Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yo-Yo Ma-shup: “Nothing Great Was Ever Produced in Isolation.”

Yo-Yo Ma became famous from his virtuoso performances of baroque and classical music favorites. Since then he has experimented and evolved his musical style to include influences from many cultures. His recordings went from legendary renditions of music by Bach, Haydn and Beethoven in the eighties to pieces by Stephen Foster, Ástor Piazzolla and Mongolian composers in the last decade. It’s inspiring.

I was reading an interview with Yo-Yo Ma and this one section stuck with me:

"I have this theory that I share with (Art Institute of Chicago president) Jim Cuno," Ma told The Associated Press. "It's that nothing great was ever produced in isolation." Ma says his study of history at Harvard University led him to realize that Eastern and Western cultures are not self-contained, but have mixed since at least the time of Alexander the Great.

"Even something as basic as our Western major and minor keys may have originally come from the amazingly complex modes of classical Persian music," Ma said. "And there's a continual tradition in the West of incorporating music from other parts of the world."

This is going on now with experience of "You" with Web 2.0. Everything is getting mashed up and cross-influenced. Here is a video I saw on YouTube that mashes up TV Clips from the seventies shows The Bionic Man & The Bionic Woman set to an Avril Lavigne song with Italian subtitles (direct link here for those of you blocked from seeing the embedded video below):

There are mashups that promote social and cultural awareness so much better than traditional reporting could. Check out this video mixing cultural messages (direct link here):

Even large corporations are dipping their toes in this space. Duet is a business mashup between Microsoft Office and SAP enterprise data.

It’s exciting to observe what this cross-pollination will lead to in the upcoming decade when more and more people have Web 2.0 tools at their disposal.

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