Where in the world can you combine cellos, college students, video games, hip-hop, heavy metal, jokes, and Twitter? That would be right here in Danville, KY.
Yesterday the Portland Cello Project performed at the Norton Center’s Weisiger Theatre. They are a group dedicated to bringing the cello to unusual places and people who may not have heard it through the use of popular music. And when I say popular, I mean Ke$ha, Coldplay, Kanye West, Notorious BIG, Pantera, and more. Last night they brought along their friends Ben Sollee and Emily Wells. Some of you might have heard of them. They’re kind of a big deal.
In keeping with the experimental nature of the performance, the Norton Center decided to do some experimenting of their own. For the show, they offered a limited number of “Tweet Seats,” seats where people were actually encouraged to use Twitter throughout the show.
So, being a lover of cellos and an excessive Twitter user, I immediately signed up for the seats and managed to get one. It was one amazing show, made all the better by the social interaction I had with other people about their thoughts and feelings during the show.
Below is a short sample of some of my tweets (Yes, this is short. I told you I tweet excessively), as well as some notes from me.
- Getting ready for Portland Cello Project to start @NortonCenterKY! Can’t wait! #NortonLIVE
- Is it a good sign for my bluegrass hopes and dreams that AKUS played earlier? Oh well, @PdxCelloProject is on! #TooExcited#NortonLIVE (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)
- In awe of @PdxCelloProject. Beautiful Bach piece…and now Lil Wayne? I dig it. #NortonLIVE
- Duke Ellington, the Beatles, Mission Impossible, and now Kanye West? Whiplash, anyone? #NortonLIVE (This was in the first twenty minutes. Alone.)
- Notorious BIG from @emilywellsmusic? Well, this concert just got that much more legit. #NortonLIVE
- Can this intermission hurry up? I can’t wait to see what @PdxCelloProject has up their sleeves next. #NortonLIVE
- Seeing @PdxCelloProject has retweeted me gives me a special kind of pride only cello nerds might understand. #NortonLIVE (You don’t understand. They retweeted me. It was a moment.)
- They write their own songs too. I think it’s unfair for a group to monopolize so much talent…but I love it! @PdxCelloProject#NortonLIVE
- This song combines four of my favorite things: @bensollee, @PdxCelloProject, ninjas, and Paris. #NortonLIVE (Apparently, the song wasn’t actually Ninjas in Paris, which would have been awesome, but another good song of a similar name.)
- “The story of two brothers who come to New York by way of Japan and subsist on a diet of magic mushrooms…” @PdxCelloProject#NortonLIVE (…and freaky stars, and then go off to rescue princesses and stuff.” –Doug Jenkins of the Portland Cello Project. Yes, they played the Super Mario Brothers Theme Song on cellos, with Ben Sollee. Yes, it was awesome.)
- @bensollee is feeling the cello power-up. I think that’s a new level up on Super Mario Brothers: Cello Edition. #NortonLIVE
- There is only one thing that can make @bensollee solo better… @PdxCelloProject joining in. Haunting yet gorgeous #NortonLIVE
- Exactly what you expect out of a cello show…Pantera. Loving it, @PdxCelloProject#NortonLIVE
- @PdxCelloProject playing heavy metal as an encore. This qualifies as a fantastic evening in my world. #NortonLIVE
- Thank you, @NortonCenterKY, @PdxCelloProject, @bensollee, and @emilywellsmusic for a fantastic evening! #NortonLIVE
Altogether, it was an awesome evening. After the show I got to meet the Portland Cello Project (@PdxCelloProject) and Emily Wells (@emilywellsmusic) and talk to them about their work. They even recognized me from my tweeting…they were doing a little of their own! And let me tell you, being retweeted by Ben Sollee (@bensollee)? Highlight of my day today.
This is a Centre College thing. We are constantly reinventing and embracing new technology. I certainly hope the Norton Center decides to embrace Twitter wholeheartedly. I had way too much fun last night. What do you think, Norton Center? Why don’t we make this a permanent thing?
Rachel West: Norton Center Twitter Correspondent.