ZOE KEATING: ONE WOMAN ORCHESTRA

by kevin diamond

When you have a day job, there are pretty much three things that get you through the day sans killing somebody: Coffee, Cigarettes, and Podcasts. One of the best podcasts around today is RadioLab, a WNYC original. I could spend a whole post explaining the merits of the science-class-as-aural-soundscape approach that Jad Abumrad and Robert Crullwitch employ, but that’s not what this post is about. Today, on my weekly RadioLab Podcast, I was fortunate enough to hear an interview and three pieces by Zoe Keating, a master of the Cello who uses a computer program and foot pedals to loop and layer her cello parts on top of each other, creating fully formed songs with separate movements, verses and choruses.

CLIP: LEGIONS (WAR) BY ZOE KEATING:


Her natural ability at the instrument is impressive; she draws many sounds from this one 17th century instrument, adding texture, percussion, dissonance, and melody which, coupled with her mastery of the technology at hand, creates music unlike anything you’ve ever heard. She’s only got clips available on line, but they should give you a taste of what she sounds like. For a more in-depth feel of what a whole song sounds like, take a listen to the podcast, the live versions are amazing and the interview is fascinating.

CLIP: FERN BY ZOE KEATING:

One Comment

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