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Vyktoria,PieTownSoap,ExiScentials: MUSIC BIO

Vyktoria Pratt Keating’s music has been described as “Some of the most free-handed, lithe and resilient music around” by The Washington Post. Having opened a 42 show, 5 month tour for rock legends Jethro Tull, she has performed at such prestigious venues as England’s Apollo Theater, The Greek Theater in LA, Magness Arena, House of Blues in LA, Mountain Stage and The Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow Scotland.
“Truly the troubadour, VPK combines age-old songstress seduction with technical
expertise...the touching, provocative and observational songs pierce the heart and soul.” (Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull)

Vyktoria's exhilarating vocals and exquisite guitar artistry provide the sonic backdrop to her intelligent, poetic and often quirky lyrics, creating a new blend of progressive rock, dream pop and folk fusion. She has garnered an impressive response from fans and critics alike, winning three WAMMIES (Washington DC Music Awards) and selling over 15,000 CDs. She has toured extensively in 46 states and the UK and her music is featured in film and radio in the US, Canada, Europe and South America. Vyktoria has performed close to 3500 live shows.

A sensitive and compassionate musical alchemist, Vyktoria is driven to explore the deepest secrets within society, the universe and herself. Influenced by progressive rock bands such as Genesis, Yes, & Jethro Tull; by traditional Celtic music and contemporary Celtic artists such as Steeleye Span & Fairport Convention,; and by literate pop/rock artists such as XTC, The Beatles & Kate Bush, Vyktoria creates music that is progressive and timeless, while at the same time incorporating an instinctive pop resonance.

A compelling live performer, her unearthly vocals and accomplished guitar work (she uses 3 guitars to cover a variety of open tunings) produce lush arrangements and a full ambient sound in her concerts, and her incisive wit, intelligent humor and skill for storytelling are an engaging part of her live show. Vyktoria has released 6 Cds and her current release “Things That Fall From The Sky” was produced by Andrew Giddings, keyboardist for Jethro Tull.

Since settling in the Verde Valley of Arizona, Vyktoria continues to write and perform all over Arizona and the Southwest.

PRESS QUOTES:
Keating is able to weave musical magic that throws you into medieval forests, galaxy-hopping spaceships and modern urban sidewalks all at once.”
(The Octopus)

“Keating’s music possesses an otherworldy quality
...marvelous image of spirits occupying her
“magnetic head”...bathed in a celestial glow that evokes underwater moonlight. Utterly enchanting.”
(Progression Magazine)

“Whether wrapped in the luscious textures of Andrew Gidding’s production, or lonely as a newborn lamb at Christmas with only a well-travelled guitar for company, Vyktoria Pratt Keating never fails to deliver the message. The touching, provocative and observational songs pierce the heart and soul. Truly the troubadour, VPK combines age-old songstress seduction with technical expertise and offers up the musings of the thinking, feeling and sometimes vulnerable female presence, so much a part of contemporary music making.”
(Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull)

“Andrew has produced what I feel is one of the most wonderful albums I have ever heard.”
(Gene Godfrey, Classic FM Radio)

“Keating is as lovely, winsome, ethereal and tuneful as Suzanne Vega or Shawn Colvin, but with more of a refined, understated and slightly poppier sense of melody.”
(The Music Paper, New York)

“Imagine the result if Kate Bush, David Byrne and Nanci Griffith were all fused into the same body...this is beautiful, creative songcraft at it’s best.”
(Charleston Free Press)

“Things That Fall From the Sky is a gloriously inventive and adventurous affair. She has a quirkyness to her lyrics and delivery that is quite endearing, and more than enough pop sensibility in her writing to ensure huge commercial success should she receive a fraction of the exposure given to Alanis, Tori, et al. A hugely talented artist.
(David Rees, A New Day Magazine)

Vyktoria Pratt Keating’s music is so different and so adventurous, that you find yourself drawn in by the sheer uniquness of it. Her use of unusual time signatures and syncopation provide a rhythmic bounce most contemporary acoustic musician wouldn’t attempt.”
(Acoustic Music Exchange)

“Ethereal, fey, intelligent, divine..truth to tell, Keating strides across the rainbow of life’s emotions with the ease of a veteran.”
(Brum Beat UK)

“Keating really does have a style all her own!”
(Billboard Magazine)

Extended, epic, big fat BIO

Born in Alexandria Virginia on The Ides of March, Vyktoria Pratt Keating began playing music at age 7. Influenced by the music her older siblings were listening to, Vyktoria (then Vicky) picked up the guitar and began picking out the songs of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and The Beatles by ear, and has never had one guitar lesson to this day. At age 16 she began writing and performing at open mics around the Washington DC area. Immediately after graduating from high school, she joined “The Backstreet Rhythm Band” a local 7 piece rock and R&B band, performing on electric guitar and vocals with them for 3 years. All the while developing her solo songwriting talents, she quit the band and began peforming solo, soon moving to New England where she honed her original folk repertoire among the literate folk giants of the Boston music scene. Being a young whippersnapper she had much to learn. Her rock roots never left her and soon she began immersing herself in the complex music of progressive rock bands such as Yes, ELP, and Genesis, while enjoying the 80’s sound of bands such as XTC, Kate Bush and solo Peter Gabriel.

In the late 1980’s she met and married Jay Keating whom she considers to be one of the best songwriters on earth to this day. They formed the hip acoustic new wave trio
“AV” (Audio Visual) and performed shows regularly in DC and New York City. She also had another trio called “Daddy Longlegs” featuring renowned Japanese mandolinist Akira Otsuka. Still performing solo concerts, she was a regular in the Greenwich Village and New England folk/rock scenes.

In 1991 she moved to the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and began a long stretch of years touring solo. Beginning with being selected as a finalist in the Kerrville (TX) Folk Festival songwriter competition, she toured every 3 months in Texas and Nashville performing at such popular venues as The Bluebird Cafe, The Cactus Cafe, and Kerrville.
She also began touring all over the US, from New England to Alaska and from 1991-2002 she logged over 700,000 driving miles in 46 states.

In 1993 she released her first CD “Blue Apples” produced by Bob Read of Trapezoid and Bruce Hornsby fame. The CD featured a “who’s who” of players including Paddy Keenan of The Bothy Band, Pete Kennedy of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s band, a New York City rhythm section of Dennis Espantman and Robert Jospe, along with many others. The CD won her instant recognition as one the top emerging indie artists of the time, with 2 WAMMIE awards, a NAIRD nomination, showcases at South by Southwest music festival, CMJ music festival, Telluride, Nashville Entertainment Extravaganza, as well as rave reviews in The Washington Post, Billboard Magazine, Austin Chronicle and other papers coast to coast. The album was in daily rotation on over 150 alternative, AAA and college radio stations, and had wide distribution in Tower records, Borders, etc.
The CD caught the attention of Dragon St. Records in Dallas who shopped the CD to major labels. In 1994, she was represented by Christopher Sabec, entertainment attorney for Dave Matthews Band. She and Mr. Sabec were flown to NYC to showcase for a new label being formed with Jon Birge from Sony and Jim Zumwalt, Nashville’s top entertainment attorney. She was signed to a deal but then the deal fell thru when the partnership of Birge and Zumwalt broke up. Such is life in the music biz. She then signed the CD with Prime CD, an indie out of NYC.

From 1994-1997 she toured extensively on the college circuit and in 1995 was nominated for an NACA award for coffeehouse performer of the year. During this time 2 of her songs were selected for compilation CDs featuring Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds, Dar Williams and many other artists. Her song “Those Voices” was place in the movie “Night of the Running Man” featuring a soundtrack by Christopher Franke of Tangerine Dream. Her live performances included a spot on Mountain Stage, The 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, a main stage spot at Kerrville and many more. She performed regularly with her trio featuring virtuoso Chapman Stick player Greg Howard. So far her shared bills have included shows with Laura Nyro, Roger McGuinn, Pierre Bensusan, Aztec Two-Step, Richard Thompson and a Charlottesville songwriter night featuring Dave Matthews solo.

In 1995, she made her first trip to Sedona Arizona which was to dramatically affect her life. Having a life-long interest in all things spiritual and metaphysical, she started seeking out new audiences for her more cosmic and progressive music. Her music had always been “quirky” but now the songs took on a deeper metaphysical, even paranormal edge in imagery and subject matter, while her rhythms and melodies became more progressive. Her guitar playing started incorporating more open tunings, developing into her own unique style. In 1997 she starting using her full name Victoria, changing the spelling to Vyktoria and released “This Guardian at Noon”, a collection of her more progressive metaphysical material. The Cd won favorable reviews in Magical Blend, New Age Magazine and many more indie spiritual alternative magazines. She began playing at Whole Life Festivals, for astrological gatherings, and at New Age bookstores and concerts. In 1997 she also had her first major ego crisis in the music biz, and changed much of how she operated, preferring now a more holistic, centered life. She began doing a lot of dream work and astrological study, all the while producing some of her best writing ever from the sanctuary of her 120 acre farm. During this time she kept a regular dream journal and noted having over a dozen dreams in which she was touring with her favorite band, Jethro Tull.

In 1998 she emerged from the intense inner world back into the touring world. In December of 1998 her dream literally came true. Following her instincts, she sent a CD to Ian Anderson, leader of Jethro Tull, and in 1999 (shortly after moving to Sedona) she opened 42 shows for the rock legends on a worldwind US and UK tour. In 2000 she released “Something About Driving”, a live CD from the tour which featured Ian playng flute on her song “Do We Entrain”. Back from the tour, she was invited to showcase for Taylor guitars at the NAMM show in LA.

In October of 2000 she moved to the UK and began recording her 4th CD with Andrew Giddings, Tull’s keyboardist, producing. This new CD took her music even further into the surreal imagery of paranormal and fortean topics, with the production matching the progressive subject matter. While living in England, she delved deeper into her celtic music roots and upon returning to the states in 2001, she formed the celtic rock group “Little Beggar Girl” in Sedona. Also at this time she had a 4 piece rock band with Eddie Barratini on drums, Troy Perkins on bass and Mark Thomas on guitar performing her all original music called “Vyktoria and The Secrets”. She teamed up with Fitzhugh Jenkins and Stephen Sen’Gerni for an acoustic folk/rock group called ‘Vyktoria and The Queens,” and performed regular shows with world class guitarist Ralf Illenberger. She and her ensembles performed regularly in Sedona at the Oak Creek Brewery, Casa Rincon, Creative Life Center and the Martini bar.

In 2002 she won the Southwest Songwriter Shootout in Carefree Arizona, a 3 day competition featuring songwriters from all over the U.S. Also in 2002, she moved back to Virginia in order to spend more time with her family. From Spring of 2002 until the Fall of 2004, she lived on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia and promoted her new CD
“Things That Fall From The Sky” recorded and produced by Jethro Tull keyboardist Andrew Giddings. Released in October of 2003, the CD received great reviews both in the US and abroad and was featured on the main Jethro Tull website as well as numerous unofficial Tull fan sites, magazines and ezines. By this time in the music industry, many things had changed and there were no longer the same type of radio stations, outlets for distribution, etc to promote a progressive non-commercial release.
Also lacking in promotional funding, the CD never got promoted in any major way, but continues to sell as fans of progressive music find their way to it.

In Fall of 2004 Vyktoria moved back to Sedona and in 2005 she moved to Pietown New Mexico where she temporarily gave up performing music. She opened up a small retail boutique and life in the country was sweet. In 2006 she moved back to Sedona to resume playing music full time all over the state of AZ.

In 2006 she recorded a Christmas CD called “Snowdonia” and in 2007 she released her first celtic CD called “After The Gathering”. She continues to write and demo her songs and is currently thinking about recording her 7th CD. She is happy gigging all over
Arizona and parts of the Southwest. Her love of nature keeps her trekking out into the wilds when she is not working. After 22 years playing music professionally, she loves it more than ever. She has no myspace, no facebook, no twitter, no texter, no pager, no cellphone, no blackberry, no blueberry. She is not on Youtube and has a dial-up internet service. She runs her own business, websites, booking, graphics, and fan list. When not doing the small business stuff, she continues to dream up unique ways to promote her music to the world at large and connect her songs to interesting people. She makes soap and aromatherapy products and keeps several small wholesale accounts to local gift shops.

Her interests in Ufology, Paranormal research and Astrology keep her involved with various projects and she enjoys being part of the Sedona community of open-minded people. Her goal is still...to someday.... be a lounge singer on a UFO.