• Composer Biography

  • Emilie is active in the music community in various capacities: composing, teaching, curating, and organizing. She composes for acoustic instruments and electronic media to create both discrete and mixed compositions and creates intermedia projects that incorporate electronics, video, photography, and acoustic instruments.
Blog posts
  • During December, I received in the mail two large parcels filled with beautiful handmade postcards that were created by community members at The Ground Floor. They contained hand drawn pictures, and written messages. I laid them all out on my living room floor, so that I could look at all of them together. It was exciting to become further acquainted with so many people through correspondence that was all written and drawn onto small rectangles of paper. I sent back my own postcards to Toronto, so that The Ground Floor community could get to know me, and find out more about what I am up to when I’m not in Toronto.

    After spending some time with the materials that were sent to me, I started to arrange the text from the postcards. I initially photocopied all of the postcards that contained text, and then worked at arranging them - pulling out words and phrases, and combing items from different messages to create new phrases.

     

    I found that I was drawn to two particular phrases. I decided to work with them further by beginning to connect musical ideas to each phrase.

    “Take this card to the bottom of a lake, across mountains, through the clouds, then send it back.”

    “I long for the other places that I call home, and a room to come home to again and again.”



    Through December and into January, I started sketching some ideas for the sound world that I sought to create with this composition.  I started to organize ideas into a rough structure for the composition. As a starting point, I initially worked with the second line of text, and I wrote a short musical excerpt that set the words to a simple melody. 

    I visited The Ground Floor in January. The choir and I worked together on this first line of music that I created. We initially learned to sing the line as a group, and then went on to experiment with the word “again.” We found ways to improvise with repeating the word “again” as a backdrop for the melody. It was satisfying to spend time working with the choir, and having the opportunity to see their reactions to the music that I have created. It is has been both gratifying and challenging to incorporate their insights, interests, and feedback during all stages of the creative process thus far. The choir has fully invested themselves into this process, and we are all greatly enjoying getting to know each other, while shaping a piece of music that we are all dedicated to creating.

     

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  • Ask the Composer

  • Question
  • You split your time between Toronto and Missoula, MT, where you currently teach composition and music technology at the School of Music, University of Montana. What’s your favourite thing about each city?
  • Answer
  • Favourite thing about Toronto: the vibrant and diverse arts community. Favourite thing about Missoula: the mountains and fresh air.