Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.– Bertolt Brecht
How time flies
10 years ago yesterday, Steve Jobs launched the iTunes store with 200,000 songs at 99 cents each. Back then, I didn’t have a solo project yet. I was playing in a cello-rock band called Rasputina and working as an information architect at the Research Libraries Group. I had an iPod though. I listened to it on tour, lying in the back seat of the van as we hurtled across America. iTunes...
An experiment in crowdfunding a concert
Dear Londoners, I am coming to Europe this summer to visit my old school in Italy (I spent my junior year abroad in Florence). While I’m all the way over there on that side of the pond I would like to play a concert or two. Where should I play? I usually travel to a distant place because a venue or organization has invited me, often for a private event, and the fee is enough to cover...
Musicians and nerds working together
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, join me at SF Music Tech on Feb 19 to discuss the path towards creating a public database for music credits, rights, and licensing. The panel is with David King, formerly Head of Content ID and Licensing at YouTube, Rob Kaye from MusicBrainz, Kevin Lewandowski from Discogs and moderated by Brian Behlendorf, the primary developer of Apache and a...
I wasn’t paying attention to the internets over the weekend. While I was doing laundry and enjoying a low-key birthday, one of my favorite bands quietly released a new album. My Bloody Valentine put out their first recording in 22 bloody years….which of course makes me feel bloody old both because so much time has gone by and because I wasn’t the first to know ;-) You can...
Where does the filthy lucre come from?
Many people wrote to me after the NYTimes article with advice. Most of you had some great ideas and I do thank you for taking the time to think about me and write. Several people advised me to consider touring as a revenue stream since “that is where artists make most of their money”. I do keep hearing that statement and reading it in the press. Is it really true? The Future of...
A blog about an email about a blog about a news...
My son is still very sick and I haven’t slept much, or I would write about this a bit more…but here is an email I wrote to Bob Lefsetz in reply to his post about a NYTimes story I was quoted in the other day. From: Zoe Keating Subject: Re: New York Times On Streaming I’m totally asking for it by replying, but how can I resist? Plus my toddler is throwing up every hour, so...
In the NYTimes (eek!)
There’s a picture of my cello cave in the NYTimes today. Now all the secrets of my elaborate recording process are revealed….two mics in a spare bedroom. ;-) (photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times) That’s not what the article is about of course, it’s about streaming and money again. Since many people are visiting my blog from that article, here are the google docs...
Don't just mourn, act. →
The Aaron Swartz Memorial JSTOR Liberator
Where am I going next?
I have concerts all over the world in the next few months…Washington state, a cruise ship in the Bahamas, Australia and the Midwest. Buy tickets here or just click on the links below (p.s. if you buy tickets early, there is more likelihood I can schedule more dates, hint hint….) I will have more concerts this year, and I also have a new album in the works, but I have no idea when it...
The Travels of Cellofamily in 2012
Another incredible year has gone by! Thank you for buying my albums, coming to my concerts, putting my music in your projects, reading my blog, writing me emails and letters, sending me gifts, and being encouraging and generally just the very best audience I could have ever asked for. Here are photos of some of the places we visited in 2012…America, England, Scotland, Holland, Germany,...
Interview with Create Digital Music →
During the SF MusicTech conference in October I found a quiet corner in which to talk with Mat Earp from Create DIgital Music. She shocked the music business by revealing she wasn’t making money on Spotify – then shocked them again by revealing she was making money on our own. Now, CDM’s Matt Earp talks to cellist Zoe Keating about surviving as a creative musician, and keeping the music coming....
Gazing at shoes
In between tours and mothering, I’ve been working on a new album. Sorry I don’t have anything to play for you yet but that’s just the nature of how I work. I tend to compose, record and refine all the songs/pieces/doodads on an album simultaneously. For a depressingly long period it’s a mess while all those hundreds of cello snippets gradually coalesce into a larger whole....
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for you, my listeners. So today I’d like to give thanks by making all my music free & physical albums $5 http://music.zoekeating.com Thank you! celloly yours, Zoë
More about data vs royalties
Since I blogged about the concept of artist data vs royalties last week the topic has been written about in a few places: Billboard: Value of Music Streaming is Data, Says Artist MusicTechPolicy: Should Digital Retailers Own the Artist’s Fan Data Radio & Internet Newsletter: Artist Says Data About Her Streaming Song Plays Would be as Valuable as Royalty Money IT World: Data, the Ultimate...
What I want from internet radio
Ever since SFMusicTech on Oct 9, I’ve been meaning to blog about the whole internet radio fairness act thingummybob. Almost every day someone has asked me: “What do you think about the proposed Internet Royalty Fairness Act?” and I haven’t had a proper answer. I’ve thought all kinds of things about it in the dead of the night, but those thoughts are often...
Towards a manifesto
Talking with other artists like myself, I’ve begun to think that we need a lobby, a coalition, an advocacy organization…..something. A group that represents the interests of new-model artists. What are new-model artists? It’s a clunky term for 21st century recording artists who are for the most part self-published, self-represented and own 100% of their music. We rely on...
Numb from Numbers
Tomorrow is the SF Music Tech conference AND I just finished my 2011 taxes (hooray for extensions!). Since a lot of people will probably be talking about music and money….here is the incredibly exciting breakdown of my income streams for 2011: Ok, to bed.
mmisiaszek asked: wow took me an hour to hook up so i could ask a question :-)must be i am old and inflexible LOLOL didn't really want to ask anything just wanted to thank you for your work. i found you yesterday and am very impressed. 6 years of violin lessons (twice for 3 yrs each) over my 57 years gives me a good insight into how wonderful your music and sound is. i believe i will drag the old fiddle out...
Let a thousand Jon Stewarts bloom →
Today the Internet Archive launched their TV news search. You can search the closed captioned text of TV news for the last 3 years. From Fox News, to every minute of CNN, to “60 Minutes” and “The Daily Show”, to all the eyewitness news on local television stations. As Brewster Kahle was quoted in the New York Times, “Let a thousand Jon Stewarts bloom”. This is,...
When all the doors are closed, sometimes you’re better off making your own...– me
The Curious Case of the Leaked Pilot
(UPDATE: 27 Sept 2012: Good news! CBS has been in contact with me. It was all a mistake of course and they retroactively licensed my music for the pilot. Thanks for all the feedback folks and to CBS for doing the right thing in the end.) A young woman’s face, illuminated by light from a computer screen. She is watching a TV show online. Cut to another man, somewhere else, watching it on his...
7 live videos (in HD) & an interview
When I was in Sydney last month ABC Radio National invited me to the studio to record some songs. Fluid Radio in the UK asked me about that day: What is your recollection of your day recording at Radio National? ZK: I remember we flew from Melbourne at the crack of dawn and the punctual classical musician in me was concerned about getting there on time (I hate being late). When we got there,...
Video of 'Lost' in HD
A performance of ‘Lost’, in HD, recorded in Sydney in the studios of ABC Radio National, June 2012
I love getting sucked inside Adam Wolpert’s oil paintings. You can’t tell from this digital image, but they are big (this one is 4’ x 5’) and luminous. I’m not articulate enough in art-speak to express it in words, but I feel like my music and Adam’s paintings have so much in common: in the mechanics of how they are created, in the labor involved and in the...