Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Zoe Keating: Le Poisson Rouge 3/6/11

When it comes to classical compositions, I am a total and utter novice. All I know is if I find a piece of music striking a chord somewhere deep inside of me, I respond to it. I will purchase the song or the album, and listen intently, soaking it in as much as I can. I seldom buy a ticket to a classical concert, mostly because the musicians I'd WANT to see performing their music have been DEAD for hundreds of years. Besides, the crowds for a classical show are usually not my speed... This was not the case for the Zoe Keating/Todd Reynolds show at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday night.

Beautiful, Isn't She?
When Zoe departed from my beloved Rasputina to pursue personal expressions in the realm of classical music, like a needy dog- I willingly followed. I wasn't sure what to expect of Zoe Keating's show at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday night. All I knew was, I have been sitting with and listening to "One Cello X 16" and "One Cello X 16: Natoma" as well as "Into the Trees" for quite sometime now, and it's fair to say, that I have become intimately involved with these songs. It's some of the only music in my entire world that can engage me into active meditation. Almost every morning I have Zoe's melodic cellos droning on into the corners of my mind. The sound is the only sound that keeps the irritants of daily commuting at bay. I confess, I find Zoe's music SO engaging that (like most forms of meditation for me) if I don't stay actively focused... I will inevitably fall asleep from overexertion. It's to the point now when Zoe's track "Exurgency" has a Pavlovian effect on me! When it comes on, suddenly my whole body- regardless of where I am and what I am doing goes into a restive peace. My body slackens, instantly in relaxation mode. I visualize so much when her music begins its dance from my ipod to my headphones into my ears and beyond. I see mountain tops, trees, the ocean, busy city streets, crowded restaurants, caves on the side of an ever expanding ocean, I see the stars in the cosmos, there isn't anywhere I can't travel when Zoe's symphonic rush of cellos floods in! Bearing all this in mind, you can see why I was looking forward to finally getting the opportunity to see her in concert, but perhaps you also see my concern. I knew for a fact that this was going to be an extensive practice in active meditation!

She always had the best shoes...
As striking as ever, Zoe took to the stage with her shiny tan leather lace up boots, vertical black striped stockings, ruched grey pinstriped capri pants, a simple ruched black top, and an exceptional modern interpretation of an Elizabethan collar in swirls of white and french grey felt. The house went positively silent, as she began to play- what else- "Exurgency". I assume you know what happened next, my body slackened, a faint smile was painted across my mouth, and I was off into my own meditative realm, far outside of New York City- hell, far outside of any earthly plane. I am proud to say that although I was in a trance like state- Zoe's intricate cello work, paired with her tekkie prowess kept me engaged for the entire length of the show.

The music was inspiring, and hearing those songs live will reverberate for me for many years to come. Music without words become a soundtrack to my everyday life. I get to add my own heart and voice to the songs. I am allowed to provide my own visualizations, it's something I get to be a part of without violating the integrity of the song for someone else.

Zoe is a kind creative force of nature to be reckoned with. Her upbeat words and enthusiasm between her songs complemented her deliciously layered music. I felt welcomed and comforted. I noticed almost immediately how she and Todd Reynolds were incredibly similar, in that when the song was done she was snapped back into the room with us, as if she never traveled out of it. Then BOOM she would drag her bow across her instrument, and drag her right foot across the controls, and she was gone again.

I'm proud to say I traveled with her on these journeys. 

YES I got to meet her!
Some Choice Tracks from my recollection:
Exurgency.Tetrishead. Frozen Angels.
Escape Artist. Seven League Boots. Optimist.
Beethoven's 2nd Movement (I think? Some classical buff please correct me if I am wrong!)

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