Living with Questions : Colleen explores

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You are dreaming deeply. Intricately patterned lace curtains catch soft sunlight floating through an open window. Slowly, clouds swirl to screen the Sun. The afternoon glow fades as chilly winds swell. Frost starts inching over the pane, creeping like a lonely spirit. It catches the edge of the curtain, tracing lines with ice. Crystals climb beams and ripple across wallpaper. The stairs shiver. Within moments the entire house is frozen solid. Suddenly, the Sun shakes off its saboteur’s sleeping gas and breaks through one ray at a time. Frosty fault lines form as magic rays float down. With the warmth comes a haunting melody. Freed energy sings as binds melt away. You twinkle awake.

Cecile Schott makes music for moments after dreams. Her compositions glisten with mystery. The threads are familiar but the tapestry surreal. As you move close the fabric disappears. Everyone Alive Wants Answers is Cecile’s debut album under the moniker Colleen. Cecile grew up quiet, a stretch South of Paris. Loneliness pulled her into books. She recounts, “I was into Milan Kundera, Kafka, and generally speaking anything that was dark and strange and which the other kids didn’t read.” Altered realities existed within these pages of whispered words and she searched for more on her own.

Cecile’s path crossed with music. She explains her initial epiphany, “One song decided that I would have to make music, ‘A Day in the Life’ by the Beatles. I can remember the effect it had on me when I brought back that record and first played it. It was like being swept by something incredible.” Her music reflects this epic tone. Grand emotions are expressed in miniature like a music box singing spells. She strips compositions down to their core and lets the spirit shine through.

Much of Everyone Alive Wants Answers was spliced together from borrowed records. Cecile shares the story, “I moved to Paris and started going to the music libraries like mad and just borrowed tons of stuff from absolutely every single genre with a few exceptions.” This explains why Colleen can sound like Erik Satie conducting My Bloody Valentine covers performed on Javanese gamelan. Cecile’s scope of influence is wide screen. She is constantly seeking music and sharing with friends. Her sources are vast but the resulting music vibrates with intimacy.

Colleen performances follow the path of her music’s minimalism. Solo, she plays and loops classical guitar, cello, melodica, a German zither, music boxes, harmonica, flute, glockenspiel, and electric organ. These live experiments sans sampler are transforming the way Cecile records music. Her process is becoming more organic all the time. Colleen is making personal music to share with you. Listen as she melts the ice.

– frosty
(these words originally appeared in the pages of XLR8R Magazine)

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