Yo-Yo Ma to Release “Notes For the Future”
Yo-Yo Ma joins artists from five continents on forthcoming album Notes For the Future, available September 10.
With Angélique Kidjo, Mashrou’ Leila + Narcy, Tunde Olaniran, Jeremy Dutcher, Andrea Motis, ABAO, Lila Downs, and Marlon Williams
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma announces his new album, Notes for the Future, set for release on September 10, 2021 on Sony Classical and available now for preorder.
Notes for the Future brings together extraordinary artists from five continents: across nine tracks, Ma joins Angélique Kidjo, Mashrou’ Leila + Narcy, Tunde Olaniran, Jeremy Dutcher, Andrea Motis, ABAO, Lila Downs, and Marlon Williams to explore our fears and hopes, reminding us that the future is ours to shape, together.
Notes for the Future captures the full range of human emotion, from the lament of the album’s lead single, a collaborative version of “Blewu” with Angélique Kidjo (named “Africa’s premier diva” by TIME), to the energetic prayer for home in “Ha’oud (I Will Return)” from Ma and Beirut-based rock band Mashrou’ Leila (dubbed “the Arab world’s most influential independent band” by Financial Times). Like so much of Ma’s work, Notes for the Future is at once profoundly global and deeply rooted at home, with tracks from the Americas including: “Doorway,” an optimistic ballad of connection from Ma and Flint, Michigan-based musician Tunde Olaniran; Ma’s stark solo performance of the Calvary Ostinato from the late Chicago composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s seminal “Lamentations, ‘Black/Folk Song Suite;’” and “Honor Song,” a Mi’kmaq anthem from Ma and Jeremy Dutcher that invokes our collective responsibility to care for the planet we share.
Originally inspired by the Bach Project, Yo-Yo Ma’s global journey to explore how culture can help us imagine and build a better world, these nine tracks — featuring vocals in Arabic, Zapotec, Catalan, Paiwan, Spanish, Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey, Ewe, Maori, and English — celebrate the wisdom of the generations that were and the possibility of those to come.
1. Lamentations, “Black/Folk Song Suite”: III. Calvary Ostinato (by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
2. Honor Song (with Jeremy Dutcher)
3. Doorway (with Tunde Olaniran)
4. Blewu (with Angélique Kidjo)
5. Ha’oud (I Will Return) (with Mashrou’ Leila feat. Narcy)
6. El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the Birds) (with Andrea Motis)
7. La Sandunga (with Lila Downs)
8. Thank You (with ABAO)
9. Te Whakāroha Nui (with Marlon Williams)