Emily Doolittle

Emily Doolittle

email: emilydoolittle@gmail.com

website: emilydoolittle.com; http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/37657


Composer Emily Doolittle was born in Nova Scotia in 1972 and educated at Dalhousie University, the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, Indiana University and Princeton. Her principal teachers include Louis Andriessen, Steve Mackey, Barbara White, Paul Lansky, Don Freund, and Dennis Farrell. From 2008-2015 she lived in Seattle, Washington, where was an Associate Professor of music theory and composition at Cornish College of the Arts. She now lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

Doolittle has composed for such ensembles as Orchestre Métropolitain, the Vancouver Island Symphony, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, the Albany Symphony, the Voice Factory Youth Choir, the Motion Ensemble, Paragon, Talespin, and the Fung-Chiu Duo, and soloists including sopranos Janice Jackson, Patricia Green and Helen Pridmore, pianist Rachel Iwaasa, viola d’amorist Thomas Georgi, and viola da gambist Karin Preslmayr. Her most recent piece is Jan Tait and the Bear, a chamber opera based on a Shetlandic folktale, and written for the UK’s northernmost chamber ensemble, ffancytunes. Doolittle’s work has been supported by the Sorel Organization, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Artist Trust, the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Jack Straw Foundation, the Eric Stokes Foundation, the Culture and Animals Foundation, the Nova Scotia Arts Council, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Fulbright Foundation.

One of Doolittle’s ongoing interests is the relationship between bird and other animal songs and human music, something she has explored both in music and in collaborative research projects with scientists. In 2011, she was artist-in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, where she wrote a piece based on the songs of duetting birds, presented a concert of her birdsong-related works performed by musicians from the Bavarian State Opera, and co-wrote a paper on the song of the musician wren with ornithologist Henrik Brumm. In 2014, she published a paper on the overtone series in hermit thrush song, co-authored with biologists Bruno Gingras, Dominik Endres and Tecumseh Fitch. Other interests include the traditional music of various cultures and community music-making. From 2010-2015 she played fiddle in the Seattle-based French Canadian traditional band Podorythmie.


Choral compositions

All available via emilydoolittle@gmail.com, or from the indicated publisher.

Five Forest Rounds, 1992-2013, any voices a capella (variable duration). Five simple rounds suitable for children and singers of all ages. Texts by Emily Doolittle, Neil Banas, and Sheena Phillps. Publisher: Canasg Music http://www.canasg.com/zanimarounds.shtml

Songs of Seals, 2011, children’s choir, narrator, and seven instruments (27:00). Based on the Selkie legend, and available in English or Gaelic. Texts by Emily Doolittle and Rody Gorman. Score with composer (emilydoolittle@gmail.com)

Dàn nan ròn, 2011, SA with flute and clarinet obligato (11:00). Three songs in Gaelic, based on poetry by Rody Gorman. Publisher: Canasg Music http://www.canasg.com/zdannanronset.shtml

BURN, 1997, 15 women’s voices and percussion (4:30). Based on ancient Mayan poetry, translated by Christopher Sawyer-Lauçano. Score with composer (emilydoolittle@gmail.com)