Yo-Yo Ma & The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is famous for his eclecticism. From Baroque chamber music to traditional Chinese melodies, Ma delights in dissolving barriers. His latest genre-hopping project is The Goat Rodeo Sessions, an inventive bluegrass collaboration with bassist Edgar Meyer, fiddler Stuart Duncan and Mandolinist Chris Thile. Vocalist Aoife O’Donovan joins the group on two songs. The expression “goat rodeo” refers to a chaotic situation where a group of people with differing viewpoints have to work together to avert disaster. When the group showed up recently at Google’s New York offices for a brief performance and discussion (see above), Ma compared The Goat Rodeo Sessions to the ecological “Edge Effect,” where contrasting eco-systems come together. “You have the least density of life forms, but you actually have the most variety of new life forms,” explained Ma. “I think we all probably, as a group, enjoy going to the edge because it’s thrilling to discover new life forms. It’s thrilling to take from what you know and try something that really hasn’t quite happened in the same way before.”

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