So, how did two musicians with vastly different backgrounds get together?
Christine Harrington (classically trained, improvisational lover of alternatives styles for cello) and her husband, Ron, moved to a new neighborhood in a new state. Christine wasn’t sure where to get her “fix” hundreds of miles away from her musical connections. So, when she heard that a terrific musician was also moving to her new neighborhood, she tucked that bit of information away for future use.
One day while enjoying a nice cup of coffee at a little neighborhood gathering place, Christine learned that the new guy, Phil Giallombardo, was also there enjoying a nice cup of coffee. Seeing her big opportunity, Christine decided to approach Phil about playing some music together. After all, cello and piano are a nice combination. He (rock musician-keyboardist-singer-composer) immediately said, “I don’t think so”.
Not so fast! Phil’s wife, Jocelyn, and Christine became quick friends. Jocelyn suggested that Phil and Christine should make music together. Christine was hesitant (because Phil already had shown no interest) but Jocelyn thought they should try it and convinced Phil. A few days later, Phil and Christine met around Phil’s piano to see what might happen between a classically trained cellist and an ex-rocker.
It was fun!
And it was a surprise to Phil seeing that Christine had many extra tools in her “tool box” and that she could improvise. And it was a surprise to Christine not knowing that Phil’s kind of music could be so beautiful and soulful.
They decided to continue to get together weekly and during the pandemic they played several impromptu concerts indoors and opened the windows so the neighborhood could bring lawn chairs and listen outside! Phil was then asked to perform online during the pandemic for the Archway Institute, an organization that assists families with addictive disorders. Phil didn’t want to do it alone, and added Christine to the bill. So, now they needed a name. In 45 minutes, their Facebook “concert” raised over $8,000! They then did a charity event in their neighborhood and raised over $2,000 for the American Cancer Society but Phil missed the sound of his acoustic grand piano. With limited venues to perform, they decided to concentrate on just recording some of their favorite tunes.
Many of these songs have been written by Phil while others have simply been arranged to suit their style. “…..at play” features some of the more playful tunes and a myriad of styles; “…..upon reflection” is just that; more meditative, easy listening that you would think complement a piano and cello.
And the name?..…..Pianacellada.
In 2023, Christine and her husband Ron moved back north to reunite with old friends and family but Christine's time in NC will always be remembered fondly by these great songs and Pianacellada's unique arrangements. Hope you enjoy!