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- Alisa Weilerstein lets her cello speak for itself
The Sydney Morning Herald
Yo-Yo Ma's Recording Songs of Joy & Peace Achieves Best-Ever One Week Sales of Ma's 30-Year Career With Sony Masterworks
Over 500 Entries To Date In Indaba Music Contest To Vie For Opportunity To Record With Yo-Yo Ma
Sony Masterworks is pleased to announce that legendary artist Yo-Yo Ma's recently released holiday recording, Songs of Joy & Peace, has garnered more sales in one week than any other in the history of the cellist's 30-year recording career with Masterworks. The unprecedented sales propelled the critically acclaimed disc to the #20 spot of Billboard's Top 200 chart, Ma's highest position ever. Songs of Joy & Peace, featuring a star-studded cast of musicians, is a musical party in celebration of the joys of the holiday season.
Alex Miller, Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Sony Masterworks and Victor Label Group, had this to say: "I am thrilled to announce these two new milestones in Yo-Yo Ma's 30-year recording career with our company. During these troubled economic times, the unprecedented numbers are a testament to the power and passion Yo-Yo Ma brings to the world. The recording is a special kind of musical magic that transcends classical, world, or other genres and is truly a reflection of our best desires, hopes, and dreams. We couldn't be happier to be associated with such a great artist and his vision for joy and peace."
Some of the artists Ma collaborates with on Songs of Joy & Peace include James Taylor Alison Krauss, Renee Fleming, Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Joshua Redman, Sergio and Odair Assad, and Dave and Matt Brubeck. "It started with the idea of a party, a party built around the concept of joy and the infinite varieties of joy to be found in the world," recalled Ma. "But joy can't exist in our world without the comfort of peace. As we all draw closer and closer together in this world, nothing is more important. So as much as the music in this album is about joy, it is also about peace, about the two operating in tandem."
To celebrate the release of Songs of Joy & Peace, and in keeping with the theme of coming together in the musical spirit, Yo-Yo Ma teamed up with Indaba Music, http://www.indabamusic.com/, the leading collaboration tool and social network for musicians. Ma recorded the melody for Dona Nobis Pacem and made it available for other musicians to record to it -- creating a virtual music party. The music is available as part of a contest hosted at Indaba Music for artists to compete to create the most original and interesting counter melody or most creative set of variations. Musicians have until December 31, 2008 to submit their piece. Submissions so far have ranged in style from classical to world music to hip-hop, and even heavy metal. The Indaba Music community will vote for their favorites, and Ma will choose the winner who will have the opportunity to record with him. The contest began in early October and to date has attracted 500 entries.
Songs of Joy & Peace has been chosen as a featured holiday selection at Starbucks and is being sold at select Starbucks locations nationwide.
Also available is a special deluxe edition of Songs of Joy & Peace featuring an expanded booklet and an exclusive DVD showcasing five music videos of Yo-Yo Ma joining forces with guest artists James Taylor ("Here Comes the Sun"), Alison Krauss ("The Wexford Carol"), Renee Fleming ("Touch the Hand of Love"), Diana Krall ("You Couldn't Be Cuter") and Chris Botti ("My Favorite Things"). In addition, the Songs of Joy & Peace bonus DVD premieres a behind-the-scenes 60-minute video documenting the making of the album.