Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Remarkable Canadian Cellist Zoë Keating plays.... Fern

Chalk another one up for social media promotions...Celloist Zoe Keating has added to her ranks of fans thanks to Twitter, Blip.fm and YouTube. More and more indy artists are promoting their work using social media (and social music) tools, and I'm seeing a lot of singer-songwriters, promoters, and labels actively using (or carefully monitoring) Blip.fm lately.

I came across cellist Zoe Keating on Twitter and was intrigued by her bio, so I checked out her music on blip.fm and YouTube. Turns out she's played with for the likes of Imogen Heap, which makes sense if you like Heap's music/style. I'm hooked.

Here's a link to Zoe Keating's web site if you want to see or hear more....and buy her splendid and inspired music.


Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, to create lush, beautiful and otherworldy music.

Born in Canada and classically trained from the age of eight, Zoe spent her 20's dabbling in computer software while moonlighting as a cellist in rock bands. Inevitably, she combined the two and developed her now signature style while improvising for late night crowds at her San Francisco warehouse.

Increasingly a role model for DIY artists, Zoë's self-released albums have sold 30,000 copies and several times been #1 on the iTunes classical and electronica charts. She has 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.

As a cellist and arranger, Zoë has worked with a wide range of artists, including Imogen Heap, Mark Isham, Curt Smith, 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". She is featured on Amanda Palmer's solo release "Who Killed Amanda Palmer".


If you don't know Blip.fm, you will soon, I assure you. It's a powerhouse of a social music platform -- like Twitter for people who love or make music.

Blip.fm is essentially a crowd-sourced music wonderland; a virtual community in which individual users are the DJs with @ names like you see on Twitter. You can search blip.fm's monstrous selection of music (all genres, from all over the world), and once you find what you're looking for you can play it -- the actual songs you're looking for, mind you, not some reasonable facsimile thereof (as is the case with Pandora).

Joining blip.fm's social music community is as easy as joining Twitter - and it's a similar process. (In fact, blip.fm lets users share their music via Twitter and Facebook now). Users can choose to play songs privately or "blip" music in a public timeline that other users can see and replay (or "reblip").

Music selections are saved in two ways - in the public timeline playlist, which is saved on blip.fm's servers, or on a user's private playlist. Users can review, replay, or reblip their own music, of music from other users, at any time, so long as they have an internet connection.

Blip.fm is already shaking up the music industry, and it has enormous potential to drive another nail in the coffin of old-era radio stations and old-school promoters and isolationist-minded record labels that have been too busy litigating and protecting their interests to pay attention to the real threats to the industry -- technology, social media and crowd-sourced "social" music.

Music stores like iTunes have finally caught on, and they make it quite easy to purchase singles or entire CDs of your favorite songs and artists -- with a single click on the blip.fm site.

(Blip.fm has a companion app for the iphone called BoomBox Pro - but it needs work. I wouldn't recommend downloading it until I've seen them make some serious improvements.)

The site is good for music lovers, and it's even better for independent singers and songwriters. And...mark my words, it'll be the new home for a lot of old radio stations...and professional DJs.

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