The first time I went to The Cedar Cultural Center was because I won tickets through twitter to Lee Fields and The Expressions. Last night’s show was completely different but just as wonderful. David Gerald Sutton, a violinist, opened for Zoe Keating, a cellist. But this was by no means classical music which is what intrigued me about the show. It’s also what I love about The Cedar: their shows give us a chance to experience something outside of the box. Both David and Zoe play modern music and both use different means to build layers upon layers of music to the point where they each sound like an ensemble while they’re the only performer on stage. It’s fascinating.
David is young and amazingly talented. He uses pedals to repeat a track, and using only his violin, he adds in sounds of the viola, cello and bass as well as percussion, guitar and synthesizer. He took time between songs to demo a few of these, which was appreciated since it’s not immediately obvious what he’s doing while he’s performing. The music is a beautiful blend of pop with classical undertones, and it’s so bright and uplifting. As far as I could tell, all the songs David played are originals (he has an EP coming out in the spring), but if you go to his website, you can see that he performs covers of songs, too, such as “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Take a look at the video below to get a better feel for what David does:
Zoe utilizes a foot-controlled laptop while she plays her cello (it’s a “he,” as I found out during the show) and her music takes you on a journey from something dark and mysterious to cheerful and melodic. I love the deep notes of the cello, and watching Zoe’s various techniques adds a special element to the performance that can’t be replicated by a recording. She takes time to give a little intro for each song, one of which included a song she wrote during her time in Quito, Ecuador called “Sun Will Set” which was the highlight of the evening for me (I hope I’m remembering that correctly anyway!). Take a listen:
I love that Zoe and David both take a classical instrument and make it more relatable to people who may not have a big interest in classical music. What they’re doing reminds us to look at things in a new light and I think it’s really inspiring. And kudos to The Cedar for continually giving us these special opportunities to experience something we may not be able to otherwise.