Continuing their explorations on Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble go even deeper into cross-cultural studies on this 2005 soundtrack album. Produced for a 10-part series on Japan's NHK television network, the CD's 15 tracks are arranged in three suites, entitled Enchantment, Origins, and New Beginnings, more reflective of inherent musical affinities than of the way the music was used in the program. The musicians tap into the variously overlapping musical styles of lands stretching from China and India to Iran and Turkey, and the arrangements by Zhao Jiping and Zhao Lin include a mix of instruments from around the world, to add greater color and sonic dimensions. The album's exotic and meditative qualities may attract fans of both international and new age music, though there is perhaps little crossover appeal for Ma's classical devotees.
Silk Road Blues represents the first fusion of Afghan music and jazz. The project is built around the combination of piano and the 18-stringed Afghan rebab, both played by Larry Porter, in different settings which include bass, drums, tabla, and sax.
The Silk Road… Caravan pathway connecting East Asia with Mediterranean in ancient times and Middle ages. The Silk Road played a great role in the development of the economic and cultural relations of the peoples in the middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and China. For example, it served as a conductor of the spread of knowledge and innovation, including creativity: dance, music, visual arts, architecture, and technology: self-production of silk, gunpowder, paper and more. It was a long road full of beauty and danger.