PROJECT Trio at Antenna Cloud Farm in Gill

  • PROJECT Trio will bring modern sound and classical roots to Antenna Cloud Farm’s calm landscape. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Cellist Eric Stephenson, flutist Greg Pattillo and double bassist player Peter Seymour make up PROJECT Trio. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Double bassist Peter Seymour, cellist Eric Stephenson and flutist Greg Pattillo make up PROJECT Trio. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Flutist Greg Pattillo, cellist Eric Stephenson and double bassist Peter Seymour make up PROJECT Trio. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Michi Wiancko and Judd Greenstein, the farm’s owners, at Antenna Cloud Farm in Gill in 2017 Staff file photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 7/25/2019 11:55:11 AM

The guys in PROJECT Trio have the stage presence of rappers, the high energy of pop stars, and the theatrical mannerisms of improv comedians.

So you might be surprised to see them on stage brandishing a flute, cello and double bass.

Greg Pattillo, Eric Stephenson and Peter Seymour comprise an internationally-touring chamber music ensemble that blends the classics with modern sounds. The three met as students at the Cleveland Insitute of Music in the 1990s and have been recruited by another classmate, Michi Wiancko, to perform at Antenna Cloud Farmon Green Hill Road in Gill during a weekend trip to western Massachusetts.

PROJECT Trio is slated to be one of six artists and ensembles featured Saturday at the 100-acre dairy farm’s festival and artists’ retreat. The three will also deliver a free interactive workshop and outreach performance for young people and families at The Brick House Community Resource Center in Turners Falls on Friday afternoon.

“It looks really scenic. I’m so excited to be up in that part of the world,” flutist Pattillo said about the Pioneer Valley. “We don’t use sheet music. Everything we do is memorized. It’s like super-energetic chamber music. It’s really exciting.”

Wiancko, a violinist and composer by training, said she hasn’t seen all the guys in years and this will be her first real collaboration with them.

“I just think they’re really new and exciting and making classical music accessible, especially for young people. They’re such a high-energy, fun group. They’re three individual players, they’re virtuosic powerhouses in their own right,” she said. “They all have some really classical background, but they’re sort of using their skills to do something really innovative and different.”

Wiancko said PROJECT Trio, based in Brooklyn, helps “loosen up the listening experience,” making classical music more relatable and approachable.

“Genre aside, I think it’s just a wonderful group for sort of just (demonstrating) how exciting live music can be,” she said. “Most people listen to music on headphones nowadays.”

The PROJECT Trio members exhibit engaging facial expressions and exude joy, passion, articulation and swagger as they play. The men seem to share a chemistry rooted in musical brotherhood, often smiling and giving each other looks of endearment as they perform a tune. Seymour, who grew up in Dallas, plays double bass and Stephenson, a Louisville, Ky., native is on cello. The group has its own YouTube channel, where they have shared videos of them playing “William Tell Overture” and “Birdland.”

“I’m just expecting a great time. We bring a ton of energy to the stage, no matter what the audience is,” Seymour said about the upcoming weekend. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s unlike any chamber ensemble that you’ve ever seen before.”

Seymour explained he started playing bass in elementary school.

“What I’ve always loved is the versatility of the instrument,” he said. “The bass is something you see in every style of music, and I’ve always loved that.”

Stephenson recently returned from overseas.

Pattillo, who grew up in Seattle, is known as “a beatboxing flutist” and has been praised by The New York Times as “the best person in the world at what he does.” Beatboxing is form of vocal percussion and Pattillo marries it with flute playing. He started playing the instrument when he was 9 and soon wanted to find a way to get his friends to listen to him. A lifelong fan of cartoons and video games, he learned the theme songs to “Super Mario Bros.” and “Inspector Gadget.” Twelve years ago, he uploaded videos of him playing onto YouTube and they went viral. The videos have since been viewed more than 50 million times.

“Before that, my gigs were really just playing in the subways of New York City, which is just a great way to really sharpen my skills, you know what I’m saying,” he said.

PROJECT Trio’s workshop and performance on Friday is set to begin at 4 p.m. On Saturday, the property is scheduled to open at 4 p.m., the house doors will open at 5:30 and the concert begins at 6.

Tickets for Saturday’s cocert are $20 for adults, youths 18 and under are free.

For more information and to find tickets visit antennacloudfarm.com.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@recorder.com.




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