There's something about Yo-Yo. This article has been floating around social media, and for good reason. I've always wondered what it is about Yo-Yo Ma that people relate to- how he became one of the most recognized and beloved faces of classical music today. I truly believe the answers are all laid out in this interview. My favorite wisdom?
I always feel I miss out on things. That’s part of living. And the idea that you’re missing out on things can be used as fuel for developing what I call a disciplined imagination. I would be a terrible musician if I couldn’t put myself in the mind of a composer who lived in a different time, a different place. I would be the worst musician if I can’t somehow project my imagination into someone else’s mind. I often say that to be a classical musician is to be a forensic cultural analyst.
I’ve come to think of music in a way that’s a little clearer now. I would say the sound part of it, what you hear, the measurable part of the sound, is equivalent to the tip of an iceberg, less than 10 percent of the whole mass. So what’s below the surface is actually what is the music, what’s above is just the sound. I think about what is behind Bob Dylan’s voice. What is infusing my Goat Rodeo Sessions band mate Chris Thile’s sound, what is going on in his brain when he plays the mandolin? You can analyze the music and replicate it but you’re not really getting to Chris Thile until you understand what his worldview is, what motivates him to be open to everything around him, to be obsessive about slight differences in the taste of coffee.