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Yo-Yo Ma on being a cultural citizen
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....."Art asks us to do all the things that lead to innovation," he (Yo-Yo Ma) says. "Concept, design, execution, engineering: You figure things out by doing things."

Ma and Cristina Pato, a member of Ma's Silk Road Ensemble and master of the Galician bagpipes and other instruments, explore with words and musical illustrations, what it means to be a cultural citizen — his term — in the 21st century.

After experiencing the death of CDs, the "iTunes moment" and the domination of music distribution sites like Spotify, Ma has a futuristic dream. Actually, he has two.

"My two fondest hopes are that we could have a cultural platform of 10 million people who get together to decide things and have a cultural voice. Another is a platform that can be used by students that combines education and culture, needs and resources," he says.

Yo-Yo Ma

To construct a structure for his dreams, Ma knows people have to feel involved. Using autobiographical moments of frustration as building blocks and believing "we all live in the abstract between the granular and the larger world," he finds more questions: 

"Can we accept responsibility? Can we find a place between conditioned habits and innovation? We love Grandma's pie, but can we try a new recipe?"

With the world changing rapidly, Ma wonders, "How can we adjust without losing our way of life?"... continued

Read entire article in SF Weekly



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