And Now You're Making Tunage With Yo-Yo Ma

Friday, January 16, 2009

If you've been following - or even if you haven't, Yo-Yo Ma picked the winners to his mashup contest, and after listening to 350+ submissions -- today he choose a winner.

Well, two winners, actually:

Ma encouraged musicians of any stripe to download his own version of the traditional tune "Dona Nobis Pacem," then add their own rendition, mix the two and upload the result to the music site

Now, after listening to 354 submissions, Ma has chosen not one, but two winners — hear him pick the winning entries by clicking the link above — whose musical DNA couldn't be more opposite. Toshi is a native of Japan whose father wanted him to learn their country's traditional music.

"Instead, I chose to bang my head," Toshi says. "That was the beginning of my heavy-metal history. Thanks to Iron Maiden. I formed my very first band when I was 15."

Now, Toshi writes music for his band Antiquus, based in Vancouver.

From the opposite end of the aural spectrum comes the gently clanging tones of hand bells, courtesy of composer and arranger Kevin McChesney. His music has won him a number of awards, and he now directs the Pikes Peak Ringers from his home in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Since Toshi and McChesney won the contest they'll get to sit down and collaborate with Ma on some new music.

Check out more out about the winners and listen to Yo-Yo Ma down at NPR.