November 11, 2008 · 1:51 PM
The Portland Cello Project has some of the most innovative programming and marketing you can find. Their website has some of the most interesting cello photography anywhere. As a matter of fact, there may be more interesting cello photos on their site than anywhere else on the web.
When we’re getting trained in classical music, at a conservatory or college/university music program, the underlying cultural assumption is that if we get good enough, people will hire us to perform. With a modicum of people skills, networking, and professionalism (i.e., returning phone calls promptly, consistently showing up early rather than at the last second or even late, etc.), this actually works to a limited extent, especially for freelance gigs. And of course some of us succeed in winning a full-time position in an orchestra or on a music faculty.
If you don’t end up with a full-time gig, or have more free-lance work than you can handle (and I know fewer and fewer people with more free-lance work than they can handle), the key is to be good, do something innovative and interesting, and MARKETING and PUBLICITY.
Which is the members of the Portland Cello Project are my heroes.
Their next project is the Holiday Sweater Spectacular. Fabulous poster!
August 7, 2008 · 12:51 PM
I posted about the Portland Cello Project not long ago. In the last 24 hours there’s been a small blizzard (hmm . . . is “small blizzard” oxymoronic?) of online coverage:
It’s too late for another article about how “the Portland Cello Project brings classical instrumentation to the masses.” Judging by a slew of collaborations with high-profile Portland musicians, a recent sold-out show at the Doug Fir, and this week’s release of a full-length record, it’s already been brought.
“It’s funny being interviewed now,” the Portland Cello Project (PCP)’s Doug Jenkins tells me, “because we used to get asked, ‘Why the cello?’ Now everyone wants to know, ‘What’s the business plan?'”
In the great big field of contemporary classical music, Portland Cello Project stands stalks above the rest.
So it’s great to announce that their self-titled debut disc is a totally excellent mix of everything from Beethoven to (gulp) Britney Spears (I think Doug Jenkins’ arrangement of Spears’ “Toxic” might yet become legendary), and the Project kicks off the disc’s national distribution with a Friday night gig at the Aladdin Theater (3017 SE Milwaukie) with a boat-load of friends and collaborators like 3 Leg Torso, Loch Lomond and Laura Gibson.
Way to go, PCP!
August 1, 2008 · 1:05 PM
Just discovered the Portland Cello Project, via largehearted boy, a legal free music download blog (which I also just discovered).
What a great example of a “post-classical” approach to music making, marketing, highly eclectic, multi-genre programming, alternative venues, etc. And, reading the member bios, some great examples of dual-career musicians: doing something else you also love for much of your living, and playing music professionally.
Largehearted boy Portland Cello Project links
Portland Cello Project MySpace page