January 14, 2009

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Sponsors Online Music Competition

Ever dream of accompanying a famous classical musician? Well, now your dream might come true.

World-famous cellist and 15-time Grammy winner Yo-Yo Ma is hosting an online competition, inviting listeners to add their own accompaniment to his performance of the traditional hymn “Dona Nobis Pacem,” from his album, Songs of Joy & Peace.

In October, according to Wired.com, Ma posted his cello solo to the online site Indaba Music. Since then, Indaba's users — amateurs and pros alike—have used the site's free Flash-based mixing board to add their own variations and countermelodies. In January, Indaba users will vote for their favorite arrangements, with the winner receiving a recording session with Ma that will be featured on both Indaba and the cellist's own site.

"Just releasing a CD is constraining to an artist," Ma told Wired. "You know: 'I'm the product, you're the consumer' — it's no longer like that. Technology lets you share ideas. By sharing and learning and teaching, you expand your imagination."

In the past, plenty of indie, hip hop, and pop artists have welcomed others to remix their songs online. Now classical music lovers can get in on the act.

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