I was first introduced to Zoë Keating by two very close friends of mine who had recently seen her playing at a festival. The specific reason they thought to even mention a contemporary-classical musician to me was that, at the time, I was getting into post-rock and post-metal in a big way, finding myself drawn to the contrasts of drone and repetition with the dynamic jumps, and energetic bursts, that are mainstays of rock music. Needless to say, I was not disappointed with what I heard in Keating’s music, though I was surprised to be informed that she was a solo cellist, working without the backing of other musicians.
Keating generates her rich, nuanced, sound via the use of looping software/pedals, weaving sounds and textures together into a detailed soundscapes that compel the listener on, and exist in the no-mans land between rock and classical music. You would think that layering sounds is easy, but if that were the case then everyone would be doing it, and it takes a particular ear and a particular mind to do it effectively, and with the long list of advertisements, TV shows, and movies Keating’s songs have featured in demonstrate that she has it.
Besides just having songs from her solo work used by the media, Keating has also been involved in composing soundtracks, including for the TV shows Elementary, The Returned, and Manhattan. Keating has also lent her talents to the works of other artists, including Amanda Palmer – on her debut solo effort, Who Killed Amanda Palmer – and internet sensations Pomplamoose – who are most definitely worth checking out in their own right. With her evident talent and skills as a musician and performer, Zoë Keating is one of the Women-Who-Rocktober.