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Yo-Yo Ma and the Fun List

Kaitlynn Riely | Monday, January 26, 2009

I checked Yo-Yo Ma off my list a week ago, but now I’ve got to put him back on.

One of the many perks of witnessing the swearing-in of the 44th president last Tuesday was getting to see the world-renown cellist play live in a quartet.

The sounds of Ma’s cello, of Itzhak Perlman’s violin, Gabriela Montero’s piano and Anthony McGill’s clarinet floated from the U. S. Capitol building to my spot standing across the Reflecting Pool last Tuesday. The John Williams piece, “Air and Simple Gifts,” was the most beautiful composition I had ever heard live.

Or so I thought.

Two days after I returned from Washington, the New York Times published a story revealing that the elegant notes I had heard were not traveling from the strings of Yo-Yo Ma’s cello to my ears.

Due to forecasts of cold weather on the day of the inauguration, the quartet had made a recording of their performance two days earlier at the Marine Barracks in Washington. They decided to use the recording on the day of the ceremony because the musicians feared intonation problems and cracked instruments or strings.

The quartet played along with the recording, but only those near them could hear the live music.

I heard only the recording. So Yo-Yo Ma goes back on my list, the inventory of fun things I want to do before I die.

Checking off Yo-Yo Ma would have been huge. He’s performing at a concert hall near my hometown in March, but tickets are already sold out. So he’ll probably be on the list for a while:

* See Yo-Yo Ma perform. Live.

* Scuba dive

* Run a marathon.

* Complete a crossword puzzle. Without using the Internet.

* Do a triathlon.

* Write a book.

* Beat the Graduate School team at Late Night Olympics water polo.

* Swim with dolphins.

* Call into Delilah’s radio show with a true story of love and loss and a song request.

* Be an extra in a movie.

* Hike the Great Wall of China.

* Live in a foreign country.

* Plant/maintain a garden.

* Sew something that I?could plausibly wear.

* Go to an inaugural ball. A real one.

* Surf.

* Have a cocktail with Maureen Dowd.

* Go to Australia’s Outback

* Celebrate New Year’s in Times Square

* See the pyramids in Egypt.

* Win trivia night at Legends.

* Visit the Oval Office.

* Meet the Dancing Matt guy from the YouTube videos.

* Win an organized ping pong competition.

* Bike to work.

* Beat my brother at chess.

* Tan.

* Be someone’s Missed Connection on Craigslist.

* Finish a work night at The Observer before midnight.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

Yo-Yo Ma and the Fun List

Kaitlynn Reily | Monday, January 26, 2009

I checked Yo-Yo Ma off my list a week ago, but now I’ve got to put him back on.

One of the many perks of witnessing the swearing-in of the 44th president last Tuesday was getting to see the world-renown cellist play live in a quartet.

The sounds of Ma’s cello, of Itzhak Perlman’s violin, Gabriela Montero’s piano and Anthony McGill’s clarinet floated from the U. S. Capitol building to my spot standing across the Reflecting Pool last Tuesday. The John Williams piece, “Air and Simple Gifts,” was the most beautiful composition I had ever heard live.

Or so I thought.

Two days after I returned from Washington, the New York Times published a story revealing that the elegant notes I had heard were not traveling from the strings of Yo-Yo Ma’s cello to my ears.

Due to forecasts of cold weather on the day of the inauguration, the quartet had made a recording of their performance two days earlier at the Marine Barracks in Washington. They decided to use the recording on the day of the ceremony because the musicians feared intonation problems and cracked instruments or strings.

The quartet played along with the recording, but only those near them could hear the live music.

I heard only the recording. So Yo-Yo Ma goes back on my list, the inventory of fun things I want to do before I die.

Checking off Yo-Yo Ma would have been huge. He’s performing at a concert hall near my hometown in March, but tickets are already sold out. So he’ll probably be on the list for a while:

u See Yo-Yo Ma perform. Live.

u Scuba dive

u Run a marathon.

u Complete a crossword puzzle. Without using the Internet.

u Do a triathlon.

u Write a book.

u Beat the Graduate School team at Late Night Olympics water polo.

u Swim with dolphins.

u Call into Delilah’s radio show with a true story of love and loss and a song request.

u Be an extra in a movie.

u Hike the Great Wall of China.

u Live in a foreign country.

u Plant/maintain a garden.

u Sew something that I?could plausibly wear.

u Go to an inaugural ball. A real one.

u Surf.

u Have a cocktail with Maureen Dowd.

u Go to Australia’s Outback

u Celebrate New Year’s in Times Square

u See the pyramids in Egypt.

u Win trivia night at Legends.

u Visit the Oval Office.

u Meet the Dancing Matt guy from the YouTube videos.

u Win an organized ping pong competition.

u Bike to work.

u Beat my brother at chess.

u Tan.

u Be someone’s Missed Connection on Craigslist.

u Finish a work night at The Observer before midnight.