• 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
  • Take This Card

    Take this card to the bottom of a lake

    Across mountains, through the clouds

    Then send it back



    Soundstreams Canada hosted their Salon 21 event on Friday June 17th at the Gardiner Museum, showcasing the work that the Ground Floor Choir and I have been collaborating on over the past year.  It was the perfect conclusion to our year together.  Joined by a quartet of guest professional singers (Sarah Albu, Hussein Janmohamed, Alex Samaras, and Maryem Tollar), the choir performed the completed composition to a delighted audience of family, friends and the public.  The choir worked exceptionally hard getting ready for this event, doing an impressive job with their performance, which was met with an incredibly warm reception from the audience.


    Every creative project takes a different course, including necessitating specific features of the music, taking the creative process in varied directions, and asking different requirements from me as a creator.  In this way, every time I sit down to work on a composition I am teaching myself how to compose.  Every project instills in me new musical concepts and ways of being an artist, while also allowing me to delve further into my knowledge of musical phenomena, and elements of my creative process.  This project was no different, in that I learned new concepts, but also served to prompt and reinforce specific notions in my creative practice.



    Every time I work collectively with musicians, I am reminded that there is great strength and reward in working within a creative collaboration model.  Being able to work directly with those who will perform the composition allows the performers a stake in the entire creative process, and allows me to incorporate their interests and input into the work.  Working in such a way during this project allowed me to realize how a simple idea can be very powerful.  Often the simplest ideas resonated the most with the choir, and at the same time worked the best in the creation of the composition.  Allowing time to work out some of the musical ideas together with the choir while the composition was in progress resulted in the greatest moments in the piece.  Finally, I was continually amazed by the work ethic of everyone involved in this project.  Seeing how hard this group was willing work to bring a piece of music to life left a strong impression on me.  The choir embraced and brought out the musicality in the simple moments of the piece, while also putting forth the effort to learn the more challenging aspects of the composition.  These factors propelled my work forward in this project and bound the composition together, assisting me with finding my way through creating a piece that the choir would enjoy engaging with and performing. 



    I have been very fortunate to work on this project over the past year because it allowed me time to reflect on what “community” means in the context of art making.  “Community” for this choir has meant the act of meeting every Tuesday night and singing together.  Many members of the choir have commented on how this has created a strong sense of belonging for them, and I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed into the fold over this past year.  The spirit of generosity created in their weekly meetings is admirable, and I am grateful to have experienced spending time with all the incredible community members and staff at the Ground Floor.



    Here is a recording of the performance.  It begins with a short introductory sound story about working on the project, created by Liam Coo.

    Finally, I want to express my gratitude to everyone at Soundstreams and Jumblies Theatre who made this project possible.

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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.