PROJECT Trio
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PROJECT Trio

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Classical Jam

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Dec
11
PROJECT Trio @ 92Y Tribecca

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

Nov
22
PROJECT Trio @ Dallas JCC

Dallas, Texas, USA

Dallas, Texas, USA

Nov
21
PROJECT Trio @ OK Flute Festival

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

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Music

Press


Possibility
Classical music, and conservatory education in particular, are suffering from a paralysis of tradition. There seems to be a clear, if unspoken, trajectory for the current conservatory student: find excellent and influential teacher, after settling into higher education realistically forego solo career, learn orchestral excerpts until they become automatic, win orchestral job. This process continually emphasizes perfection of technique over the development of improvisatory tools, essentially abandoning the genesis of the classical art form.
Music began as an aural language and developed into a written language, one that continued to mutate and advance over time through communication, experimentation, and improvisation. Everyone who played music, even amateurs, maintained a fluency in this musical language, fully capable of improvising and creating within it. Sadly, such is not the case today. This is due in part to the stodgy restraints of the education system and the demands of the current professional musical establishment. Few students know how to rely on their ear, and fewer know how to engage each other in stimulating musical conversation.
That being said, if one asks a professional musician what they would most like to do with their training, nine times out of ten they will express the desire to be a chamber musician. Chamber music is the epicenter of what one calls ‘classical music’. It’s a conversation, a collaboration. The basic elements of musical communication and the genetic footprint of all complex musical forms have their origin in the simple act of intimate music-making. This is an interaction that musicians, and most artists for that matter, gravitate to: a divulging expression and intense interaction, a coming together of forces for a common, exquisite means.
In today’s digitized age, with increasingly compromised attention spans, chamber music seems to be less and less relevant. It necessitates sitting down, stepping back, and being quiet. And, unlike a trip to the opera or the symphony, it is less of an ‘event’ and generally not an opportunity ‘to be seen’. How can young musicians who thrive on the visceral connection of this art form invigorate it, and sell it to new audiences?
Three accomplished conservatory musicians have answered that question with their trio, PROJECT. The group has an unorthodox instrumentation, bringing together the flute, cello and bass. This unusual grouping is just the beginning of how they are turning the traditions of their instruments on their heads.
In programs that cross reference genres and composers from Charles Mingus to Bach to Jethro Tull, these three musicians exhaust the possibilities of their instruments by switch-hitting between playing techniques, and offering a color palette without peer. Bass and Cello seem to seek out every physical exploitation of their instruments, moving seamlessly between pizz’s and bowing, as well as using the wood of the instruments as a percussive sounding board. Meanwhile, the flute plays in its self-coined “beatbox” style, manipulating what is often considered a soft and feminine sound into one that is rhythmic and engaging.
The programming of the trio moves through a kaleidoscope of styles, ranging from hip-hop to classical to jazz and beyond, playing new compositions or re-imaginings of works by the aforementioned masters. But the overall structure borrows highly from the classical tradition in which they are informed. Certain pieces are referred to as tone poems and others are actually composed in a four-movement structure, much as a traditional chamber music piece would be. The overall effect is one that highlights the strength of chamber music and classical music, while simultaneously showing the way for the future.
PROJECT is a beautiful example of what is possible when musicians “think outside of the box”, offering historically informed performances that are infused with the lessons of a contemporary existence. An interweaving of complexity with accessibility. This is really a lesson in what chamber music is and what it can continue to be. And more importantly, an idea of what all music students can potentially be: creative contributors - Lee Gafigan


To Whom It May Concern:

It is my pleasure to recommend Project and its members as excellent musicians and people of the highest quality. As invited guest artists and clinicians in the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Partnership Program during the 2007-08 season, Project proved to be very competent and energetic educators with a high-school aged audience, and exciting performers that appealed to a diverse audience.

I believe that Project will be a wonderful resource and representative for any organization and I am happy to recommend them without hesitation. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me using the information below.

Sincerely,

Marc Thayer


Marc C. Thayer
Vice President for Education and Community Partnerships
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
718 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
tel 314-286-4433
fax 314-286-4473
marct@slso.org
- Mark Thayer, St. Louis Symphony


To Whom It May Concern:


The Texas Flute Society invited PROJECT to appear at its 31st Annual Texas Flute Festival held at the University of North Texas – Denton, May 15-17, 2008. I can’t begin to tell you what a positive experience this was. We found them to be dynamic, entertaining, and extremely professional.

Greg Pattillo, Peter Seymour, and Eric Stephenson are exceptionally appealing with a new exciting, sound that drew cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd. I’ve never seen so much excitement at one of our festivals.

These guys are fun! As festival organizer, I found they were down to earth and great to work with. From the stand point of the festival attendees, this group was a huge draw. Our concert hall was packed with enthusiasts of all ages. In addition to their performances, Greg led masterclasses in advanced flute techniques and demonstrated excellent rapport with the students of all levels. We found Greg, Peter, and Eric to be especially friendly and attentive to our young players, which was very important to us.

At the close of the festival, we heard comments like; “best festival we ever had”, “great with the kids”, “so entertaining!” “what an upbeat performance!” “everybody loved it!” “Wow!”….

Project undoubtedly has a big future. We were fortunate to get them and hope we will have the opportunity to have them return soon.

Please contact us if you would like more information.


Sincerely,



Marilyn Arey, President
mmarey987@gmail.com
214-769-0644
- Marilyn Avery, TX Flute Society


Classical music – no, make that music in general – has taken a major beating in recent decades as schools have dropped arts education classes. The job of filling in the gaps has been entrusted to independent performers who know how crucial the arts are to the curriculum and to civilization.
Project Trio, an ensemble of Cleveland Institute of Music graduates based in Brooklyn, N.Y., reaches out to a wide audience, but it's also devoted to bringing music to younger generations in schools and elsewhere.
Flutist Greg Pattillo, cellist Eric Stephenson and bassist Peter Seymour do so by "blurring the lines of classical music." They use their training and knowledge to draw listeners into sonic worlds that embrace jazz, hip-hop, folk and other genres.
These top-notch players were in chipper form Sunday at Chagrin Falls High School, where they appeared under the auspices of Chagrin Arts. A hit on the Internet, Project Trio performs original works and classical and popular pieces tweaked to reflect the musicians' all-encompassing tastes.
The repertoire gives the ensemble myriad chances to revel in giddy banter, crisp interplay and daring instrumental techniques. Flutist Pattillo is a champion of "beatboxing," an array of vocal percussion effects drawn largely from hip-hop culture.
His colleagues aren't afraid to stretch the boundaries of their respective instruments. They tap the wooden surfaces, play eerie harmonics and execute all sorts of acrobatic feats.
Much of the music Project Trio plays is immediately appealing, though more suited to a nightclub than a concert hall. The original pieces head in every stylistic direction, from rock and salsa to hot jazz and beyond.
Sunday's concert found the trio paying inventive homage to such musical heroes as Charlie Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Jethro Tull and Guns N' Roses, even while dipping fanciful toes into classical regions.
Their take on Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" included uproarious dances (sometimes literally) and hip-hop flights. The musicians were at their most disarming in a Brooklyn-tinged version of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" complete with pop-music references and groovy narrative.
The level of virtuosity required to keep Project Trio's offerings in motion is high, and the players always come through. There are times when Pattillo might cool it on the beatboxing and generate more flute tone, and it would be good to hear these musicians in fare by commissioned composers and featuring guest artists.
That would open up the limited teaming of flute, cello and bass to new musical paths. Project Trio certainly has the collective chops to make the journey. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


PROJECT TRIO the third CD by the chamber ensemble from Brooklyn, NY is a glorious celebration of the music of our time. I say this in part because it is young musicians integrating original compositions with some real classics, "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Sweet Child O'Mine" are the examples. But what is amazing is that a flute player, a bassist and a cellist bring together in this CD the elements of classical music, jazz and popular music in a seamless and thoroughly entertaining way. I was captivated from the first note of "Dr. Nick" until the last strains of the great Guns n' Roses tune, "Sweet Child O'Mine".

Project Trio is Greg Pattillo on flute, Eric Stephenson on cello, and Peter Seymour on bass, with an appearance by Mark Gurarie on vocals on the excellent beat poetry styled "City of Dreams", a Brooklyn story. The trio began to fuse into this musical reality over thirteen years ago when they meet at the Cleveland Institute of Music. After working with famed ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, PROJECT Trio got it's big break in 2006 when Patillo's groundbreaking beatbox flute videos were featured on YouTube showcasing a key part of the band's unique sound. After over 40 million views, PROJECT Trio's YouTube Channel, "Freedomworksfilm", has amassed a following of over 50,000 subscribers. Patillo has been lauded by The New York Times as "the best person in the world at what he does".

All that being said, I am just a lowly jazz reviewer and I look for one thing and one thing only when I review CDs...listenability! Can I, or better yet will I pick this CD from a shelf of hundreds to listen to? Will PROJECT Trio get a high play count on my iPOD? Yes and Yes again to these questions. I was totally hooked after about a minute of "Dr. Nick", the first track on the CD. But it just kept getting better, and for me, sealed the deal with "Blue Rondo a la Turk" the Dave Brubeck legendary composition that is part of his "time" series. The key to that tune is to be true to the time experiment in all aspects of delivering the song. PROJECT Trio were aware of that importance of time, but were so tight they sounded like one instrument, Stephenson's bow was like the conductor's baton, and Pattillo's flute work was impeccable. They took a time-worn classic (no pun intended!) and made it vital again.

But lets not forget the beautiful compositions of the PROJECT. The mix of genre in these compositions and the energy and visual nature of their delivery harkens to their classical roots. The ability to paint a scene with the texture of the melodies and rhythms is a tribute to the educational background that these musicians bring to the project. "3 Movie Scenes" is an example of that beauty in execution.

"City of Dreams" wakes you up after the mellow "3 Movie Scenes"! But when you listen to the lyrics, and the tempo of the delivery, accented by flute and cello, you have "theater in the sound". The track is so relevent, and dramatic, it exudes energy, swagger, and cool.

When I first thought of how visual the music of PROJECT Trio is I was not expecting them to name a track "Visual Machine", but what better track name than one that captures the essence of what they can create with their music. Visual tracks of sound, waves of energy and warmth that roll over you. They ride on the pulses of Seymour's bass, and are kicked along by Pattillo's flute, and the way is maintained by Stephenson and the quickened pulse of his brilliant bow work.

"Grass" was a real treat for me in that it hearkens back to my first flute listening experience provided by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. That being said, the track was full of the dynamics of Jean-Pierre Rampal and when I listened to the interchange of Pattillo and Stephenson I was transported to another milestone in my listening career, when I first heard that great jazz work "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano". The music of PROJECT Trio is so rich with the patterns of the music we love, and yet the fabric has been changed. Threads of the known are mixed with threads of this new creation and they blanket you with the familiar and yet take you to places you have never been. That, to me, is the essence of musicianship. They have their notes, their technique, their cumulative learnings and from that point, they become creators. They make the familiar unfamiliar, they lead us on a journey, challenge our senses to recall the motifs of the past but leave us in a place of the new.

No track better exemplifies PROJECT Trio's ability to transport us than the last track, "Sweet Child O'Mine". This is a track that I challenge any listener to imagine what they might do with it, really think about what a flute, cello and bass might do with a Guns n' Roses song of any title, then listen. If you were even remotely close to what they came up with, then you are one creative person! Because I was blown away by the way they stayed true to the power of the song, while giving it a whole new sensitivity.

PROJECT Trio and their latest work Project Trio are entertaining! They have a mission that transcends the music and touches humanity by bringing music to the kids, to the streets, to the masses. They do it so well that we all should get with the PROJECT and encourage this level of creativity and entertainment for the sake of all of us!
- jazzreview.com


Project Trio isn't your typical classical ensemble. Despite honing their craft at the Cleveland Institute of Music and a collective resume that includes stints with the Houston Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra, Project Trio's Greg Patillo [flute], Eric Stephenson [cello] and Peter Seymour [bass] have a decidedly different sound. Bred in Brooklyn and performing and this year's SXSW, the group takes a classical base and seamlessly incorporates bits of rock, jazz, hip-hop, and Americana into it – creating a modern instrumental fusion of genres. Fittingly, YouTube fanatics may recognize Patillo from his breakout pre-Project videos, which featured him revamping the theme songs from Inspector Gadget and Super Mario with – believe it – a beatboxing flute.

Describe your sound.

Seymour: High-octane chamber music. We have a sound completely unique to ourselves. This comes not only from the instrumentation of flute, cello and bass – but also from our love of diverse genres of music. We're a fusion of classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, salsa, folk, and everything in between.

How did Project Trio form?

The three of us met at school in 1997 at a classical music conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music. We all had interests outside of classical music, so naturally, we all ended up playing together. After school, we all went our separate ways and had different musical careers, but when Greg's flute video blew up on YouTube, we knew that we could and should make something happen. Greg and Eric both lived in NYC, so I moved to the city. From there, we recorded our first album and started booking gigs.

What's the story behind the name?

Project Trio started as a non-profit organization called PROJECT. We all lived in different towns, so we wanted a way to get together and make great music and affect the community. The plan was to meet up three or four times a year in different cities, and put on education outreach concerts that would feature our style of music. Once the trio got legs, we added the "Trio" to Project, because it was much more searchable on Google.

Biggest musical influences?

Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Edgar Myer, Bela Fleck, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, A Tribe Called Quest. Pretty much all of the amazing musicians of the last four centuries.

For three musicians with such varied backgrounds and musical styles -- what's the creative process like?

We are constantly composing and working on new music. We compose more like a rock band then a classical ensemble. We all sit in a room, everyone brings ideas to the table, and we don't leave until we think we have something good.

Tell me about Project Trio's community outreach efforts.

Education and outreach is a huge part of what we do. Over the last four years, we've played for over 40,000 kids -- aged Kindergarten through college -- in cities across the country. We believe that music inspires creativity, and every kid out there has creativity just waiting to be released. We're passionate about spreading the love of instrumental music, and introducing live music to audiences that usually don't get to hear live music.

What's in your SXSW survival kit?

The bass, cello, flute and luggage already fills up the whole car -- so hopefully we won't need anything else.

After the festival, what's next for Project Trio in 2010?

Playing shows all over the place: we'll be in Michigan, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York before the end of May. We have also concerts planned in Australia, Costa Rica, and the U.K. for the summer.

What's an album that the three of you can agree is one of the best of all-time?

Glenn Gould, 'Bach,' 'Goldberg Variations.' Or John Coltrane, 'Giant Steps.'

Any guilty pleasures?

We're huge Howard Stern fans. We listen to him like crazy on the road.

Most memorable "Only in New York" moment?

Our first gig in NYC was at a place called "The Box." It was a wild show that started at around 2:00 a.m. There were some pretty crazy things that went on there: twins and midgets and transvestites – and Project Trio. Quite a show!
- Spinner


"Project is the rarest of musical ensembles; virtuosic, exuberant and as tight as a drum but also incredibly subtle and introspective. This trio is made up of some of the most creative people I know. They are not to be missed."

Frank Rosenwein – Principal Oboe, Cleveland Orchestra; Professor of Oboe, Cleveland Institute of Music


"Project Trio lights it up everytime they play! I can't think of another "classical" ensemble with so many infectious grooves and such a brilliant sense of fun. These
guys are for real!"

Ian Ding – Principal Percussion, Detroit Symphony; Percussion Professor, University of Michigan


"The Project Trio is one of the most dynamic and energized ensembles I've ever had the privilege of seeing and hearing! Their original compositions push firmly to the future of classical/jazz/world-music synthesis while being completely accessible to all kinds of audiences! This group is a strong new presence on the music scene with an incredibly bright future!"

Bjorn Ranheim – Cellist, St. Louis Symphony


“The PROJECT Trio really has it all. They combine the fire and refinement of the finest classical chamber ensembles with the stage presences and energy of rock stars”.

Adam Luftman – Principal Trumpet, San Francisco Opera


“Project is one of the most unique and energetic groups I've ever heard. It's hard to tell who has more fun between the performers and their audience! If you haven't heard these guys, you have to check them out”.

Rebecca Corruccini – Violinist, Minnesota Orchestra


"Whenever I get a chance to hear these guys, I'm always blown away. They're so committed to what they do and their concerts are electrifying. I love this group!"

Joanna Patterson – Violist, Cleveland Orchestra


"Project has an enthusiasm and uniqueness that is truly unmatched. If you're not having fun at a Project show, there's something wrong with you!"

Alan Rafferty – Cellist, Cincinnati Symphony



“The Project Trio is guaranteed to put on an amazing show. With "classically trained" virtuosity, they engage the audience like rock stars. Project bridges the ever-widening gap between the austere and the accessible”.

Scott Dixon – Bassist, Cleveland Orchestra
- multiple


Discography

LP - Winter in June - 2007
LP - Brooklyn - 2008

LP - PROJECT Trio
This album is currently being heard on over 160 radio stations in the US. It is regularly the #1 classical album on CDbaby, the top independent music website, and was the #1 selling album (all categories) on CDbaby for the first month after release. It is also a regular in the top 25 classical selling albums on itunes

Photos

Bio

"PROJECT Trio is a glorious celebration of the music of our time." - Chuck Vicoli - jazzreview.com

The PROJECT Trio is a passionate, high energy chamber music ensemble comprised of three virtuosic composer/performers from Brooklyn, NY. Blending their classical training with an eclectic taste in musical styles, the PROJECT Trio has made an impact on audiences of all ages. Bursting onto the scene with their landmark videos, right out of the internet generation, the PROJECT Trio is a musical experience defining a new level of entertainment!

With over 50,000 subscribers and over 40,000,000 hits on youtube, the PROJECT Trio is reaching out to audiences around the globe, bringing classical/instrumental/chamber music to people who would never consider themselves instrumental music fans.

The PROJECT Trio is a must see!!!