The Grammy-nominated documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, follows members of the Ensemble as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.
Blending performance footage, personal interviews, and archival film, Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the personal journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays — Kinan Azmeh (Syria), Kayhan Kalhor (Iran), Yo-Yo Ma (France/United States), Wu Man (China), and Cristina Pato (Spain) — to chronicle passion, talent, and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind.
Teachers:download the curriculum guide designed to help you bring The Music of Strangers into your classrooms, explore stories depicted in the film, and highlight culture’s power to connect. Educational licenses for the film can be purchased here.
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble is presented by The Silk Road Project (Silkroad), in association with Participant Media, The Orchard, and HBO. Silkroad acknowledges Hyosung Corporation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, Pershing Square Foundation, the Ford Foundation JustFilms, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Union Square Fund, and its other institutional partners for their generous support of activities that promote innovation, education, and cross-cultural understanding through the arts.
In The Music of Strangers, Silkroad musicians reckon with the limits of art in the face of crisis. We know that music cannot stop a bullet or feed the hungry, but it can bring empathy and joy to places where they are in short supply. Silkroad musicians share the power of art making with communities from Queens to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana, and most recently with Syrian refugees living in Jordan. With your support, we can bring the joy of creativity to new corners of the world.