Julia Mermelstein

Website: http://juliamermelstein.com/
Twitter: Julia Mermelstein @juliamerms

Julia Mermelstein is a Toronto-based composer, originally from Halifax. Her music focuses on detailed tone colour, textures, and gestural movement that reveal evocative, immersive, and subtly changing soundscapes. She extensively works with electronics, blending acoustic and electronic sound worlds in seamless interactions. Her music takes influence from Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and ritualistic tendencies that shape her relationship to form, stillness, and sense of space. Julia’s extensive background in ballet has heavily informed her work whether choreography is explored with musicians or informing her creative process. Her work has been involved in a variety of mediums that include electronic, chamber music, orchestral, music for dance, and collaborative and multi-disciplinary works.

Julia’s music has been commissioned and performed by leading musicians and ensembles, including Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Barbara Pritchard, Blue Rider Ensemble, the Array Ensemble, Ensemble Arkea, Quatuor Bozzini, Toy Piano Composers Ensemble, Windermere String Quartet, among others. Her compositions have been presented at CEMIcircles Intermedia Festival in Texas, OUA Electronic Music Festival in Osaka Japan, NAISA’s Deep Wireless Compilation, The Music Gallery, Festival of Original Theatre, and Open Ears Festival.

Originaire d’Halifax, la compositrice Julia Mermelstein réside à Toronto. Sa musique est centrée sur des timbres précis, des textures et une gestuelle qui révèlent un paysage sonore évocateur, accueillant et en subtil mouvement. Très intéressée par l’univers électronique, elle opère une fusion sonore imperceptible entre l’acoustique et l’électronique. Ses œuvres s’inspirent de la philosophie bouddhiste, de la psychologie et de rituels qui encadrent la relation qu’elle entretient avec la forme, l’immobilité et l’espace. Elle s’inspire par ailleurs de sa solide formation en ballet pour son processus créatif et pour les chorégraphies qu’elle explore avec ses musiciens. Sa musique est des plus variées, allant de l’électronique à la musique de chambre, en passant par les partitions orchestrales, la musique de danse et les collaborations pluridisciplinaires.

Elle reçoit des commandes de plusieurs formations et musiciens réputés, dont l’Orchestre symphonique de Toronto, Barbara Pritchard, les ensembles Blue Rider, Array et Arkea, les quatuors Bozzini et Windermere et le Toy Piano Composers Ensemble. Ses partitions sont programmées au festival CEMIcircles Intermedia (Texas), au festival de musique électronique OUA d’Osaka, au Japon, à la NAISA’s Deep Wireless Compilation, à la Music Gallery, au Festival of Original Theatre et au festival Open Ears.


All scores available with the composer and through the Canadian Music Centre. For full list of works with audio and video visit: http:// juliamermelstein.com/compositions/

Chamber Music

drifting, vividly (2018)
For mixed ensemble: alto saxophone, viola, percussion, piano, electronics, and two dancers; 30’ commissioned by Din of Shadows and premiered at Din of Shadows II on May 5, 2018, at Array Space in Toronto.

Sunder (2018)
for flute, piano, and electronics; 10’
commissioned and premiered by Amanda Lowry and Jason White on April 30, 2018, at Maureen Forrister Recital Hall in Waterloo, ON.

into a landscape, unrest (2017)
For mixed ensemble: viola, bassoon, percussion, piano, and electronics; 13’
commissioned by Caution Tape Sound Collective and premiered a part of Quintile on March 18, 2017 at Array Space in Toronto.

without ground (2016)
for flute, cello, and percussion; 12’
commissioned and premiered by Blue Rider Ensemble at the Canadian Music Centre on March 10, 2017.

Cycle Scope (2015)
for mixed ensemble and soprano (fl, cl, perc, pno, sop, vln, db); 8’
composed for and premiered by Toy Piano Composers Ensemble on November 21, 2015 at Music Gallery, Toronto

Cosmosis (2015)
for string quartet; 7’
composed for and premiered by Quatuor Bozzini on September 2, 2015 at Jeuness Musicale, Montreal


Only edges (2018)
for solo piano and fixed electronics; 10’
commissioned by Barbara Pritchard with support from Canada Council of the Arts. Premiered in Halifax at the Music Room on October 11, 2018.

Woven, Still (2017)
for multi-percussion, electronics, and movement; 15’
commissioned by Caution Tape Sound Collective and premiered by Evan Bowen at Singles Vol.3 on October 21, 2017, at Arrayspace in Toronto.

XIV (2017)
for soprano (voice) and live electronics; 5’
composed for and premiered by Adanya Dunn (soprano) and Zach Clark (electronics) on Feb.1, 2017 at the Tranzac in Toronto

Fear of Falling (into the unknown) (2015)
for solo electric guitar; 10’
composed for and premiered by Jacob Wies on June 21, 2015 at Conservatoire de musique de Montreal

Music for Dance

RE:connect (2016)
for baritone saxophone and electronics; 13’
commissioned by Sarah Hopkin for her choreographic work. premiered on May 1, 2016 at Dancemakers Theatre, Toronto funded by Toronto Arts Council

RELFEXtion (2015)
for mixed ensemble (fl, bn, gl, vib, perc, pno, vln, vla); 13’30”
commissioned by Sarah Hopkin for her choreographic work.
premiered on March 15, 2015 at Winchester Theatre with Nostos Dance Collectives, Toronto

Water Is the Stranger Here (2014)
for violin, cello, piano, and voice; 11’30”
commissioned by Sarah Hopkin for her choreographic work
premiered on March 29, 2014 at New Voices Festival, Ryerson Theatre, Toronto


in turn (2017)
for orchestra; 8’
to be premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on January 12, 2019; 2nd prize winner in the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2018 Young Composers Competition

Shift (2016)
for string orchestra; 7’
composed for and premiered by Ensemble Arkea on January 28, 2016 at Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal; finalist in their 4th composition competition