Meeting Zoe Keating

Is this luck or fate? I bumped into my cello idol Zoë Keating in Zurich airport! 

Zoë Keating is a classically trained cellist who uses technology in both her playing and her grass-roots promotional methods to get her where she is today. I discovered her back in the Summer of 2006 while obsessing over Imogen Heap’s Speak for Yourself album. Zoë was the supporting cellist for Imogen’s tour (check out Immi’s old moblog here) and I was immediately intrigued by the fusion of classical and technology that Zoë was showcasing. One technique I was particularly fond of was the use of looping. Six years on, after buying two loops, an even after a performance with Imogen Heap herself, I still hadn’t managed to see Zoë, until now.

The story: I was on an unplanned stopover in Zurich from Nuremberg to Amsterdam (which logically is not convenient but the price was), and in a daze walking to my gate I noticed a beautifully unique tall lady with red dread locks on top. I exclaimed to my colleague to look over, because it looked like someone I knew, but I didn’t have my glasses on. So I sat down at my gate and thought to myself that as crazy as it was, it was most likely Zoë. My first reaction? Not to run straight over there and ask, but to log onto her Twitter page @zoecello to see what she was up to!

Ha! What did I discover? She was on a plane 12 hours earlier! This was too crazy…

Without thinking too much I just took my camera and went over there, before it was too late. I said sheepishly, “excuse me, are you Zoe?” hahahah. Terrible anxiety hit. She looked kind of surprised (but I mean, 1.2 mil fans on Twitter? She’s not exactly unknown…) which was nice because she was super friendly and down to earth. I told her I was a cellist and I discovered her through Imogen Heap. She asked me when I started playing when I said 8, she said “oh, me too!”. Soul mates! Anyway so we had a brief chat about Imogen and auditioning cellists for the song Aha! and we got a really geeky photo together.

So what was Zoë doing in Zurich? She was on her way to speak at the midem conference talking about Direct2Fan promotion and ideal routes to a sustainable music career. Sounds totally down my field of interest and maybe next year I’ll be able to attend.

Last thoughts: I still can’t really believe that this happened. I mean, I don’t know so many cellists by name or face and especially don’t look up to any contemporary cellists as much as I do Zoë. I have a strange talent of ‘bumping into’ people, but this is something different. Some people say I have a special star and these things happen to me. Is there a meaning to this? I don’t know. I guess I shouldn’t ask questions and keep doing what I do…

Check out Zoë Keating:
Official Website