Zoë Keating: 5 Soundtracks
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On The Corner Masthead


July 31, 2018 | by Rusty Aceves

Zoë Keating

Groundbreaking composer and performer Zoë Keating creates a universe of music with just a cello, a laptop computer and her own boundless imagination. In addition to her work as a solo artist and musical collaborator, she has composed extensively for film, television and radio, contributing to the soundtrack of the hit show Breaking Bad and NPR’s Radiolab. As we await her week of Summer Sessions performances (8/9-12), here are five film and television projects that showcase her singular talent:

1. Crossing Bhutan (2016)

Some of Keating’s most recent film work includes her contributions to the soundtrack of this inspiring documentary film that traces the path of four athletes crossing the rugged terrain of the south Asian kingdom — entirely on foot and by bicycle — looking to experience the country’s policy of “Gross National Happiness.”

2. The Returned (2015)

Keating composed and performed music, including the theme track, for this suspenseful drama series on A&E concerning the residents of a small town whose lives are turned upside down when their deceased family and friends begin mysteriously reappearing, very much alive. The show is an American remake of the celebrated French series Les Revenants.

3. Google Darfur (2007)

The tragic genocide in Sudan and the plight of the refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad is chronicled in this harrowing documentary directed by Robert Simental, featuring a passionate score by Keating. The film was submitted into evidence in the International Criminal Court war crimes trial of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.

4. Frozen Angels (2005)

Shown on the PBS documentary series Independent Lens, this film explores the booming business of “designer” babies and the buying and selling of DNA to aid prospective parents in the pursuit of “perfect” children, featuring the music of Keating, who composed the title track.

5. Manh(a)ttan (2014)

Keating and composer Jeff Russo collaborated on the scoring for the second season of WGN’s Emmy-winning fictionalized historical drama about the development of the atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico during WWII. Originally guitarist and songwriter of the band Tonic, Russo won an Emmy for his score to the series Fargo.