Paris-based Cécile Schott began making electronic music under the name 'Colleen' in 2000; after early experiments with bands, it is rumoured that it was contact with Ultra Milkmaids in 1995 that led to her interest in samples and loops. Her first record was Babies, a 7” inch on Active Suspension, and though it was a limited, discrete release, it led directly to an invitation from Leaf label boss Tony Morely.
Schott’s first album, Everyone Alive Wants Answers, was subsequently released in 2003 and hailed as an electronic-folk masterpiece, bringing the composer international attention. The album was constructed from delicately layered acoustic samples, many of them extracted from centuries old compositions on obscure records borrowed from Paris libraries.
The follow up, The Golden Morning Breaks (Leaf 2005) saw Schott make a considerable departure in music production techniques without altering her spacious, crystalline signature sounds. Out of a concern for authenticity and a love of instruments Schott has increasingly relied on non-modern sources for her work; Elizabethan instruments such as the viola de gamba and Baroque inspiration from period works of composers.
Her most recent release, the EP Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique (Mort Aux Vaches, 2006) employs music boxes as the primary sound source, developing an interest she has had in the machines since the early 90s to build delicately oblique melodies.
For shows, Schott has developed a specific, live repertoire to avoid using any prerecorded elements. She uses a variety of instruments (cello, classical guitar, clarinet, music boxes and wind chimes) with some looping and delay pedals to create the layered feel of her albums.
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