Zoë Keating joined us to talk about her music and how she connects with people online. Zoë is a Classical cellist, who uses the techniques of electronic music using a ‘cello, both recorded and most strikingly live. This Wired video shows how she creates live performances like these at PopTech and SFO Airport. Zoë used to work in tech, but quit to join a rock band on tour.
She sells here music through her website, iTunes (where she has topped the Classicla charts several times) and Amazon. Because she spends a lot of time alone in the studio with a ‘cello and a computer, she is a very active twitter user, and has found collaboratiosn with people including RadioLab, Curt Smith, and a remix project on Terry Reilly’s In C. She first began multitracking herself as she couldn’t find 16 cellists to play all the parts, but now she organizes ‘cello tweetups that play in her style.
We talked about how it is important to always treat people as human online, and not be selling something, but conversing. We also talked about how “the music industry is by definition an operation invented to divert money spent on music away from actual musicians” – Zoë’s music was defined as non-commercial by record labels, but her audience is adequate to support her because she sells direct, without the industry middlemen taking the majority of the money – as Clay Shirky describes.