Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The One Woman Cello Orchestra

I have been waiting a very long time to write this blog post, approximately since the first day tickets for this show went on sale.  Many times when we have high expectations for something we are underwhelmed by the final result.  Watching Zoe Keating go up on stage at the Hiro Ballroom and fill the beautifully decorated dancehall-made-concert venue with music, however, I can honestly say that in the 3+ years I have been in New York I have never seen anything so fascinating.
With her cello, a laptop, and foot pedals, Keating creates an orchestra of sound, combining pre-recorded loops of music with the line she plays on stage.  Handling the cello as if she is caressing a human being, she masterfully transforms her own music and has it evolve significantly from the original recording.  The music I have been listening to on the subway every day, while recognizable, was like a parent of the development on stage.  Her application of technology is powerfully effective; not only does she incorporate colors and lights to help express herself, she also uses innovative effects with her music.   Whether she echoes herself with her laptop or uses the room's speakers to make the sound move from one part of the room to another, the listener feels entirely absorbed by an orchestra. 

Her stage presence is outstanding.  When she is explaining the inspiration behind a song, talking about her one-and-a-half year old Alex, or asking the audience for orchestra jokes as she tunes her cello, she demonstrates both humility and a genuine connectivity with the audience.   My videos were too large to post on this post, but I managed to upload one on my facebook page,  There is also more info on Zoe Keating's website,  However you learn about her, I highly suggest you do, as this concert tops everything I have written about in this blog.  Thank you Zoe Keating!

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