syrian singer Kima Orsho; of Balkan heritage with American twist, an a cappella trio of women of Black Sea Hotel; Rustica Spaniards Roberto Comesaña, accordion, Anxo Pintgo, hurdy-gurdy, and Davide Salvado, voice; Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops, accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, and Chinese dulcimer yangqin player Reylon Yount).Read more ›
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This music is so new and different and wonderful that I just loved it. I also loved notes for the music and performers in the CD insert so that I could have a better idea of how these works came together and what they meant for the performers. A fabulous CD.
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With yesterday's sudden, shocking passing of Prince, the world mourns one of its musical icons. Artists like him, so it is said, come along, at best, once in a generation. I beg to differ.
I have been a fan/follower of Yo Yo Ma for as far back as I can remember.I don't recall how I became aware of him. It may have been on Sesame Street, which I watched consistently through both of my children's childhoods. Since the younger of them is now about to turn 32 while her older brother just turned 38, that means it was a long time ago. Maybe it was the album he made with Bobbie McFerrin, which was so luscious and playful, something one would hardly expect from the man whom many consider the world's greatest living cellist. He was a classically trained, disciplined member of the world's elite classical musicians. Maybe things opened up in me when I heard him say during an interview that the first word the conductor says to address the orchestra is, "play".
Regardless, I present you another of the world's musical icons – Yo Yo Ma. What a surprising pleasure to temper the loss of Prince. Among his many other adventures outside the world of classical music, Yo Yo Ma has put together The Silk Road Ensemble, a group of world musicians joining to play a vast array of instruments in unexpectedly creative ways. I've lost count of how many Silk Road Ensemble releases have preceded this one. They are all good, all inspiring and unique.
But this one, "Sing Me Home", stands out as the best yet. In addition to all the adjectives I have used above, this effort, above all is characterized by one word: JOY!
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I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. DJB's review above! This disc complements Ma's last disc, Songs From The Arc Of Life perfectly! If any future historian of music needed to gain an appreciation of Ma's artistry, they would only need to acquire these two discs to experience the breadth and scope of his talents in both the Classical and New World!

Speaking of which - the highlight of this disc - at least for me - was the African-American spiritual Going Home which was the melodic source for Dvorak gorgeous 3rd mvmt/Largo from Symphony 9 - From The New World. On this disc, it's sun by Abigail Washburn and Wu Tong, in Chinese! - followed by a verse in English. This song truly captures the ethos of Yo Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. Truly - an exceptional disc!
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What a wonderful album. The flavor is international, the music is melodic. Even great standards like St. James Infirmary Blues take on a new flavor. If you listen to music for pure enjoyment as I do, this album should be in your collection.
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I have loved some of the Silk Road Ensemble's work, but there's only one song on this album I'd like to hear again. I bought the album because of others I've liked and because the music sounded exciting in the trailers I've seen for the upcoming documentary. But Sing Me Home is a surprising disappointment. The pieces are self-indulgent. For example, each of the first five pieces starts with four repetitions of a simple melody only a couple measure long. That might be a good way to get your jam going on a relaxed afternoon of improvisation, but it's a mistake to just slap that and what follows onto a CD and call it an album. I'll bet this music fun to play, but it's work to listen to. Mr. Ma is a genius, and a great man, but he missed the mark on this one.
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