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Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach Series
The Sound of the Carceri
Yo-Yo Ma with Piranesi

Yo-Yo Ma performs Bach in a virtual prison designed by Piranesi.

A printer-friendly version of this page 55 minutes
Directed by François Girard
Produced by Niv Fichman, Rhombus Media
Sound Design: Steven Epstein

THE SOUND OF THE CARCERI explores the deep relationship between music and architecture through a high-tech "virtual confrontation" between Bach and his contemporary, the architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Using a striking visual style, director François Girard ("The Red Violin" and "Thirty-Two Short Films about Glenn Gould") places Yo-Yo Ma within a series of computer-generated, three-dimensional recreations of Piranesi's well-known prison etchings.

Through Yo-Yo Ma's and music producer Steven Epstein's struggle to recreate and interact with the imaginary space that Ma performs in, the film examines the complexity of illusion, of representation and reality.

Other titles in the series are:

The Music Garden with Julie Moir Messervy - An exploration of Bach's music as interpreted through gardening.

Falling Down Stairs with Mark Morris - Bach's 3rd Suite for Cello interpreted through dance.

Sarabande with Atom Egoyan - Feature film maker Atom Egoyan weaves a tale inspired by Bach's 4th Cello Suite.

Struggle for Hope with Tamasaburo Bando - Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando interprets Bach.

Six Gestures with Torvill and Dean - Ice dancers Torvill and Dean interpret Bach's Suite No. 6.

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1998     Copyright Date: 1997
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-695-0     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-734-4

"Explores the common ground between music and architecture, including tension, space, proportions and material. Computer-generated 3-D re-creations allow viewers to see Ma 'playing inside a picture,' while hearing how the piece would sound inside the prisons themselves."
Music Educators Journal

DVD $150
VHS $150
DVD $80
VHS $80
Reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups. Please inquire.

The Sound of the Carceri

"Explores the common ground between music and architecture." Music Educators Journal

Awards and Festivals
Outstanding Effects for a Series, 50th Primetime Emmy Awards
Best Visual Effects, Gemini Awards
DESIRABLE: California Instructional Technology Clearinghouse

European Studies
Film Studies
Performing Arts

Related Titles

Cello Concerto by Robert Schumann
Steven Isserlis performs one of Schumann's greatest works.

Tokyo Waltz
Appalachia Waltz at Suntory Hall in Japan.

Hong Kong Symphony
Tan Dun's "Symphony 1997" premieres as Hong Kong switches from British to Chinese rule.

... more Reviews

"The resulting effects are wondrous."
Richard McRae, Associate Librarian, University at Buffalo Music Library, MC Journal

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