It doesn’t take long to realize the Portland Cello Project is not your average classical ensemble. Their website puts it best, calling the diverse group “A horde of cellists laying siege to the shackles of musical perception.” As their name would suggest, the group hails from Portland, Ore. and most members play the cello. They are well known for their musical prowess and unorthodox setlists, “playing tunes that range from Pantera to Bach,” said local promoter Grant Gilmore.
ExpoTracks: The Portland Cello Project
The group’s website proclaims their music’s mission concisely in three goals:
1. To bring the cello to places you wouldn’t normally hear it.
2. To play music on the cello you wouldn’t normally hear played with the instrument.
3. To build bridges across musical communities by bringing a diverse assortment of musical collaborators on stage with them.
The Portland Cello Project are definitely no strangers to Bozeman. They played an intimate show at Peach Street studios in 2011 and then returned to the Filling Station last spring. While watching that many cellos pack onto the Filler’s stage would be interesting, Reynolds Recital Hall — with its higher capacity and acoustic superiority — seems like the most appropriate venue choice this time around. With the group’s repertoire of over 800 songs, one can’t be sure what to expect from any single performance, but, it won’t be what you’d normally expect to hear out of cellos.
What sets the Portland Cello Project apart from most classical music is their ability to mix genres and play a wide array of styles, making them appeal to different people. They perform covers of songs by artists like Beck, Radiohead and Kanye West, but with a unique orchestral sound. For their upcoming Bozeman concert they will be playing as a seven-piece cello ensemble with a percussionist, and Adam Selzer from the opening act The Alialujah Choir may also sit in on the grand piano.
The Portland Cello Project will be rocking out Wednesday, Jan. 30 at the Reynolds Recital Hall on MSU’s campus. The Alialujah Choir will start the music off at 7 p.m. sharp. Tickets can be purchased at Cactus Records or online at cactusrecords.net.