While writing this concerto, Esa-Pekka Salonen “used the word ‘primordial’ a couple of times,” says Yo-Yo Ma in The New York Times. “Consciousness — where does consciousness emerge? Chaos, stasis comes up a lot. We talked about wanting to hear a sound that’s inside and can’t get out. In the finale you talked about a lung, so that’s internal, biological: You’re inside it and this thing is pulsating…”