THE COOLEST FLUTE SINCE JETHRO TULL
20 July 2010
Greg Pattillo is making the flute cool again.
When YouTube picked one of his videos for their home page in 2007, he received over 1 million hits in just one week. The genre breaking 'beatbox' flute videos have since received 40 million hits.
"These videos were a direct result of finding out what people liked to hear underground in the New York City subway", said the classically trained Pattillo, who holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Joshua Smith of the Cleveland Orchestra.
"Performing on the subway is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes the cops push you out, andsometimes people come up and start jamming along with you," he recalls.
"It was seemingly two covers of popular tunes I played in the subway and posted on YouTube thatpropelled beatbox flute into the limelight - one of a popular video game (Super Mario Bros.) and theother a cover of the themes from an old cartoon (Inspector Gadget) and a movie (Beverly Hills Cop).
"The flute is the oldest and most versatile instrument in the world: use it!" he added.
The internationally renowned Alexa Still, Associate Professor in Flute and Chair of Woodwind at The Con, first saw him on YouTube and decided he must come to Australia with his group, PROJECT Trio.
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Open Academy will be hosting the first Australian tour of PROJECT Trio, which will include workshops, concerts and masterclasses in Sydney and Melbourne.
Recognised throughout the world for his redefinition of flute sound, Pattillo was lauded by The New York Times as "the best person in the world at what he does, combining the classical music of Bach with theNew York-bred street art of beatboxing, a method of vocal percussion made famous by hip-hop artistsin the early 1980s."
Pattillo grew up in Seattle in a classical world of flute and youth orchestras and as a child was fascinated by the magicians, jazz, rock and ragtag street performers who worked the crowds downtown. It was a desire to reflect the sounds around that lead him to experiment with what his flute could do.
Pattillo experimented using overblown low notes, harmonic partials, voice, alternate articulations and all the coolest scales, licks and extended techniques he could get his hands and ears on to create a new flute sound with a beat.
He credits Beethoven, Ian Anderson, the flutist for legendary rock band Jethro Tull, and guitarist Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin, as his main influences.
Contact: Mick Le Moignan
Phone: 02 9351 1385