Portland Cello Project

  • Memorial Union
  • 800 Langdon St.
  • Madison, WI 53706
  • Phone: 608-265-ARTS (2787).

The Portland Cello Project transforms alternative/pop/rock music into classical ensemble compositions. Their precise technical ability allows them reinterpret the music and still maintain the integrity of the original works and their unique renditions of Radiohead songs wander from truly epic to breathtakingly intimate.

Portland Cello Project first performed OK Computer in its entirety in 2012 for the 15th anniversary of the album’s release. Ever since then, pieces of it have remained in the group’s repertoire as constantly evolving musical meditations. All of the cellists in the group are classically trained, yet all of them find a unique connection between Radiohead and their musical foundation. The deep layers of Radiohead’s music are reminiscent of late-19th-century music of the Western Classical Tradition, but beyond that, each of the cellists have worked to bring out subtleties they discover that hint at everything from Bach counterpoint at times, to rhythms they initially encountered and performing Stravinsky.

The alt-classical group performs as a large, classically-trained orchestral ensemble (including brass, percussion, and guest vocals by Patti King of the Portland band The Shins). They build bridges between musical communities and bring the cello to atypical venues, performing pieces that aren’t normally associated with the instrument.