Monday, January 15, 2007

Yo-Yo Ma interview

Every weekend morning when I go skiing I listen to Weekend Edition as I can get it all the way to the ski lift. I do have to change stations half the way there and I know exactly where to change over and it's the same broadcast. So that works out great.

One thing of interest this last weekend was an interview with Yo-Yo Ma. I think I'm going to have to get his new CD "Appassionato" which you can read about HERE at the NPR website. You can also listen to some audio clips. I'm sure it's a great CD.

The thing he said that really touched home for me was about old time fiddle music. He said that this music came across the Atlantic with emigrants mostly from Scotland and Ireland and was taught from one generation to the next without notation. That's exactly what happened to me on my father's side of my family. What Ma said was that the music didn't loose much if anything in sound and technique from one generation to the next. He suggested that the same was not true about trained musicians reading notation, as they would interpret, and the music would change over time. He said that old time fiddle music was an insight into the nature and sound of baroque music, as the way of using the bow and such came down in time unchanged.

My mom was a music student and and my dad was an old time fiddler. They were an odd couple in this respect. I took piano lessons and then joined orchestra. At the same time, I was playing these old time songs with my dad which had a direct link back to Scotland through Ellis Island and all of that.

I found it all very interesting as I had both influences in music while I was growing up.

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