Armed with just her cello and a small box of electronics, Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She records layer upon layer of cello, her feet dancing over an array of pedals to transform her solo performances into multipart works.
Born in Canada and classically trained from the age of eight, Zoë studied music at Sarah Lawrence College in New York City and the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Italy. After graduation she moved to San Francisco and began working in computer software while moonlighting as a cellist with dance troupes, theater companies and rock bands. Inevitably, she combined the two, and developed her now signature style while improvising for late night crowds in her San Francisco warehouse space.
Zoë's self-produced album "One Cello x 16: Natoma", which rose to #1 on the iTunes Classical and #2 on the iTunes Electronica charts, is the direct result of that experimentation. She has since performed her music live on National Public Radio, on television, outdoors in the Nevada desert, in medieval churches, in punk clubs, and before thousands of screaming teenagers in mainstream rock venues across North America and Europe.
Zoë has worked with a wide range of artists, including Grammy nominated Imogen Heap, Grammy and Academy Award winner Mark Isham, The Dresden Dolls, Rasputina, DJ Shadow, and Paolo Nutini. From 2002 to 2006 she was a member of the cello-rock trio Rasputina. Most recently, Zoë has been composing music for film and ballet. In 2008 she performed her music live with the Valencia ballet, she composed music for a documentary called "Ghostbird" about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, and performed her signature layered cello on Mark Isham's score for "The Secret Life of Bees", starring Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keyes. She is featured on Amanda Palmer's solo release "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" and supported Ms. Palmer on her 2008 European and North American tours.
Zoë is a recipient of a 2009 performing arts grant from the Creative Capital foundation.
Creative Capital Foundation, 2009. Performing Arts grant
San Francisco Artsfest, 2005. Emerging artist award
Belle Foundation, 2005. Artistic development grant
A ballet by choreographer Asun Noales
Premiered Nov 20, 2008 at the Teatro Principal, Valencia, Spain
with the Ballet des Teatres de la Generalitat
Music composed and performed by Zoë Keating
Ghost Bird, 2008, dir. Scott Crocker
Feature documentary film
2007: New York Times, "China: Choking on Growth". An online series of articles and multimedia.
Photos by Chang W. Lee, produced by Meaghan Looram and Amy O'Leary, music by Zoe Keating
August 26, 2007 "The World's Smokestack"
October 14, 2007 "A Lake in Crisis"
November 24, 2007 "Business as Usual"
December 15, 2007 "Fishing for Prosperity"
December 21, 2007 "Outsourcing Pollution"
December 29, 2007 "China's Industrial Revolution"
The Devil"s Chair, 2007, dir. Adam Mason
Feature horror film
Frozen Angels, 2005, dir. Frauke Sandig and Eric Black
2005 Sundance Film Festival selection and winner at the Nyon Festival and Toronto Hotdocs
I am A Sex Addict, 2005, dir. Caveh Zahedi
Feature narrative film
Composer, additional music
Woods for the Trees, 2003. dir. Sarah Kraft and Ed Purver
Performance theater production for San Francisco Fringe Festival
Aged 12 and Looking After the Family, 2007. dir. Jane Treays, ITV/Granada Television
Feature television documentary
Composer of contributed music