Silk Road Ensemble, The / Off The Map
Album: Off The Map   Collection:General
Artist:Silk Road Ensemble, The   Added:Jan 2010
Label:World Village  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2010-02-07 Pull Date: 2010-04-11 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Apr 4 Mar 14 Feb 14
Airplays: 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Feb 19, 2011: Music Casserole
Air To Air I
3. Mar 11, 2010: The Machine Stops
Ritmos Anchinos I
2. Apr 02, 2010: Memory Select
Ritmos Anchinos Ii
4. Feb 09, 2010: Ambient Love Annoyance
Ritmos Anchinos I

Album Review
Abu Ramses
Reviewed 2010-03-21

An all-instrumental album.

Late 2009 release by The Silk Road Ensemble – the performance group of The Silk Road Project – an eclectic musical collective founded by renowned cellist, Yo Yo Ma in 1998. For more info on the Silk Road Project, the instruments it features, and the musicians see their website:

Features four newly commissioned works in the modern classical genre inspired by musical styles and using unusual combinations of instruments found along the “silk road” – the land and sea trade routes connecting southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean with China. Within that very broad geographic expanse, anything goes musically. Instruments on this album range from the European violin and cello, to the Arabic lute (oud) to the Chinese pipa (which in some passages of track 2 resembles a banjo playing country music) and, featured on the last cut, bagpipes.

These are serious pieces and a full appreciation of them may require some specialized musical training. So they may sound strange and be difficult to enjoy on a first hearing.

Relatively more accessible tracks (to my ear at any rate) are the first movement of “Ritmos Anchinos” (Harawi para Colquipocro, Track 1); second movement of “Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain” (Rain, Track 5); third movement of “Sulvasutra” (Letter to Pythagoras, Track 8); second movement of “Air to Air” (Aini Taqtiru/My Eyes Weep, Track 10). They can all be played independently.

My favorites: Harawi para Colquipocro and Aini Taqtiru.


1-3: “Ritmos Anchinos” composed by Gabriela Lena Frank

4-5: “Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain” composed by Angel Lam

6-8: “Sulvasutra” composed by Evan Ziporyn

9-12: “Air to Air” composed by Osvaldo Golijov

Track Listing
1. Ritmos Anchinos I   7. Sulvasutra Ii
2. Ritmos Anchinos Ii   8. Sulvasutra Iii
3. Ritmos Anchinos Iii   9. Air To Air I
4. Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain I   10. Air To Air Ii
5. Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain Ii   11. Air To Air Iii
6. Sulvasutra I   12. Air To Air Iv