Colleen | Constellation | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Colleen 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sat., June 20, 9:30 p.m. 2015

Throughout her career French musician Cécile Schott (aka Colleen) has used a variety of instruments—piano, guitar, music box, and her current fave, the Renaissance-era viola da gamba—to build compositions of terse, brittle melodic fragments that are subsequently manipulated by electronics. Her recordings for the Leaf Label in the aughts feel meditative as she explores hypnotic permutations of a given phrase before moving on to the next. Following a six-year hiatus she returned in 2013 with The Weighing of the Heart to demonstrate a new focus on songcraft: she added her delicate voice to the mix and began spinning short, manipulated phrases into something akin to songs. And Colleen has taken an even bigger step on the recent Captain of None (Thrill Jockey), embracing the dub aesthetic of classic reggae with looping basslike ostinatos played on the viola da gamba. Those create a foundation for her fragile vocal melodies, while snaking plucked arpeggios float over grooves like a raft hugging the curves of a placid ocean. Her method of transforming melodic patterns formed on a classical instrument into something utterly chill and contemporary connects her aesthetic to cellist and pop auteur Arthur Russell, but the sound is her own. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20, $15

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