Gregory Bortnichak is a classically-trained cellist with a punk-rock spirit. He specializes in live-looping, ecstatic improvisation, and unique arrangements of classic pieces spanning genres and eras for solo electric cello. He has recorded and performed throughout North America with a wide variety of ensembles -playing everything from classical music and jazz, to country, bluegrass, and rock ‘n roll. He has a soft spot for extreme music, and explores this in depth in original bands Teach Me Equals and Sparta Philharmonic.
Notable collaborations over the years include recordings with Circa Survive, HeadShy (featuring members of Portishead, Massive Attack, and 7% Solution), Metal Hearts, and RedRumsey (ex-Unwound), and performances alongside Buddy Wakefield (two-time winner of the World Poetry Slam Championship), guitar virtuoso Delicate Steve, drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez (E Street Band), and contemporary classical composer Jonathan Badger.
He has opened for many recognizable artists in the indie rock scene throughout his tenure in Teach Me Equals and Sparta Philharmonic, including: Dirty Projectors, Hella, The Octopus Project, Silverstein, Melora Creager (Rasputina, Nirvana, Marilyn Manson), The Death Set, Akron Family, Pilot To Gunner, Thollem McDonas, among others.
Bortnichak particularly enjoys pairing music and movement. He has performed original music with acclaimed modern dance choreographers such as Adrian Clancy, Mathew Heggem, and SHMIB.
His compositions have been featured in numerous films, including the award-winning short Downpour (dir. Tony Ahedo), Inconclusive (dir. Justin Ho), and US Military Veteran production Returning (dir. Rae Chapman, Mike Scelia). Additionally, he has provided live accompaniment for film festival screenings of In Pursuit Of Silence (dir. Brandon Vedder) and Are We Not Cats (dir. Xander Robins).
Gregory Bortnichak originally hails from Sparta, NJ, but has lived all over the northeast, and most recently, Olympia, WA. There is no telling where he is or where he is going at any given moment. He has spent most of his time on tour since 2010, and embraces fluidity and aporia…