Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mood music: Zoe Keating edition

For my last music post, I talked about a group whose music I used to create a dark, atmospheric mood for writing. But this time, I’ll switch to music that still has dark undercurrents, but is also lovely and even hopeful at points. At least, that’s how I hear it.

I first came across Zoe Keating many years ago when she was the opening act for Imogen Heap. One woman and her cello seemed an odd opening for an electronica artist, but I was almost immediately transfixed. I desperately wished for a seat so I could close my eyes and focus on the sound, rather than the jostle of other concert-goers and the fact that I’d stupidly worn heels to a standing-only concert. In any case, I've been hooked ever since.

(Permission through Zoe's flicker album; shared under a partial license, as long as I attribute the work to its original source - flicker album here). 
The cello is one of my favorite solo instruments (my other favorite is the oboe, though it’s harder to find solo oboe music). Zoe creates gorgeous, layered compositions, so it sounds like it's an entire symphony playing. It's hard to explain, so just listen to some of the music (thank you, Zoe Keating's official Soundcloud!)


Legions (War)

Here's a live performance:

I listen to Zoe's music when I need inspiration, or in writing any bittersweet passage. I listened to Fern continuously when writing the last chapter of my novel, Graveyard.

You can also hear a longer selection of her music on her Soundcloud page.

Take a listen, and have a lovely summer evening.


  1. Gah, I love, love, love ZK. The haunting sound of strings has been great at getting me in the zone to write certain scenes. For this last WIP I've been working on, she basically occupies every other song on my playlist :)

  2. I've never heard of Zoe Keating. I'm so not with it when it comes to music, but that was great. I can see how her music would help with creating certain moods while writing.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. That was GORGEOUS music! I am so glad you posted this. I'm always looking for new music to write to.

    For about two years now my go-to group has been Mumford and Sons, and while I still love their first album, I am impatiently awaiting their new album that comes out next month. I think it'll be time to come up with a new writing playlist to include some of the newcomers.

    Great post, Sabrina!


Got an opinion? Use it! Remember... be silly, be honest, and be nice/proofread.