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Emily Wells and Portland Cello Project Double EP Release Show

4 May

By: Rob Frost

I had the pleasure to catch Ms. Emily Wells and the Portland Cello Project‘s (PCP as they are known by their fans) dual EP release show on May 1st at the Cedar Cultural Center. The night was full of laughter, passionate performing, and semi-sophisticated behavior.  While Wells dazzled the audience with her soulful singing and multi instrumental looping, PCP gained attention with classical renditions of Pantera, Jay-Z, and Kanye

Based out of New York, Emily Wells brings something new to looped-based performance. Not only does she tap dance with her pedals, she sings beautifully, plays violin, guitar, drums and other assorted instruments. Even though I felt her looping put limitations on her performing, she is still able to create dynamics with her non-traditional drum set up. I had the chance to listen to her new record Mama before going to the show and I would say her track “Dirty Sneakers and Underwear” stood out the most both live and on the record.

After her performance, Portland Cello Project intrigued the audience with their hip-hop covers.  It’s not often you hear an orchestral version of Jay-Z and Kanye’s song “Ninja in Paris”.  I was much more impressed with PCP’s live performance than their new record Homage.  Although it was a good record, it lacked some of the sonic qualities that other classical recordings have.  To me, it didn’t possess the lush dynamics and the true resonance of the instruments.

Overall, the show was fantastic.  If you’re looking to go to a show that features something a little more intimate and lush, I suggest you catch them next time they come through.

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