New York, NY --/PRNewswire/ Sony Masterworks celebrates another record-breaking week in cellist Yo-Yo Ma's career with the sales and chart success of The Goat Rodeo Sessions . The newly released recording, featuring the talents of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolinist Chris Thile and fiddler Stuart Duncan, debuted at #1 on the Classical, Classical Crossover and Bluegrass Billboard chart. In a rare industry occurrence, its second week of sales surpassed the first with an increase of 37 percent. It currently sits at #18 on the Billboard Top 200 and at #11 on Soundscan's Digital Album Chart – Ma's highest placements on each of these charts to date. This is a major achievement for Ma who has released over 75 albums (16 Grammy Award winners and 1 Latin Grammy) in the past 30 years.
The group promoted the release, along with guest vocalist Aoife O'Donovan, with performances on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Fox & Friends and The Colbert Report among others. Performances and interviews on NPR's All Things Considered, Tiny Desk Concert, World Cafe and American Public Media's Performance Today will also air within the next two weeks.
A goat rodeo, according to the Urban Dictionary, "is about the most polite term used by aviation people (and others in higher risk situations) to describe a scenario that requires about 100 things to go right at once if you intend to walk away from it." Edgar Meyer first heard it used by his longtime music copyist in reference, he recalls, to "a very chaotic situation where a lot of agendas are kind of confused, and it's hard to tell up from down." Relating it to The Goat Rodeo Sessions participants, all four lead extremely demanding if not chaotic lives in terms of scheduling, at least, making their meeting here, while much desired, still a near goat-rodeo miracle. But "goat rodeo" proved a perfect catch-all, too, in describing the otherwise hard-to-define nature of the quartet's music.
While everyone personalized their own definition of "goat rodeo" Yo-Yo Ma sums it up: "In the end, what we're trying to do is simply make music that transcends whatever roots or categories or backgrounds that it starts from--that just exists as something that we're trying to express, through our community of values, as a moment in time creating very special music."
The finished Goat Rodeo Sessions is something so musically new that the title works perfectly on one more significant level.
"We want the freedom to not have the music immediately defined by a couple of words," explains Meyer. "But at its root, Yo-Yo's going for the same thing that Stuart's going for, that Chris is going for--which is to completely internalize the music, and to play it without any kind of exterior references or even knowing what it is we're going for, but with an easy agreement among the four of us in knowing when we get there."
Concludes Thile: "The Goat Rodeo Sessions just sort of sums it up."