Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

One Cello X 16 - Coda (from One Cello X 16)

My friends, history has been made. My wife has done two things that have never before happened. For the first time ever, Elise has introduced me to some music that

1: I had never heard of
2: I really liked

She was listening to an episode from one of her favorite shows, Radio Lab, and there was a piece about this woman named Zoë Keating who plays the cello. Admittedly, there are lots of people who play the cello that I've never heard of. It's not like I claim to be a super music genius or anything (even if Elise thinks I am).

But maybe I should have heard of her before. Maybe I actually have and just don't remember. I'm not just trying to make excuses, either. She's worked with DJ Shadow, Tarentel, and John Vanderslice, and she was in Rasputina for 4 years. That should be enough for me to recognize her name. Whatever the reason for this slip-up, though, is inexcusable. Everyone should know about her.

Keating performs solo under the moniker One Cello X 16 (kinda cheesy, I know). But she makes music that I am an absolute sucker for: the one-(wo)man-band-loop thing. Tyondai Braxton, Navigator, Lichens, White Rainbow, they all do it and I love them for it. Now I can add One Cello X 16 to the list.

But just because she works in a niche genre doesn't mean she doesn't make unique music. Quite the contrary. I've yet to hear music like Keating's. I'm a fan of cellos and I like when people make new and original music from classical instruments. Keating does exactly that. She plays the cello and loops it over itself, creating dozens of layers of beautiful cello and turning herself into a micro avant-garde symphony.

She has a self titled EP out which is fantastic, as well as a full length called Natoma which I have yet to hear. The EP is sold out and only available digitally. Natoma is available in CD and digital formats from her website. She's working on a third album. I have no doubt that it'll be awesome.

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