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Music for Fiction: Zoë Keating

Ever since renaming my blog in line with the true recipe of my writing experience, the two portions of truth to my soul, I have mentioned how music directs my writing as well as my life. So I figured it was time to share some of the music and artists who inspire me and my work. I thought this would also be a great way to share awesome music with fellow authors to help them find good writing tempo.

Today I want to share the work of a Cello player who I am a fan of. I love the Cello. Sometimes it can be hard to find a variety of music beyond the classics or derivatives thereof. Classics are great, but innovation is the lifeblood of all creativity. It is the mark of a true and genius composer.

a3871109355_16I found Zoë’s music last year when I was struggling personally. Her album, One Cello X 16: Natoma, took the lead down an inspi-rational path for a story which became like a life raft to me. As such, I incorporated her entire album as the intro to the project’s playlist, entitled Veil’s Trinity.

Music is storytelling. The brilliant part about music is its enduring nature and its versatility. One day it leads me through a pastoral tale, journeying through the countryside and revealing peaceful days of a character’s youth. On another day it is telling of the march to rearmament for a nation, and the steps to mythical wars. Another day it leads through a gentle love story of poetic and intellectual passion.

Zoë is a hard working, ardent, and award-winning musician of curiosity and intellect. Here’s a piece of her bio page to give you a sense of what I mean:

Cellist and composer Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. Zoë is known for both her use of technology – which she uses to sample her cello onstage – and for her DIY approach, releasing her music online without the help of a record label.

That is badass. Striking out and making it her own. I find that worthy of admiration. The admiration is not just for her approach, though. Listen to her music and you will know. Indeed, the tones are haunting, but not in the spooky sense. Rather, it is the effect of masterful composition, made to move the soul. You hear her heart, her attitude, and her passion for her craft and life through each layered chord. Each song is a steady build up, telling a tale we can muse over with the reprising compositions entitled Legions. Beginning with War, moving through the middle track, entitled The Sun Will Set, picking up with the Legions reprised in Reverie, and then ending with Aftermath. This album progresses and (allow me to suggest) reads like a novel.

What sort of novel? That is up to you.

Furthermore, she is an activist and advocate for patients, and simplification of medical insurance, especially with regards to cancer.

Granted, at times, I am someone who cannot bear excessive repetition. Sometimes this album is too much to handle. One has to be in the right mindset/mood. That doesn’t have to be a drawback for an album, though. If you’re particular with your tunes, these songs can at least be proper music to have playing in the background to assist in concentration.

Whether it’s SciFi space stations, Viking longships, or noir cityscapes, music enriches my fiction. Music ignites the power of the inner mind, if you let it.


Close your eyes.

What do you see?

You can acquaint yourself with Zoë through her website:


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