Famed Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Debuts Piece Written by Mid-State Artist

Jul 15, 2013

Mid-State Cellist Matt Walker
Credit mattwalkercello.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn, (WMOT)  --  A composition for two cellos debuted back in May by famed artist Yo-Yo Ma was written by a mid-state musician.

You can hear the piece, “Yo-Yo Joe,”Tuesday afternoon here on WMOT.

The composition was created by artist Matt Walker, a cellist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and with the string ensemble Alias.

Walker was asked by his good friend and fellow cellist Joe Johnson to write a short piece he could perform along with Yo-Yo Ma during a performance by the Toronto Symphony.

Walker completed the piece in about a week and it debuted in late May. He says he intentionally wrote a piece that was technically challenging, but also a lot of fun.

“It’s kind of a combination of styles and mostly in jazz oriented vein. A lot of the music that I compose is heavily influenced by jazz and blues and such. This one in particular is kind of a Latin Jazz thing, with a little bit of Gospel and little bit of Blues in there as well.”

Walker says he was pleased to hear the piece had the Toronto audience yelling, clapping and stomping along with Johnson and Yo-Yo Ma.

You can hear the piece Tuesday afternoon here on WMOT beginning at a few minutes past 2 p.m.