Portland Cello Project rearranges hip-hop with strings

June 2, 2012

These guys have been featured around the net for awhile now but we just got on them, and its great stuff. The Portland Cello Project is a bunch of celloists and various other instrumentalists (some brass, flutes, and a few drummers) who among other projects rearrange hip-hop standards with cellos. The whole act is a bit of a novelty but it does sound pretty good, and they just got a rather lengthy writeup by Reuters. Much of their material comes from Kanye’s catalog, which is pretty strings-heavy in the first place, so it’s not a stretch. For instance, this arrangement of “All of the Lights” above pretty much sounds exactly like the album right until the vocals are supposed to come in. This cover of Talib Kweli’s “Get By” is something a bit more adventurous, replacing Nina Simone’s plucky pianos with cellos creates a smoldering buildup that sounds more cinematic and grand.

The Portland Cello Project is currently touring in support of their last EP, Homage, which includes the two songs above, plus an arrangements of “Hey Ya”, “That’s My B”, and “Ninjas in Paris” (their spelling, not mine), and a few other hip-hop covers.

Read more: Reuters

posted: June 2nd, 2012, 4:50pm

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