Yo-Yo Ma Launches Interactive Bach Music Series With Live Guests

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Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma is launching a seven-week Bach interactive virtual experience, “The Music Art Life Experience,” presented by Raptive and launching May 1.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello will serve as the starting point for a wider exploration of lessons for creativity, community and the pursuit of a rich and purposeful life.

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Joining the musician for conversations and programs focusing on the art of living are journalist Krista Tippett, author Adam Grant, Jacob Collier and comedian Baratunde Thurston.

Ahead of the launch, Ma told Variety, “I am so excited about this. Because it is interactive, I get to find out in a 360-degree way how people think, hear and react to it. To get that all around, it’s something that never happens. It’s a unique way to create some form of cultural communication.”

With Bach as the focal point in how music intersects with art and life, Ma hopes to delve deeper into the power music possesses. Ma said, “Music hits both our conscious mind and our unconscious mind at the same time. At the subconscious level, it hits our emotions. It takes you to a time, to your first kiss, your first dance, your first date or your first whatever.”

He continued, “It is so powerful in the fact that music can hit on all those senses at the same time. That’s what makes it a very powerful way of expression.”

Ma, who was first introduced to Johann Sebastian Bach’s music when he was four years old, has recorded the cello suites at various stages of his life — in his 20s, his 40s and his 60s. The suites, he explained, have been his constant musical companions. “They have given me sustenance, comfort and joy during times of stress, celebration and loss,” he said.

Aside from the interactive conversations and experience, participants will get to view rarely seen archival recordings of Ma performing Bach’s six solo suites for cello.

Learn more and register here.

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