An Emotional Love Note  -by Val

          zoe keating

                                                                                                                                                            Zoe Keating


This week's Valentine piece was tricky to write. I've rewritten it 3 times. You see, it's been an extremely emotional month - ranging from quicksand to miracle - and based on that, my thoughts on love keep changing.


When I write my blog, I obviously first choose a theme. I spin it in different ways in my mind; throwing around various takes, but what I really wait for is a sign. I go through the week watching and waiting, and it always comes. Perhaps I'm superstitious. Perhaps I make it happen. But I don't want to believe that.  I want to believe that karma plays a part in telling me what to write about. I believe it's meant to be.


The sign came last night at a ZOE KEATING concert. The minute it hit me, I knew loud and clear that this week's post would be about how LOVE WINS. This post is dedicated to my friend who recently received a life threatening diagnosis.  Let's just call her Friend, because there are many like her and I believe you probably know one. 


Last week my Valentine blog post was done. I had put together a sultry slow-dance playlist and wrote a post called Seduce Me. It was ready to go. But on Wednesday everything changed.  Friend survived a miracle - and it was love that saved her. Her husband's love, her kids' love, her friends' love, and her love of life itself. A few months ago Friend was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Determined to fight for the life she loved, she dove into a disciplined regime including diet, exercise, meditation, yoga, chemo and radiation. She defied the odds and astounded her doctors - the cancer diminished by a huge margin - and now they could operate. The 10+ hour surgery was a success. She let her love of life and the love of others fight for her - and together they won.  

The sign:  Zoe Keating is an indie rock avant-cellist. She's a stunningly gorgeous one-woman orchestra who produces a symphony of sound with a little help from her friends - a cello, foot controlled laptop, and looping electronics.  Her genius is captivating as you watch & listen. Each song starts the same. A single melody, simple and short. With a foot tap it's recorded on the computer she brought on stage. Then she plays another - it sounds different, but compliments the one you just heard. Foot tap, record. Then she adds another - this one has a surprise sound to add personality. Foot tap. And so on. Each new recording adds a layer of music on top of the other, creating a perfect symphony that sweeps you away to somewhere else. I couldn't help but close my eyes to go there with her. 


Note: the cello is the lowest pitched instrument in the viol family and has been described as the closest sounding instrument to the male human voice. Its pitch is comforting, listenable, strong. The sound intrigues you, invites you in. 


As her music told its story the room was silent, focused, listening. Then came my epiphany.  Each song was a journey of someone's life, adventure, trek, hardship. The first loop introduces the protagonist. The beat and cadence of the melody is solo, raw, driven, with purpose, moving forward.  With each additional loop she's adding a friend. The different personalities, the varying cadences, the harmonies, are loving friends who jump on board to help make the protagonist's journey more palatable, tolerable, beautiful, smooth, harmonious, effortless.  Her music is a soundtrack. Of life and love.


Zoe's song titles confirmed it was karma. Each described the journey of my Friend: Lost / Escape Artist / Forest / Don't Worry / The Path / Flying & Flocking / Hello Night / We Insist / Optimist.  The music spoke to me.  I hope you give a listen and see what I mean:   



Listen in iTunes:   Zoe Keating's album Into the Trees 



Happy Valentine's Day. 





Val Haller


                                                                                                                                           Read more of Val's posts ...                               


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VALENTINE :: Love Wins       listen here

  1. Be Still by The Fray
  2. Faller by Pieta Brown
  3. Slow Slow Tune by My Morning Jacket
  4. Love Like a River by Girls
  5. My Valentine by Paul McCartney
  6. Only Love by Ben Howard
  7. Skin by Chris Trapper
  8. Body and Soul by Amy Winehouse & Tony Bennett
  9. Starting a Rumor by Delbert McClinton
  10. Better Than Love by Griffin House
  11. Healer by Rumer
  12. If You Only Knew by Madi Diaz
  13. Turn On the Radio and Dance by Kellie Pickler
  14. Love Me by The Little Willies
  15.  Breathe You In by Dierks Bentley
  16. Optimist (Live) by Zoe Keating
  17. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston





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