Sunday, March 27, 2011

Portland Cello Project - Amazing!

Friday Night was date night! We've been planning it for awhile. When i got the March schedule for the Manship Theatre (where i work sometimes as a house manager), i saw that a group called the Portland Cello Project was coming. I had never heard of them, but i have this thing about cellos. I am in love with them. :)

I love music & love to sing, but i guess i don't always recognize certain instruments when i hear them. My husband is a musician, and one day early in our marriage, i was listening to Sara Bareilles' song "Come Round Soon" & there is this sound at the end. I loved it. I asked Brad, "What is that?" & he said "That's a cello!". This happened several other times during other songs & it was always the cello. Finally, we realized i apparently have a thing for the cello! So it was a no-brainer that we would go to this...even though we had no clue who they were or if they were any good! Haha.

No worries, though. They were FANTASTIC. From their website...

Since the group's inception in late 2007, the Portland Cello Project (or, PCP, as their fans affectionately call them), has wowed audiences all over the country with extravagant performances, mixing genres and blurring musical lines and perceptions wherever they go. No two shows are alike, with a repertoire now numbering over 800 pieces of music you wouldn't normally hear coming out of a cello. The Cello Project's stage setup ranges from the very simple (4-6 cellos), to the all out epic (which has included 12 cellos playing with full choirs, winds, horns, and numerous percussion players). The Cello Project's mission is three-fold:
  1. To bring the cello to places you wouldn't normally hear it. They've performed everywhere, from touring with heavy metal guitarist Buckethead, to sports bars in Texas, to punk clubs in Boston, to halftime at Portland Trailblazer games, to Millennium Park in Chicago...
  2. To play music on the cello you wouldn't normally hear played on the instrument. Everything from Beethoven to Arvo Pärt to instrumental covers of Kanye West and Pantera.
  3. To build bridges across all musical communities by bringing a diverse assortment of musical collaborators on stage with them.  
 Y'all, they were SO good. Really really really good. And they loved Louisiana...it was their first time playing here! They said they loved our weather & that we have such nice courteous people (i hear this all the time, though i encounter rude people everyday! Haha.). They are from Portland (obviously) & said they wish they could live here in the winter/spring & move back to Portland for the summers. (I wonder if they were still here yesterday - it hit 100 degrees!!! UGH!). 

 Ashia of Portland Cello Project

Anyway, they went earlier that day & played at Baton Rouge High, which is a pretty artsy school here in BR & i know those students had to love them! The group we saw consisted of 6 cello players & 1 drummer. It was REALLY good & the guy that did most of the talking was hilarious. They played classical music, but also crazy stuff like something by Beyonce, Kanye West, the Star Trek theme song, and the Super Mario Brothers theme song! HA! One of their girls, Ashia, sang too & composed two of the songs they did. She has a beautiful voice.

They were soooo good & if they are ever in your area, it is definitely worth going to hear them!

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