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Colleen Muriel (M.A. – music, B. Music, FRSM, FTCL, ARCT) is a Canadian composer living in London, England. The first two concerts of Colleen’s compositions were given in 1997 and 1998 in Vancouver, Canada. Since then her music has been performed and recorded in Canada, the USA, UK, Western Europe, Bulgaria, Australia, Asia (including Vietnam and Japan), and Brazil. 
 
Her music has been featured on a number of radio stations and also been performed at The 15th London New Wind Festival; Sonic Boom (Vancouver Pro Musica); Women Composers Festival of Hartford, USA; Diamond Jubilee Concert (in honour of Queen Elizabeth's 50 year reign - London);  and Music Fest Aberystwyth, Wales.
 
In addition her music is included in the Contemporary Showcase Syllabus of the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects (ACNMP) and the Compendium Musicae Flauta (the first international catalogue of flute music by women composers).
 
 She has written and/or arranged well over 600 pieces of music for various instruments and ensembles ranging in style from simple folk melodies to the avant-garde. These works include chamber music (instrumental), a chamber opera, orchestra and choir music, string quartets, solo music for piano, flute, singers as well as hymn tunes. 
 
She has published (El Flauto Records) a large number of sheet music books and CDs, all containing original compositions and/or arrangements.
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A Conversation with Researcher and Historian – Eric Ruijssenaars (2020) DONNE Women in Music, ‘Hall of Fame’.

Click here to read the full article.

A Conversation with Researcher and Historian –
Eric Ruijssenaars (2020)

DONNE Women in Music, ‘Hall of Fame’.


In 2020 - in the shadow of COVID-19 and Lockdowns I had the privilege of speaking with Eric Ruijssenaars in ongoing email correspondence. He asked about my musical journeys and life experiences and shared some of his research findings with me. 

Eric is a Dutch historian who (prior to his current impressive research on women composers) spent many years on researching the history of Charlotte and Emily Brontë in Brussels, resulting in two books and many articles which were a great step forward in the research of that part of the sisters’ lives. 

I found much of what he had to say very fascinating and thus thought it might be of interest to others. 

The following is part of our conversation............
—————————————————

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 29. 2020

ο»Ώ‘ Dear Colleen,

Many congratulations with your birthday. I hope you do have a pleasant birthday, despite the troublesome times.

I am happy to say that this time you are on the DONNE blog:
https://donne365.blogspot.com/2020/05/composers-of-week-from-23-to-29-may.html

Composers of the week: From 23 to 29 May | DONNE365
Every Friday in 2020 we will post the composers from the last 7 days. In these posts, you can also find the link to the composers we presented in 2019.

donne365.blogspot.com
I really enjoyed your music when preparing this day. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to more.

I am very glad to have you now in our sort of Hall of Fame too. 

Kind regards,
Eric
————-
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
May 29, 2020

Dear Eric. 

Thanks so very, very much for this. 

So very pleased to be part of it all. An amazing privilege. 

With mega appreciation for all you do. 

Thank you. Thank you. 

Colleen
😊🎢

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 29. 2020

ο»Ώ Dear Colleen,

Many congratulations with your birthday. I hope you do have a pleasant birthday, despite the troublesome times.

I am happy to say that this time you are on the DONNE blog:
https://donne365.blogspot.com/2020/05/composers-of-week-from-23-to-29-may.html
Composers of the week: From 23 to 29 May | DONNE365
Every Friday in 2020 we will post the composers from the last 7 days. In these posts, you can also find the link to the composers we presented in 2019.

donne365.blogspot.com
I really enjoyed your music when preparing this day. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to more.

I am very glad to have you now in our sort of Hall of Fame too. 

Kind regards,
Eric

From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
May 29, 2020

Dear Eric. 

Thanks so very, very much for this. 

So very pleased to be part of it all. An amazing privilege. 

With mega appreciation for all you do. 

Thank you. Thank you. 

Colleen
😊🎢

From- Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 30, 2020 

Dear Colleen,

Thank you very much for your ever so kind words. I forwarded your mail to my partner and founder of DONNE and she will certainly be pleased with your encouraging message too.

Gabriella has started to do online interviews with interesting people, adapting to this new time. So far it was very interesting and useful, as our goal is of course a fair representation for women composers. Which is 50-50. Next week there'll be two more interviews. 

I would very much like to hear from you about your thoughts about this struggle for women composers. And perhaps if things you think have changed in the last 5 years. Or how hard it was before that. I'm a historian, weirdly trying to understand why it took till 2017 before I discovered women composers. I'm a bit younger than you, from 1963, so we both grew up in that time of lp’s, with 0% women composers.

It is my belief that before WW II it was quite a lot better for women composers. I hope you don't mind me asking, but I am really interested in what it was like for you.

Best wishes, and stay safe and well,
Eric
——————————
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
June 2, 2020

Hi Eric.

Thanks so much for your interest in the various life journeys of women composers. I must say I am intrigued by your comment that it was easier for women composers before WW II. That would be an absolutely fascinating area of study. WOW.

As for my own life - yes - I was born and grew up in the age of LPs, 78s, and the Beatles. My early years were very traditional and conservative and I personally had no ambition in general about music - however I did love music (still do) and listened to massive numbers of hours (LPs) of mostly Baroque (Bach a favourite) and Renaissance Music - played on historical instruments. My family thought I was living in the wrong historical period - but I didn’t care.

The truth is I never thought about a career in music at all (I still don’t) - I had a number of non-music jobs in my 20s - just wanted to pay the bills - but I was always playing music on the side - so people kept asking me to play for this or that - or teach etc. 

There were a number of influences and things that happened (including I believe - a calling from God) and to make a long story short I ended up teaching music for a living in my 30s. During this same time period I also started writing music for my students: so I do think this is where it sort of started for me.

Then in the early 1990s (my mid - 30s) I started studying composing (for the first time) due to a serendipitous meeting with another composer who I ended up studying with for a number of years. During the course of this study, I came across some amazing Canadian women composers (such as Violet Archer) and I performed a lot of their music.

And now here we are. This is the story of what I view to be an unplanned life - I’m always so impressed by young women today who know exactly what they want and just go for it.

As for the struggle to be heard (musically speaking) I know it’s not popular to think this way - but I just accept that men get more breaks and opportunities than women and I also accept that aggressive women get farther than the quieter ones. That’s the way of the world. For me - I am just so thankful to be writing and performing music - I can’t imagine a better life.

I’m not a feminist- but have enjoyed living in countries where women have incredible opportunities. So I count my blessings.

I don’t really compete to have my music performed much at all - just very occasionally. I tend to write for groups I play in or teach or for a particular event - that sort of thing. Due to this and by the grace of God - a certain amount of performing of my little tunes is ongoing and has been ongoing in small ways for many years. 

As for the challenges of the last 5 years I don’t know what I think. I must say my biggest frustration over the course of a lifetime is not being taken seriously.

I suspect this is not quite the life story you expected - but it is true. 

I wish I could be more help. You mentioned you finally discovered women composers in 2017 - I guess I came across them in a serious way for the first time in the 1990s when I started to study composing.

So there we are Eric. I really applaud all you are doing. Thank you for everything.

Have a lovely week.

With appreciation.

Colleen Muriel 
😊🎢

ο»Ώ_——————-
From - Colleen Muriel 
To - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Verzonden: dinsdag 2 juni 2020 19:13

Onderwerp: My life as a composer etc

Hi Eric. 

Just a quick addition to previous email. You asked specifically about women’s music in the last 5 years.

In answer to your question, I do think the music women write is getting out there a lot more - and I think the main reason is women’s musical organisations such as what you are doing. So there is a real push on from various groups to get women’s music performed etc....and I do think it is helping. 

Sadly, I don’t think we are at a point yet where women’s music is getting picked for performances with the ease and frequency that the music men write is.

In this I believe there is a long way to go. 
So I guess I’m saying that music written by women is still not main stream enough.

Have a lovely evening. 

I’ll leave you in peace now.

Thanks so much for all your help. 

With much appreciation.

Colleen
😊🎢

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
On 3 Jun 2020, at 17:59

Hi Colleen,

Many thanks for your answers!

I am a feminist, really. Since I was about 20, as I thought what we need is equality. What's even more, I have more belief in women. Look at this virus crisis. There's quite a discrepancy between countries led by women and by men. Women have done much better. 

Equally, I think in classical music women are much better. I was always bored by men, except for Bach. I was much more into pop music but it's dead, and there's very little interesting pop music of after the Beatles. The sixties were really interesting, musically. And then one day, in October 2017, I first heard Henriette Bosmans, a Dutch composer, and then Fanny Mendelssohn. They really dazzled me. I still cannot understand why it took so long. So, for me it's fighting a gross injustice, the still vast underrepresentation of women composers, because they are women. 

Yes, before WW II women had more chance to get their works performed or recorded. In the 50s there was a concerted drive to get women back to being just housewives in western countries. That was my youth. Only men had jobs. And the classical music lp's had no women composers at all. 

It's great you got to know Violet Archer and others in I assume the 1990s. Via cd? In Canada?

As you more or less point out, in making further progress, our main problem is how to convince men. (Any idea?) I hope you also had male encouragement. In general men still have more power in your world, so strategically that's an important question. Recently DONNE did an online interview with someone who pointed out, after being asked my question, that concerted action can help. I hope we will get towards uniting forces. Together we can achieve more.

To some extent it is a matter of patience. Since I began, less than 3 years ago, there has been an explosion of cd's and YouTube videos. I would guess it's doubling each year. Newspapers have also improved. So in a way there has been giant progress in the last 3 years, and yet it of course seems to get very slow. Also, because there are slow underlying trends, in for instance teaching. Surely teaching women composers has only really started too in the last years, which has a longer-term effect.

Please do tell me how God really got you to the music. How did that divine inspiration work? I'm glad for it. We would probably never have met without it.

I'm not sure young women composers are without doubt of having entered that path. For almost any artist life isn't easy, especially now.

It has though certainly become easier for women composers. I have already got very many born in the 1990s and they are already making an impact. They are changing things. As in a way it's also easier for young women. Because they are young, apart from being talented of course. 

I suppose that's what happens to most people, an unplanned life. 

You have been of great help already, and I hope you will write more. I could even easily ask more questions than I did now.

In the 1980s I got to know the music of Hildegard von Bingen, one of our big women composer stars. So, I have been a fan of her for a very long time. So for me in classical music it was her and Bach. In principle I love baroque music, but all these male works never convinced me. Whereas I know now a lot of excellent baroque music by women.
So well, J S Bach is the big mystery. He was a man, and yet is the best composer of all time. I think he was partly lucky. My great heroine, Fanny Mendelssohn, had 23 years less of life. Less opportunities. She was a fan of Bach. And what to think of the hugely talented Lili Boulanger who died when she was only 24 (1893-1918). She has now found wide recognition, in the last few years.

I'm optimistic. The coming years will bring a further breakthrough, in concert halls. Only two years ago men could think there were only a few women composers, but that time has vanished. And really, through people all over the world. I'm just trying to combine it all a bit, via birthdays. International Women's Day has been hugely incentive in getting works by women performed, in many countries. It is sad it's needed, but it's needed.

One more thing. Do you think it would have been different had you known (Baroque) women composers, in say 1976? As role models.

I hope you don't mind me asking so many questions, and writing so much. But it's not every day you know, getting the chance to interview a woman composer.

Best wishes,
Eric

—————-
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
June 10, 2020 

Hi Eric.

Thanks for your email - and for your interest - I’m happy to be interviewed - so it’s all good. Apologies for delay in reply. I am having a very busy lockdown. I’m teaching music online and writing music etc. - so the days fly by. 

I will try to answer your questions as best I can - pulling from my life experience. 

I must confess I am very intrigued by your findings about pre-WWII women’s experiences. That’s really fascinating.  I must read up on this when I get a moment. 

As to how I discovered Canadian women composers - it actually wasn’t on CDs at all. I was playing their music in a small musical trio I organised. I got the scores from the Canadian Music Centre and started working on them. Jean Coulthard and Violet Archer my favourites. In my youth I spent massive hours in sheet music shops and record stores. Those were the days -! 

As for convincing conductors to perform women’s music - I think this is a tough one. I don’t want to go into details - but had a really bad experience with this a couple of years ago.  

Having said this - I have had amazing support from many men over the years - as teachers, mentors etc. And it’s been wonderful: there are people like you who are just amazing. I suspect we may see a change in the next generation - as women’s music becomes more accessible to people. 

Yes. The younger generation of women are the ones who will bring it home. They know what they are about - they are talented and more doors are opening. So I’m an optimist. 

As for CDs and YouTube videos - yes - a lot more women’s music there - but I feel these types of things - especially YouTube is fairly easy. Most anyone can get a channel and put their music up - it’s the big concert halls - the serious orchestras and choirs etc. that are the real challenge. 

As for God - well that’s a long-term relationship - going back to childhood. To make a long story short I had 2 or 3 very distinct spiritual experiences which directed me first to be a musician and secondly to focus on composing. I mention one of them in the Earmark Interview with the Canadian Music Centre (2017) - the second one happened when I was visiting England. I was attending an evening service at Holy Trinity Brompton (Spring 1995 I think) and I felt completely directed to pursue composing - which up to that time was just something in the background of my life.  I felt this directive was from God - so since then I have made composing a seriously important part of my life....as a means of following God’s will for my life. 

As for Baroque women composers - If I knew about them - I don’t think it would have impacted me much as I was and still am a flute player - up until the 1990s that was my main focus. I still play flute passionately - I really love it - but it now shares its room with composing. They are getting along quite well - so it’s all good. 

As a young flute playing girl with dreams my main focus/concern was that it seemed that mostly men had the flute playing positions in serious orchestras. This has sort of changed - still got a way to go. 

But my attention was on the fact that - The first woman (I think) to join an American orchestra was harpist Edna Phillips, who was accepted into the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930.......and I was born in 1956. So my focus was on the most famous flute players all being men and women breaking into orchestra playing bit by bit. To me as a young person I never thought about the gender of who wrote music - for me it was sort of genderless - my focus was on the flute. 

I know this all sounds rather like a disjointed life - but it is the life I have lived. 
So there we are. 

I hope I have answered most of your questions and I hope it’s not too boring.

Have a lovely day and thanks again for your interest in my musical journey. 

Colleen 
😊🎢
ο»Ώ_
——————

From - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 19 June 2020 at 10:05:03 BST
To: Colleen Muriel 

Subject: My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

Hi Colleen,

Thank you very much again for your answers! It's great to hear from you. I still feel honoured really when a real woman composer writes me. 

I have just finished reading a biography of Henriette Bosmans, 1895-1952, successful as both composer and pianist. And not much fuss was made about her being a woman. 
My impression was that before WW II presenting women's works was nothing unusual at the Proms, to name something else. There were some other big names, like Germaine Tailleferre and Florence Price, who couldn't be ignored. 

But even before WW I it was better than after 1960. Talented women composers got their chances. had their works performed. So it is really wrong to think it was always like 1960-1990, the time in which we grew up. When there were no women composers. Or at least, they didn't get on the 33 rpm lp's. 

From 1960 on there's also an erasure of women from history in general. Only in the last few years we've been learning about female painters, and the great contributions to science by women. For instance, June Almeida, the first person able to observe a coronavirus under a microscope, in 1965. 

Change is always coming down from downwards. We have made great progress on the level of smaller ensembles, the big orchestras already cannot ignore women composers anymore so I predict good progress in the coming years. There has been progress on teaching level. 

Nice thought, that the younger generation of women composers will "bring it home." Let's indeed hope that they are bringing it home. I'm optimistic, even in 3 years’ time there will have been great progress. 

Very sorry to read about that very bad orchestra experience.

Could you tell me more about that serendipitous meeting with another composer? 

How did you market yourself as a composer in these early days? Especially for artists 'selling' oneself is very important. And when and how did you adopt the internet? 

I hope you don't mind me asking more questions. I'm glad you're still busy with teaching, composing and other things. So there's no hurry at all. 


Best wishes,
Eric


From - Colleen Muriel
To Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 19 June 2020 at 11:27:21 BST
To: Eric Ruijssenaars 

Subject: My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

Hi  Eric.

Thanks so much for your email and for your interest in women’s music. You actually make a good point about women before WWII. 

I realise it’s a different area of music - and perhaps a different world - but in the area of church hymns there are a couple of really big names - such as Cecil Frances Alexander (April 1818 – 12 October 1895) and Frances Jane van Alstyne - known as Fanny Crosby (née Crosby; March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915)   with their texts still in modern hymnbooks. These 2 women are viewed within the history of hymns as being extremely important. They were published during their lifetime - and seriously respected.  They wrote words - not music (as far as I know - but I could be wrong - they might have written some music as well). 

In comparison I feel it is now harder for women who write hymns or hymn tunes to be taken seriously - but so could be wrong about this. It just might be my personal feelings. 

I will just mention I was pleasantly surprised this summer when Laurence Wareing - an editor for Singing The Faith - a Hymnbook of the Methodist Church - interviewed me a couple of months ago. I was really surprised - as after a lifetime having my hymn tunes ignored -   by the church establishment (so to speak) it was a welcome change of pace. See artic
le  http://www.hymns-colleenmuriel.ca/

You mentioned in a previous email if I encountered the music of Canadian women composers in the 1990’s through CDs and my reply was - no I found the music in libraries and Canadian Music Centre etc. This is completely true - it’s also completely true that there were not many recordings of women’s music in Canada at all at that time. I remember finding one really bad recording of something - and I just thought - forget it - I’ll just work from the score. So I did. I think in Canada - and I could be wrong about this - but it seems to me it was in the late 90s and early 21st century that people in Canada started seriously recording the music of Canadian women composers. 

Now you can get good recordings of many works by Canadian women through commercial labels or the libraries or Canadian Music Centre. So things have changed. 

One of my favourite comments (yes, I have a sense of humour - it does help) came from one conductor who said ‘yes the music does work - but let’s set a date so we can sit down and I will tell you everything that’s wrong with your piece’.  

I personally feel that 2 areas of writing (hymn writing and orchestration) which seem to have ignored women for years are two areas which are now slowly opening up - so I am very encouraged by this. 

As for marketing - I’m not very good at this. And must confess due to being a rather private person I shy away from too much of this. 

The truth of my life is I have done a lot of advertising for music lessons, ballet work etc. due to the need to pay bills. Composing for me has always been something I have done on the side of working for a living...and thus I haven’t really advertised much at all. 

Mostly - Over the course of my lifetime people have come to me and said why don’t you do this or that and when I have followed through often it works. For example, the reason we met is because my friend L.P. emailed me and said ‘why not look into this’.  So I sent you an email and here we are. So glad we met. You are a STAR
🌟🌟🌟The same thing happened with Laurence Wareing. This is often the way with me.  In fact, I just realised that just about everything mentioned below is a result of someone saying ‘why don’t you do this?’

Of course - My main interest throughout my life has been to write music for groups of people I’m either playing with or teaching etc. This is how it started - and how I hope to continue. I have written lots of music for ballet accompanists, hymn tunes for church, choir music for church choirs, flute music for my students and myself to perform, piano solos for pianist friends etc. Since I work in music circles often friends of friends will ask me to arrange or write a piece for them....and so I do. 

This also serves as marketing on a local level - as people who come to concerts - where a piece I’ve written in performed - it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s one of my students performing or me or some super professional player/singer. People like to meet the composer etc. This I find is really effective. People want to know who’s in their group, community etc. it’s a great way to meet people and make friends and also say ‘yes I wrote this piece’. So it brings a type of awareness as to who you are and what you are doing.

I’ve also joined groups such as the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the Canadian Music Centre, Women in Music U.K. and some really good opportunities come up through these various groups - so I just check things out as I go along. 

I have a website - got that in 2003 and sort of started with the internet around that same time. I think my You Tube Channel happened around 2007 or there-abouts. 
I also sell music on various sites - including my own (
elflauto.ca), Amazon and Tutti Classical Music, All Flutes Plus etc and I do think this all helps. 

I have had an unplanned but incredibly serendipitous life. As for a serendipitous meeting with a composer in the mid 1990’s. That was with Dr. David Duke who I met thanks to a phone conversation with his teacher Jean Coulthard - Dr. David Duke was doing his Doctoral studies on Jean Coulthard’s compositions. 

I was playing some music by Coulthard and we both lived in the greater Vancouver area - so I phoned her - we got talking and she suggested I study composing with David Duke. I phoned David and then studied with him for many years. I think he is a gifted and brilliant teacher - and I don’t think serious composing for me would have gotten off the ground - but for him. I actually really miss studying with him. He has an amazing understanding of including historical forms - which I feel are very important and often neglected. 

So there we are for now. Hope the summer is going well for you so far. Here in Molesey, Surrey it’s pouring rain. 

With many thanks again for your interest in my musical adventures. 

Till soon.

Colleen
😊🎢
————
Begin forwarded message:

From - Colleen Muriel 
To - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 22 June 2020 at 07:38:25 BST

Subject: Quick Question - I hope

ο»Ώ_Good Morning Eric. 

I had a thought this past weekend. Not sure if this would interest you - no worries if not - just thought I would ask. 

I felt our emails were fascinating and might interest people. You have a wealth of knowledge about women composers that might interest people. It certainly was interesting to me. 

So - I wondered if you would be open to my putting our emails together in a type of edited conversation on my website with a link to DONNE Women in Music, or any other website that you would like. I’m thinking this would go on my home page below my bio - sort of in addition to the Canadian Music Centre interview that is there now. 

I would take out some of my overly personal comments about orchestras and my experience with the Christian worship concert - and maybe edit things slightly - you could take out or add whatever you would like as well. 

I hope I’m not being too presumptuous - I would of course send everything to you before putting anything in my site - this way you can let me know if you want to take anything out or add anything.

So....?? Would this interest you - or perhaps not. I’m fine either way. I just thought there were some really interesting things in our conversation that might be of interest to others.

Again. Thanks so much for your interest in women’s music.

Have a lovely day. 

Till soon.

Colleen 
🎢😊
Sent from my iPad

From - Eric Ruijssenaars 
To - Colleen Muriel 
Date: 22 June 2020 at 11:07:53 BST

Subject: Re:  My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

ο»Ώ_
Hi Colleen,

Many thanks again, for your last very interesting mail. And for your latest mail. I have no objection to you publishing our correspondence.

How very nice you have spoken with Jean Coulthard! 

Pretty soon in late 2017 I got to know the main old Canadian women composers, like for instance Violet Archer. A great trio of the old ladies died in 2000, and my impression was that by then they were quite well-known names in Canada. But even you only got to know them in the 1990s. 

I have Fanny Crosby in my list of composers:
24 March 1820 b Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby (Brewster, New York, United States)
12 February 1915 d Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby (Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States)
YouTube, Spotify – very many gospels and hymns
Cecil Alexander will be a text writer. 

My list has 8 hymn composers, which is incomplete, as it only covers those who merely did hymns. I haven't got you as a hymn composer, as you do a lot of other genres too. 

I presume Christian music organizers just reflect the general trend. It depends on one’s particular faith. I’ve seen a giant amount of modern religious music, or heard of course rather by women.

Thank you for the 3 stars! But I’m just a humble servant really. And I can happily stay in the background.

Best Wishes, Eric

Colleen Muriel

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Earmark with Colleen Muriel (interview February 14, 2017 with Matthew Fava of the Canadian Music Centre)
Click here to read the full article.
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Choice Classics On Marlow 97.5 FM - June 9, 2013 (2-4 pm)
featuring the the music of Colleen Muriel


Canadian composer Colleen Muriel introduces her piece 'Pliés for Monday' ahead of the premiere as part of Maria's '7 Notes in 7 Days.
Recorded July 20, 2020

To find out more about Colleen's music, check out this link:
https://acwc.ca/members/colleen-muriel/

Celia Jones talks to local flautist and composer Colleen Muriel, mezzo-soprano Alison Wheeler and organist Julian Callows about their new Christmas CD, supporting the Sam Beare Hospice, Weybridge, and playing extracts.unnamed
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Colleen Muriel (M.A. – music, B. Music, FRSM, FTCL, ARCT) is a Canadian composer living in London, England. The first two concerts of Colleen’s compositions were given in 1997 and 1998 in Vancouver, Canada. Since then her music has been performed and recorded in Canada, the USA, UK, Western Europe, Bulgaria, Australia, Asia (including Vietnam and Japan), and Brazil. 
 
Her music has been featured on a number of radio stations and also been performed at The 15th London New Wind Festival; Sonic Boom (Vancouver Pro Musica); Women Composers Festival of Hartford, USA; Diamond Jubilee Concert (in honour of Queen Elizabeth's 50 year reign - London);  and Music Fest Aberystwyth, Wales.
 
In addition her music is included in the Contemporary Showcase Syllabus of the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects (ACNMP) and the Compendium Musicae Flauta (the first international catalogue of flute music by women composers).
 
 She has written and/or arranged well over 600 pieces of music for various instruments and ensembles ranging in style from simple folk melodies to the avant-garde. These works include chamber music (instrumental), a chamber opera, orchestra and choir music, string quartets, solo music for piano, flute, singers as well as hymn tunes. 
 
She has published (El Flauto Records) a large number of sheet music books and CDs, all containing original compositions and/or arrangements.
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A Conversation with Researcher and Historian – Eric Ruijssenaars (2020) DONNE Women in Music, ‘Hall of Fame’.

Click here to read the full article.

A Conversation with Researcher and Historian –
Eric Ruijssenaars (2020)

DONNE Women in Music, ‘Hall of Fame’.


In 2020 - in the shadow of COVID-19 and Lockdowns I had the privilege of speaking with Eric Ruijssenaars in ongoing email correspondence. He asked about my musical journeys and life experiences and shared some of his research findings with me. 

Eric is a Dutch historian who (prior to his current impressive research on women composers) spent many years on researching the history of Charlotte and Emily Brontë in Brussels, resulting in two books and many articles which were a great step forward in the research of that part of the sisters’ lives. 

I found much of what he had to say very fascinating and thus thought it might be of interest to others. 

The following is part of our conversation............
—————————————————

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 29. 2020

ο»Ώ‘ Dear Colleen,

Many congratulations with your birthday. I hope you do have a pleasant birthday, despite the troublesome times.

I am happy to say that this time you are on the DONNE blog:
https://donne365.blogspot.com/2020/05/composers-of-week-from-23-to-29-may.html

Composers of the week: From 23 to 29 May | DONNE365
Every Friday in 2020 we will post the composers from the last 7 days. In these posts, you can also find the link to the composers we presented in 2019.

donne365.blogspot.com
I really enjoyed your music when preparing this day. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to more.

I am very glad to have you now in our sort of Hall of Fame too. 

Kind regards,
Eric
————-
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
May 29, 2020

Dear Eric. 

Thanks so very, very much for this. 

So very pleased to be part of it all. An amazing privilege. 

With mega appreciation for all you do. 

Thank you. Thank you. 

Colleen
😊🎢

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 29. 2020

ο»Ώ Dear Colleen,

Many congratulations with your birthday. I hope you do have a pleasant birthday, despite the troublesome times.

I am happy to say that this time you are on the DONNE blog:
https://donne365.blogspot.com/2020/05/composers-of-week-from-23-to-29-may.html
Composers of the week: From 23 to 29 May | DONNE365
Every Friday in 2020 we will post the composers from the last 7 days. In these posts, you can also find the link to the composers we presented in 2019.

donne365.blogspot.com
I really enjoyed your music when preparing this day. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to more.

I am very glad to have you now in our sort of Hall of Fame too. 

Kind regards,
Eric

From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
May 29, 2020

Dear Eric. 

Thanks so very, very much for this. 

So very pleased to be part of it all. An amazing privilege. 

With mega appreciation for all you do. 

Thank you. Thank you. 

Colleen
😊🎢

From- Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 30, 2020 

Dear Colleen,

Thank you very much for your ever so kind words. I forwarded your mail to my partner and founder of DONNE and she will certainly be pleased with your encouraging message too.

Gabriella has started to do online interviews with interesting people, adapting to this new time. So far it was very interesting and useful, as our goal is of course a fair representation for women composers. Which is 50-50. Next week there'll be two more interviews. 

I would very much like to hear from you about your thoughts about this struggle for women composers. And perhaps if things you think have changed in the last 5 years. Or how hard it was before that. I'm a historian, weirdly trying to understand why it took till 2017 before I discovered women composers. I'm a bit younger than you, from 1963, so we both grew up in that time of lp’s, with 0% women composers.

It is my belief that before WW II it was quite a lot better for women composers. I hope you don't mind me asking, but I am really interested in what it was like for you.

Best wishes, and stay safe and well,
Eric
——————————
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
June 2, 2020

Hi Eric.

Thanks so much for your interest in the various life journeys of women composers. I must say I am intrigued by your comment that it was easier for women composers before WW II. That would be an absolutely fascinating area of study. WOW.

As for my own life - yes - I was born and grew up in the age of LPs, 78s, and the Beatles. My early years were very traditional and conservative and I personally had no ambition in general about music - however I did love music (still do) and listened to massive numbers of hours (LPs) of mostly Baroque (Bach a favourite) and Renaissance Music - played on historical instruments. My family thought I was living in the wrong historical period - but I didn’t care.

The truth is I never thought about a career in music at all (I still don’t) - I had a number of non-music jobs in my 20s - just wanted to pay the bills - but I was always playing music on the side - so people kept asking me to play for this or that - or teach etc. 

There were a number of influences and things that happened (including I believe - a calling from God) and to make a long story short I ended up teaching music for a living in my 30s. During this same time period I also started writing music for my students: so I do think this is where it sort of started for me.

Then in the early 1990s (my mid - 30s) I started studying composing (for the first time) due to a serendipitous meeting with another composer who I ended up studying with for a number of years. During the course of this study, I came across some amazing Canadian women composers (such as Violet Archer) and I performed a lot of their music.

And now here we are. This is the story of what I view to be an unplanned life - I’m always so impressed by young women today who know exactly what they want and just go for it.

As for the struggle to be heard (musically speaking) I know it’s not popular to think this way - but I just accept that men get more breaks and opportunities than women and I also accept that aggressive women get farther than the quieter ones. That’s the way of the world. For me - I am just so thankful to be writing and performing music - I can’t imagine a better life.

I’m not a feminist- but have enjoyed living in countries where women have incredible opportunities. So I count my blessings.

I don’t really compete to have my music performed much at all - just very occasionally. I tend to write for groups I play in or teach or for a particular event - that sort of thing. Due to this and by the grace of God - a certain amount of performing of my little tunes is ongoing and has been ongoing in small ways for many years. 

As for the challenges of the last 5 years I don’t know what I think. I must say my biggest frustration over the course of a lifetime is not being taken seriously.

I suspect this is not quite the life story you expected - but it is true. 

I wish I could be more help. You mentioned you finally discovered women composers in 2017 - I guess I came across them in a serious way for the first time in the 1990s when I started to study composing.

So there we are Eric. I really applaud all you are doing. Thank you for everything.

Have a lovely week.

With appreciation.

Colleen Muriel 
😊🎢

ο»Ώ_——————-
From - Colleen Muriel 
To - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Verzonden: dinsdag 2 juni 2020 19:13

Onderwerp: My life as a composer etc

Hi Eric. 

Just a quick addition to previous email. You asked specifically about women’s music in the last 5 years.

In answer to your question, I do think the music women write is getting out there a lot more - and I think the main reason is women’s musical organisations such as what you are doing. So there is a real push on from various groups to get women’s music performed etc....and I do think it is helping. 

Sadly, I don’t think we are at a point yet where women’s music is getting picked for performances with the ease and frequency that the music men write is.

In this I believe there is a long way to go. 
So I guess I’m saying that music written by women is still not main stream enough.

Have a lovely evening. 

I’ll leave you in peace now.

Thanks so much for all your help. 

With much appreciation.

Colleen
😊🎢

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
On 3 Jun 2020, at 17:59

Hi Colleen,

Many thanks for your answers!

I am a feminist, really. Since I was about 20, as I thought what we need is equality. What's even more, I have more belief in women. Look at this virus crisis. There's quite a discrepancy between countries led by women and by men. Women have done much better. 

Equally, I think in classical music women are much better. I was always bored by men, except for Bach. I was much more into pop music but it's dead, and there's very little interesting pop music of after the Beatles. The sixties were really interesting, musically. And then one day, in October 2017, I first heard Henriette Bosmans, a Dutch composer, and then Fanny Mendelssohn. They really dazzled me. I still cannot understand why it took so long. So, for me it's fighting a gross injustice, the still vast underrepresentation of women composers, because they are women. 

Yes, before WW II women had more chance to get their works performed or recorded. In the 50s there was a concerted drive to get women back to being just housewives in western countries. That was my youth. Only men had jobs. And the classical music lp's had no women composers at all. 

It's great you got to know Violet Archer and others in I assume the 1990s. Via cd? In Canada?

As you more or less point out, in making further progress, our main problem is how to convince men. (Any idea?) I hope you also had male encouragement. In general men still have more power in your world, so strategically that's an important question. Recently DONNE did an online interview with someone who pointed out, after being asked my question, that concerted action can help. I hope we will get towards uniting forces. Together we can achieve more.

To some extent it is a matter of patience. Since I began, less than 3 years ago, there has been an explosion of cd's and YouTube videos. I would guess it's doubling each year. Newspapers have also improved. So in a way there has been giant progress in the last 3 years, and yet it of course seems to get very slow. Also, because there are slow underlying trends, in for instance teaching. Surely teaching women composers has only really started too in the last years, which has a longer-term effect.

Please do tell me how God really got you to the music. How did that divine inspiration work? I'm glad for it. We would probably never have met without it.

I'm not sure young women composers are without doubt of having entered that path. For almost any artist life isn't easy, especially now.

It has though certainly become easier for women composers. I have already got very many born in the 1990s and they are already making an impact. They are changing things. As in a way it's also easier for young women. Because they are young, apart from being talented of course. 

I suppose that's what happens to most people, an unplanned life. 

You have been of great help already, and I hope you will write more. I could even easily ask more questions than I did now.

In the 1980s I got to know the music of Hildegard von Bingen, one of our big women composer stars. So, I have been a fan of her for a very long time. So for me in classical music it was her and Bach. In principle I love baroque music, but all these male works never convinced me. Whereas I know now a lot of excellent baroque music by women.
So well, J S Bach is the big mystery. He was a man, and yet is the best composer of all time. I think he was partly lucky. My great heroine, Fanny Mendelssohn, had 23 years less of life. Less opportunities. She was a fan of Bach. And what to think of the hugely talented Lili Boulanger who died when she was only 24 (1893-1918). She has now found wide recognition, in the last few years.

I'm optimistic. The coming years will bring a further breakthrough, in concert halls. Only two years ago men could think there were only a few women composers, but that time has vanished. And really, through people all over the world. I'm just trying to combine it all a bit, via birthdays. International Women's Day has been hugely incentive in getting works by women performed, in many countries. It is sad it's needed, but it's needed.

One more thing. Do you think it would have been different had you known (Baroque) women composers, in say 1976? As role models.

I hope you don't mind me asking so many questions, and writing so much. But it's not every day you know, getting the chance to interview a woman composer.

Best wishes,
Eric

—————-
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
June 10, 2020 

Hi Eric.

Thanks for your email - and for your interest - I’m happy to be interviewed - so it’s all good. Apologies for delay in reply. I am having a very busy lockdown. I’m teaching music online and writing music etc. - so the days fly by. 

I will try to answer your questions as best I can - pulling from my life experience. 

I must confess I am very intrigued by your findings about pre-WWII women’s experiences. That’s really fascinating.  I must read up on this when I get a moment. 

As to how I discovered Canadian women composers - it actually wasn’t on CDs at all. I was playing their music in a small musical trio I organised. I got the scores from the Canadian Music Centre and started working on them. Jean Coulthard and Violet Archer my favourites. In my youth I spent massive hours in sheet music shops and record stores. Those were the days -! 

As for convincing conductors to perform women’s music - I think this is a tough one. I don’t want to go into details - but had a really bad experience with this a couple of years ago.  

Having said this - I have had amazing support from many men over the years - as teachers, mentors etc. And it’s been wonderful: there are people like you who are just amazing. I suspect we may see a change in the next generation - as women’s music becomes more accessible to people. 

Yes. The younger generation of women are the ones who will bring it home. They know what they are about - they are talented and more doors are opening. So I’m an optimist. 

As for CDs and YouTube videos - yes - a lot more women’s music there - but I feel these types of things - especially YouTube is fairly easy. Most anyone can get a channel and put their music up - it’s the big concert halls - the serious orchestras and choirs etc. that are the real challenge. 

As for God - well that’s a long-term relationship - going back to childhood. To make a long story short I had 2 or 3 very distinct spiritual experiences which directed me first to be a musician and secondly to focus on composing. I mention one of them in the Earmark Interview with the Canadian Music Centre (2017) - the second one happened when I was visiting England. I was attending an evening service at Holy Trinity Brompton (Spring 1995 I think) and I felt completely directed to pursue composing - which up to that time was just something in the background of my life.  I felt this directive was from God - so since then I have made composing a seriously important part of my life....as a means of following God’s will for my life. 

As for Baroque women composers - If I knew about them - I don’t think it would have impacted me much as I was and still am a flute player - up until the 1990s that was my main focus. I still play flute passionately - I really love it - but it now shares its room with composing. They are getting along quite well - so it’s all good. 

As a young flute playing girl with dreams my main focus/concern was that it seemed that mostly men had the flute playing positions in serious orchestras. This has sort of changed - still got a way to go. 

But my attention was on the fact that - The first woman (I think) to join an American orchestra was harpist Edna Phillips, who was accepted into the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930.......and I was born in 1956. So my focus was on the most famous flute players all being men and women breaking into orchestra playing bit by bit. To me as a young person I never thought about the gender of who wrote music - for me it was sort of genderless - my focus was on the flute. 

I know this all sounds rather like a disjointed life - but it is the life I have lived. 
So there we are. 

I hope I have answered most of your questions and I hope it’s not too boring.

Have a lovely day and thanks again for your interest in my musical journey. 

Colleen 
😊🎢
ο»Ώ_
——————

From - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 19 June 2020 at 10:05:03 BST
To: Colleen Muriel 

Subject: My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

Hi Colleen,

Thank you very much again for your answers! It's great to hear from you. I still feel honoured really when a real woman composer writes me. 

I have just finished reading a biography of Henriette Bosmans, 1895-1952, successful as both composer and pianist. And not much fuss was made about her being a woman. 
My impression was that before WW II presenting women's works was nothing unusual at the Proms, to name something else. There were some other big names, like Germaine Tailleferre and Florence Price, who couldn't be ignored. 

But even before WW I it was better than after 1960. Talented women composers got their chances. had their works performed. So it is really wrong to think it was always like 1960-1990, the time in which we grew up. When there were no women composers. Or at least, they didn't get on the 33 rpm lp's. 

From 1960 on there's also an erasure of women from history in general. Only in the last few years we've been learning about female painters, and the great contributions to science by women. For instance, June Almeida, the first person able to observe a coronavirus under a microscope, in 1965. 

Change is always coming down from downwards. We have made great progress on the level of smaller ensembles, the big orchestras already cannot ignore women composers anymore so I predict good progress in the coming years. There has been progress on teaching level. 

Nice thought, that the younger generation of women composers will "bring it home." Let's indeed hope that they are bringing it home. I'm optimistic, even in 3 years’ time there will have been great progress. 

Very sorry to read about that very bad orchestra experience.

Could you tell me more about that serendipitous meeting with another composer? 

How did you market yourself as a composer in these early days? Especially for artists 'selling' oneself is very important. And when and how did you adopt the internet? 

I hope you don't mind me asking more questions. I'm glad you're still busy with teaching, composing and other things. So there's no hurry at all. 


Best wishes,
Eric


From - Colleen Muriel
To Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 19 June 2020 at 11:27:21 BST
To: Eric Ruijssenaars 

Subject: My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

Hi  Eric.

Thanks so much for your email and for your interest in women’s music. You actually make a good point about women before WWII. 

I realise it’s a different area of music - and perhaps a different world - but in the area of church hymns there are a couple of really big names - such as Cecil Frances Alexander (April 1818 – 12 October 1895) and Frances Jane van Alstyne - known as Fanny Crosby (née Crosby; March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915)   with their texts still in modern hymnbooks. These 2 women are viewed within the history of hymns as being extremely important. They were published during their lifetime - and seriously respected.  They wrote words - not music (as far as I know - but I could be wrong - they might have written some music as well). 

In comparison I feel it is now harder for women who write hymns or hymn tunes to be taken seriously - but so could be wrong about this. It just might be my personal feelings. 

I will just mention I was pleasantly surprised this summer when Laurence Wareing - an editor for Singing The Faith - a Hymnbook of the Methodist Church - interviewed me a couple of months ago. I was really surprised - as after a lifetime having my hymn tunes ignored -   by the church establishment (so to speak) it was a welcome change of pace. See artic
le  http://www.hymns-colleenmuriel.ca/

You mentioned in a previous email if I encountered the music of Canadian women composers in the 1990’s through CDs and my reply was - no I found the music in libraries and Canadian Music Centre etc. This is completely true - it’s also completely true that there were not many recordings of women’s music in Canada at all at that time. I remember finding one really bad recording of something - and I just thought - forget it - I’ll just work from the score. So I did. I think in Canada - and I could be wrong about this - but it seems to me it was in the late 90s and early 21st century that people in Canada started seriously recording the music of Canadian women composers. 

Now you can get good recordings of many works by Canadian women through commercial labels or the libraries or Canadian Music Centre. So things have changed. 

One of my favourite comments (yes, I have a sense of humour - it does help) came from one conductor who said ‘yes the music does work - but let’s set a date so we can sit down and I will tell you everything that’s wrong with your piece’.  

I personally feel that 2 areas of writing (hymn writing and orchestration) which seem to have ignored women for years are two areas which are now slowly opening up - so I am very encouraged by this. 

As for marketing - I’m not very good at this. And must confess due to being a rather private person I shy away from too much of this. 

The truth of my life is I have done a lot of advertising for music lessons, ballet work etc. due to the need to pay bills. Composing for me has always been something I have done on the side of working for a living...and thus I haven’t really advertised much at all. 

Mostly - Over the course of my lifetime people have come to me and said why don’t you do this or that and when I have followed through often it works. For example, the reason we met is because my friend L.P. emailed me and said ‘why not look into this’.  So I sent you an email and here we are. So glad we met. You are a STAR
🌟🌟🌟The same thing happened with Laurence Wareing. This is often the way with me.  In fact, I just realised that just about everything mentioned below is a result of someone saying ‘why don’t you do this?’

Of course - My main interest throughout my life has been to write music for groups of people I’m either playing with or teaching etc. This is how it started - and how I hope to continue. I have written lots of music for ballet accompanists, hymn tunes for church, choir music for church choirs, flute music for my students and myself to perform, piano solos for pianist friends etc. Since I work in music circles often friends of friends will ask me to arrange or write a piece for them....and so I do. 

This also serves as marketing on a local level - as people who come to concerts - where a piece I’ve written in performed - it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s one of my students performing or me or some super professional player/singer. People like to meet the composer etc. This I find is really effective. People want to know who’s in their group, community etc. it’s a great way to meet people and make friends and also say ‘yes I wrote this piece’. So it brings a type of awareness as to who you are and what you are doing.

I’ve also joined groups such as the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the Canadian Music Centre, Women in Music U.K. and some really good opportunities come up through these various groups - so I just check things out as I go along. 

I have a website - got that in 2003 and sort of started with the internet around that same time. I think my You Tube Channel happened around 2007 or there-abouts. 
I also sell music on various sites - including my own (
elflauto.ca), Amazon and Tutti Classical Music, All Flutes Plus etc and I do think this all helps. 

I have had an unplanned but incredibly serendipitous life. As for a serendipitous meeting with a composer in the mid 1990’s. That was with Dr. David Duke who I met thanks to a phone conversation with his teacher Jean Coulthard - Dr. David Duke was doing his Doctoral studies on Jean Coulthard’s compositions. 

I was playing some music by Coulthard and we both lived in the greater Vancouver area - so I phoned her - we got talking and she suggested I study composing with David Duke. I phoned David and then studied with him for many years. I think he is a gifted and brilliant teacher - and I don’t think serious composing for me would have gotten off the ground - but for him. I actually really miss studying with him. He has an amazing understanding of including historical forms - which I feel are very important and often neglected. 

So there we are for now. Hope the summer is going well for you so far. Here in Molesey, Surrey it’s pouring rain. 

With many thanks again for your interest in my musical adventures. 

Till soon.

Colleen
😊🎢
————
Begin forwarded message:

From - Colleen Muriel 
To - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 22 June 2020 at 07:38:25 BST

Subject: Quick Question - I hope

ο»Ώ_Good Morning Eric. 

I had a thought this past weekend. Not sure if this would interest you - no worries if not - just thought I would ask. 

I felt our emails were fascinating and might interest people. You have a wealth of knowledge about women composers that might interest people. It certainly was interesting to me. 

So - I wondered if you would be open to my putting our emails together in a type of edited conversation on my website with a link to DONNE Women in Music, or any other website that you would like. I’m thinking this would go on my home page below my bio - sort of in addition to the Canadian Music Centre interview that is there now. 

I would take out some of my overly personal comments about orchestras and my experience with the Christian worship concert - and maybe edit things slightly - you could take out or add whatever you would like as well. 

I hope I’m not being too presumptuous - I would of course send everything to you before putting anything in my site - this way you can let me know if you want to take anything out or add anything.

So....?? Would this interest you - or perhaps not. I’m fine either way. I just thought there were some really interesting things in our conversation that might be of interest to others.

Again. Thanks so much for your interest in women’s music.

Have a lovely day. 

Till soon.

Colleen 
🎢😊
Sent from my iPad

From - Eric Ruijssenaars 
To - Colleen Muriel 
Date: 22 June 2020 at 11:07:53 BST

Subject: Re:  My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

ο»Ώ_
Hi Colleen,

Many thanks again, for your last very interesting mail. And for your latest mail. I have no objection to you publishing our correspondence.

How very nice you have spoken with Jean Coulthard! 

Pretty soon in late 2017 I got to know the main old Canadian women composers, like for instance Violet Archer. A great trio of the old ladies died in 2000, and my impression was that by then they were quite well-known names in Canada. But even you only got to know them in the 1990s. 

I have Fanny Crosby in my list of composers:
24 March 1820 b Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby (Brewster, New York, United States)
12 February 1915 d Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby (Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States)
YouTube, Spotify – very many gospels and hymns
Cecil Alexander will be a text writer. 

My list has 8 hymn composers, which is incomplete, as it only covers those who merely did hymns. I haven't got you as a hymn composer, as you do a lot of other genres too. 

I presume Christian music organizers just reflect the general trend. It depends on one’s particular faith. I’ve seen a giant amount of modern religious music, or heard of course rather by women.

Thank you for the 3 stars! But I’m just a humble servant really. And I can happily stay in the background.

Best Wishes, Eric

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Earmark with Colleen Muriel (interview February 14, 2017 with Matthew Fava of the Canadian Music Centre)
Click here to read the full article.
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Choice Classics On Marlow 97.5 FM - June 9, 2013 (2-4 pm)
featuring the the music of Colleen Muriel
Canadian composer Colleen Muriel introduces her piece 'Pliés for Monday' ahead of the premiere as part of Maria's '7 Notes in 7 Days.
Recorded July 20, 2020

To find out more about Colleen's music, check out this link:
https://acwc.ca/members/colleen-muriel/
Celia Jones talks to local flautist and composer Colleen Muriel, mezzo-soprano Alison Wheeler and organist Julian Callows about their new Christmas CD, supporting the Sam Beare Hospice, Weybridge, and playing extracts.unnamed
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Colleen Muriel (M.A. – music, B. Music, FRSM, FTCL, ARCT) is a Canadian composer living in London, England. The first two concerts of Colleen’s compositions were given in 1997 and 1998 in Vancouver, Canada. Since then her music has been performed and recorded in Canada, the USA, UK, Western Europe, Bulgaria, Australia, Asia (including Vietnam and Japan), and Brazil. 
 
Her music has been featured on a number of radio stations and also been performed at The 15th London New Wind Festival; Sonic Boom (Vancouver Pro Musica); Women Composers Festival of Hartford, USA; Diamond Jubilee Concert (in honour of Queen Elizabeth's 50 year reign - London);  and Music Fest Aberystwyth, Wales.
 
In addition her music is included in the Contemporary Showcase Syllabus of the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects (ACNMP) and the Compendium Musicae Flauta (the first international catalogue of flute music by women composers).
 
 She has written and/or arranged well over 600 pieces of music for various instruments and ensembles ranging in style from simple folk melodies to the avant-garde. These works include chamber music (instrumental), a chamber opera, orchestra and choir music, string quartets, solo music for piano, flute, singers as well as hymn tunes. 
 
She has published (El Flauto Records) a large number of sheet music books and CDs, all containing original compositions and/or arrangements.
Stacks Image 21211
A Conversation with Researcher and Historian – Eric Ruijssenaars (2020) DONNE Women in Music, ‘Hall of Fame’.

Click here to read the full article.

A Conversation with Researcher and Historian –
Eric Ruijssenaars (2020)

DONNE Women in Music, ‘Hall of Fame’.


In 2020 - in the shadow of COVID-19 and Lockdowns I had the privilege of speaking with Eric Ruijssenaars in ongoing email correspondence. He asked about my musical journeys and life experiences and shared some of his research findings with me. 

Eric is a Dutch historian who (prior to his current impressive research on women composers) spent many years on researching the history of Charlotte and Emily Brontë in Brussels, resulting in two books and many articles which were a great step forward in the research of that part of the sisters’ lives. 

I found much of what he had to say very fascinating and thus thought it might be of interest to others. 

The following is part of our conversation............
—————————————————

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 29. 2020

ο»Ώ‘ Dear Colleen,

Many congratulations with your birthday. I hope you do have a pleasant birthday, despite the troublesome times.

I am happy to say that this time you are on the DONNE blog:
https://donne365.blogspot.com/2020/05/composers-of-week-from-23-to-29-may.html

Composers of the week: From 23 to 29 May | DONNE365
Every Friday in 2020 we will post the composers from the last 7 days. In these posts, you can also find the link to the composers we presented in 2019.

donne365.blogspot.com
I really enjoyed your music when preparing this day. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to more.

I am very glad to have you now in our sort of Hall of Fame too. 

Kind regards,
Eric
————-
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
May 29, 2020

Dear Eric. 

Thanks so very, very much for this. 

So very pleased to be part of it all. An amazing privilege. 

With mega appreciation for all you do. 

Thank you. Thank you. 

Colleen
😊🎢

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 29. 2020

ο»Ώ Dear Colleen,

Many congratulations with your birthday. I hope you do have a pleasant birthday, despite the troublesome times.

I am happy to say that this time you are on the DONNE blog:
https://donne365.blogspot.com/2020/05/composers-of-week-from-23-to-29-may.html
Composers of the week: From 23 to 29 May | DONNE365
Every Friday in 2020 we will post the composers from the last 7 days. In these posts, you can also find the link to the composers we presented in 2019.

donne365.blogspot.com
I really enjoyed your music when preparing this day. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to more.

I am very glad to have you now in our sort of Hall of Fame too. 

Kind regards,
Eric

From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
May 29, 2020

Dear Eric. 

Thanks so very, very much for this. 

So very pleased to be part of it all. An amazing privilege. 

With mega appreciation for all you do. 

Thank you. Thank you. 

Colleen
😊🎢

From- Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
May 30, 2020 

Dear Colleen,

Thank you very much for your ever so kind words. I forwarded your mail to my partner and founder of DONNE and she will certainly be pleased with your encouraging message too.

Gabriella has started to do online interviews with interesting people, adapting to this new time. So far it was very interesting and useful, as our goal is of course a fair representation for women composers. Which is 50-50. Next week there'll be two more interviews. 

I would very much like to hear from you about your thoughts about this struggle for women composers. And perhaps if things you think have changed in the last 5 years. Or how hard it was before that. I'm a historian, weirdly trying to understand why it took till 2017 before I discovered women composers. I'm a bit younger than you, from 1963, so we both grew up in that time of lp’s, with 0% women composers.

It is my belief that before WW II it was quite a lot better for women composers. I hope you don't mind me asking, but I am really interested in what it was like for you.

Best wishes, and stay safe and well,
Eric
——————————
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
June 2, 2020

Hi Eric.

Thanks so much for your interest in the various life journeys of women composers. I must say I am intrigued by your comment that it was easier for women composers before WW II. That would be an absolutely fascinating area of study. WOW.

As for my own life - yes - I was born and grew up in the age of LPs, 78s, and the Beatles. My early years were very traditional and conservative and I personally had no ambition in general about music - however I did love music (still do) and listened to massive numbers of hours (LPs) of mostly Baroque (Bach a favourite) and Renaissance Music - played on historical instruments. My family thought I was living in the wrong historical period - but I didn’t care.

The truth is I never thought about a career in music at all (I still don’t) - I had a number of non-music jobs in my 20s - just wanted to pay the bills - but I was always playing music on the side - so people kept asking me to play for this or that - or teach etc. 

There were a number of influences and things that happened (including I believe - a calling from God) and to make a long story short I ended up teaching music for a living in my 30s. During this same time period I also started writing music for my students: so I do think this is where it sort of started for me.

Then in the early 1990s (my mid - 30s) I started studying composing (for the first time) due to a serendipitous meeting with another composer who I ended up studying with for a number of years. During the course of this study, I came across some amazing Canadian women composers (such as Violet Archer) and I performed a lot of their music.

And now here we are. This is the story of what I view to be an unplanned life - I’m always so impressed by young women today who know exactly what they want and just go for it.

As for the struggle to be heard (musically speaking) I know it’s not popular to think this way - but I just accept that men get more breaks and opportunities than women and I also accept that aggressive women get farther than the quieter ones. That’s the way of the world. For me - I am just so thankful to be writing and performing music - I can’t imagine a better life.

I’m not a feminist- but have enjoyed living in countries where women have incredible opportunities. So I count my blessings.

I don’t really compete to have my music performed much at all - just very occasionally. I tend to write for groups I play in or teach or for a particular event - that sort of thing. Due to this and by the grace of God - a certain amount of performing of my little tunes is ongoing and has been ongoing in small ways for many years. 

As for the challenges of the last 5 years I don’t know what I think. I must say my biggest frustration over the course of a lifetime is not being taken seriously.

I suspect this is not quite the life story you expected - but it is true. 

I wish I could be more help. You mentioned you finally discovered women composers in 2017 - I guess I came across them in a serious way for the first time in the 1990s when I started to study composing.

So there we are Eric. I really applaud all you are doing. Thank you for everything.

Have a lovely week.

With appreciation.

Colleen Muriel 
😊🎢

ο»Ώ_——————-
From - Colleen Muriel 
To - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Verzonden: dinsdag 2 juni 2020 19:13

Onderwerp: My life as a composer etc

Hi Eric. 

Just a quick addition to previous email. You asked specifically about women’s music in the last 5 years.

In answer to your question, I do think the music women write is getting out there a lot more - and I think the main reason is women’s musical organisations such as what you are doing. So there is a real push on from various groups to get women’s music performed etc....and I do think it is helping. 

Sadly, I don’t think we are at a point yet where women’s music is getting picked for performances with the ease and frequency that the music men write is.

In this I believe there is a long way to go. 
So I guess I’m saying that music written by women is still not main stream enough.

Have a lovely evening. 

I’ll leave you in peace now.

Thanks so much for all your help. 

With much appreciation.

Colleen
😊🎢

From - Eric Ruijssenaars
To - Colleen Muriel 
On 3 Jun 2020, at 17:59

Hi Colleen,

Many thanks for your answers!

I am a feminist, really. Since I was about 20, as I thought what we need is equality. What's even more, I have more belief in women. Look at this virus crisis. There's quite a discrepancy between countries led by women and by men. Women have done much better. 

Equally, I think in classical music women are much better. I was always bored by men, except for Bach. I was much more into pop music but it's dead, and there's very little interesting pop music of after the Beatles. The sixties were really interesting, musically. And then one day, in October 2017, I first heard Henriette Bosmans, a Dutch composer, and then Fanny Mendelssohn. They really dazzled me. I still cannot understand why it took so long. So, for me it's fighting a gross injustice, the still vast underrepresentation of women composers, because they are women. 

Yes, before WW II women had more chance to get their works performed or recorded. In the 50s there was a concerted drive to get women back to being just housewives in western countries. That was my youth. Only men had jobs. And the classical music lp's had no women composers at all. 

It's great you got to know Violet Archer and others in I assume the 1990s. Via cd? In Canada?

As you more or less point out, in making further progress, our main problem is how to convince men. (Any idea?) I hope you also had male encouragement. In general men still have more power in your world, so strategically that's an important question. Recently DONNE did an online interview with someone who pointed out, after being asked my question, that concerted action can help. I hope we will get towards uniting forces. Together we can achieve more.

To some extent it is a matter of patience. Since I began, less than 3 years ago, there has been an explosion of cd's and YouTube videos. I would guess it's doubling each year. Newspapers have also improved. So in a way there has been giant progress in the last 3 years, and yet it of course seems to get very slow. Also, because there are slow underlying trends, in for instance teaching. Surely teaching women composers has only really started too in the last years, which has a longer-term effect.

Please do tell me how God really got you to the music. How did that divine inspiration work? I'm glad for it. We would probably never have met without it.

I'm not sure young women composers are without doubt of having entered that path. For almost any artist life isn't easy, especially now.

It has though certainly become easier for women composers. I have already got very many born in the 1990s and they are already making an impact. They are changing things. As in a way it's also easier for young women. Because they are young, apart from being talented of course. 

I suppose that's what happens to most people, an unplanned life. 

You have been of great help already, and I hope you will write more. I could even easily ask more questions than I did now.

In the 1980s I got to know the music of Hildegard von Bingen, one of our big women composer stars. So, I have been a fan of her for a very long time. So for me in classical music it was her and Bach. In principle I love baroque music, but all these male works never convinced me. Whereas I know now a lot of excellent baroque music by women.
So well, J S Bach is the big mystery. He was a man, and yet is the best composer of all time. I think he was partly lucky. My great heroine, Fanny Mendelssohn, had 23 years less of life. Less opportunities. She was a fan of Bach. And what to think of the hugely talented Lili Boulanger who died when she was only 24 (1893-1918). She has now found wide recognition, in the last few years.

I'm optimistic. The coming years will bring a further breakthrough, in concert halls. Only two years ago men could think there were only a few women composers, but that time has vanished. And really, through people all over the world. I'm just trying to combine it all a bit, via birthdays. International Women's Day has been hugely incentive in getting works by women performed, in many countries. It is sad it's needed, but it's needed.

One more thing. Do you think it would have been different had you known (Baroque) women composers, in say 1976? As role models.

I hope you don't mind me asking so many questions, and writing so much. But it's not every day you know, getting the chance to interview a woman composer.

Best wishes,
Eric

—————-
From - Colleen Muriel
To - Eric Ruijssenaars
June 10, 2020 

Hi Eric.

Thanks for your email - and for your interest - I’m happy to be interviewed - so it’s all good. Apologies for delay in reply. I am having a very busy lockdown. I’m teaching music online and writing music etc. - so the days fly by. 

I will try to answer your questions as best I can - pulling from my life experience. 

I must confess I am very intrigued by your findings about pre-WWII women’s experiences. That’s really fascinating.  I must read up on this when I get a moment. 

As to how I discovered Canadian women composers - it actually wasn’t on CDs at all. I was playing their music in a small musical trio I organised. I got the scores from the Canadian Music Centre and started working on them. Jean Coulthard and Violet Archer my favourites. In my youth I spent massive hours in sheet music shops and record stores. Those were the days -! 

As for convincing conductors to perform women’s music - I think this is a tough one. I don’t want to go into details - but had a really bad experience with this a couple of years ago.  

Having said this - I have had amazing support from many men over the years - as teachers, mentors etc. And it’s been wonderful: there are people like you who are just amazing. I suspect we may see a change in the next generation - as women’s music becomes more accessible to people. 

Yes. The younger generation of women are the ones who will bring it home. They know what they are about - they are talented and more doors are opening. So I’m an optimist. 

As for CDs and YouTube videos - yes - a lot more women’s music there - but I feel these types of things - especially YouTube is fairly easy. Most anyone can get a channel and put their music up - it’s the big concert halls - the serious orchestras and choirs etc. that are the real challenge. 

As for God - well that’s a long-term relationship - going back to childhood. To make a long story short I had 2 or 3 very distinct spiritual experiences which directed me first to be a musician and secondly to focus on composing. I mention one of them in the Earmark Interview with the Canadian Music Centre (2017) - the second one happened when I was visiting England. I was attending an evening service at Holy Trinity Brompton (Spring 1995 I think) and I felt completely directed to pursue composing - which up to that time was just something in the background of my life.  I felt this directive was from God - so since then I have made composing a seriously important part of my life....as a means of following God’s will for my life. 

As for Baroque women composers - If I knew about them - I don’t think it would have impacted me much as I was and still am a flute player - up until the 1990s that was my main focus. I still play flute passionately - I really love it - but it now shares its room with composing. They are getting along quite well - so it’s all good. 

As a young flute playing girl with dreams my main focus/concern was that it seemed that mostly men had the flute playing positions in serious orchestras. This has sort of changed - still got a way to go. 

But my attention was on the fact that - The first woman (I think) to join an American orchestra was harpist Edna Phillips, who was accepted into the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930.......and I was born in 1956. So my focus was on the most famous flute players all being men and women breaking into orchestra playing bit by bit. To me as a young person I never thought about the gender of who wrote music - for me it was sort of genderless - my focus was on the flute. 

I know this all sounds rather like a disjointed life - but it is the life I have lived. 
So there we are. 

I hope I have answered most of your questions and I hope it’s not too boring.

Have a lovely day and thanks again for your interest in my musical journey. 

Colleen 
😊🎢
ο»Ώ_
——————

From - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 19 June 2020 at 10:05:03 BST
To: Colleen Muriel 

Subject: My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

Hi Colleen,

Thank you very much again for your answers! It's great to hear from you. I still feel honoured really when a real woman composer writes me. 

I have just finished reading a biography of Henriette Bosmans, 1895-1952, successful as both composer and pianist. And not much fuss was made about her being a woman. 
My impression was that before WW II presenting women's works was nothing unusual at the Proms, to name something else. There were some other big names, like Germaine Tailleferre and Florence Price, who couldn't be ignored. 

But even before WW I it was better than after 1960. Talented women composers got their chances. had their works performed. So it is really wrong to think it was always like 1960-1990, the time in which we grew up. When there were no women composers. Or at least, they didn't get on the 33 rpm lp's. 

From 1960 on there's also an erasure of women from history in general. Only in the last few years we've been learning about female painters, and the great contributions to science by women. For instance, June Almeida, the first person able to observe a coronavirus under a microscope, in 1965. 

Change is always coming down from downwards. We have made great progress on the level of smaller ensembles, the big orchestras already cannot ignore women composers anymore so I predict good progress in the coming years. There has been progress on teaching level. 

Nice thought, that the younger generation of women composers will "bring it home." Let's indeed hope that they are bringing it home. I'm optimistic, even in 3 years’ time there will have been great progress. 

Very sorry to read about that very bad orchestra experience.

Could you tell me more about that serendipitous meeting with another composer? 

How did you market yourself as a composer in these early days? Especially for artists 'selling' oneself is very important. And when and how did you adopt the internet? 

I hope you don't mind me asking more questions. I'm glad you're still busy with teaching, composing and other things. So there's no hurry at all. 


Best wishes,
Eric


From - Colleen Muriel
To Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 19 June 2020 at 11:27:21 BST
To: Eric Ruijssenaars 

Subject: My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

Hi  Eric.

Thanks so much for your email and for your interest in women’s music. You actually make a good point about women before WWII. 

I realise it’s a different area of music - and perhaps a different world - but in the area of church hymns there are a couple of really big names - such as Cecil Frances Alexander (April 1818 – 12 October 1895) and Frances Jane van Alstyne - known as Fanny Crosby (née Crosby; March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915)   with their texts still in modern hymnbooks. These 2 women are viewed within the history of hymns as being extremely important. They were published during their lifetime - and seriously respected.  They wrote words - not music (as far as I know - but I could be wrong - they might have written some music as well). 

In comparison I feel it is now harder for women who write hymns or hymn tunes to be taken seriously - but so could be wrong about this. It just might be my personal feelings. 

I will just mention I was pleasantly surprised this summer when Laurence Wareing - an editor for Singing The Faith - a Hymnbook of the Methodist Church - interviewed me a couple of months ago. I was really surprised - as after a lifetime having my hymn tunes ignored -   by the church establishment (so to speak) it was a welcome change of pace. See artic
le  http://www.hymns-colleenmuriel.ca/

You mentioned in a previous email if I encountered the music of Canadian women composers in the 1990’s through CDs and my reply was - no I found the music in libraries and Canadian Music Centre etc. This is completely true - it’s also completely true that there were not many recordings of women’s music in Canada at all at that time. I remember finding one really bad recording of something - and I just thought - forget it - I’ll just work from the score. So I did. I think in Canada - and I could be wrong about this - but it seems to me it was in the late 90s and early 21st century that people in Canada started seriously recording the music of Canadian women composers. 

Now you can get good recordings of many works by Canadian women through commercial labels or the libraries or Canadian Music Centre. So things have changed. 

One of my favourite comments (yes, I have a sense of humour - it does help) came from one conductor who said ‘yes the music does work - but let’s set a date so we can sit down and I will tell you everything that’s wrong with your piece’.  

I personally feel that 2 areas of writing (hymn writing and orchestration) which seem to have ignored women for years are two areas which are now slowly opening up - so I am very encouraged by this. 

As for marketing - I’m not very good at this. And must confess due to being a rather private person I shy away from too much of this. 

The truth of my life is I have done a lot of advertising for music lessons, ballet work etc. due to the need to pay bills. Composing for me has always been something I have done on the side of working for a living...and thus I haven’t really advertised much at all. 

Mostly - Over the course of my lifetime people have come to me and said why don’t you do this or that and when I have followed through often it works. For example, the reason we met is because my friend L.P. emailed me and said ‘why not look into this’.  So I sent you an email and here we are. So glad we met. You are a STAR
🌟🌟🌟The same thing happened with Laurence Wareing. This is often the way with me.  In fact, I just realised that just about everything mentioned below is a result of someone saying ‘why don’t you do this?’

Of course - My main interest throughout my life has been to write music for groups of people I’m either playing with or teaching etc. This is how it started - and how I hope to continue. I have written lots of music for ballet accompanists, hymn tunes for church, choir music for church choirs, flute music for my students and myself to perform, piano solos for pianist friends etc. Since I work in music circles often friends of friends will ask me to arrange or write a piece for them....and so I do. 

This also serves as marketing on a local level - as people who come to concerts - where a piece I’ve written in performed - it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s one of my students performing or me or some super professional player/singer. People like to meet the composer etc. This I find is really effective. People want to know who’s in their group, community etc. it’s a great way to meet people and make friends and also say ‘yes I wrote this piece’. So it brings a type of awareness as to who you are and what you are doing.

I’ve also joined groups such as the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the Canadian Music Centre, Women in Music U.K. and some really good opportunities come up through these various groups - so I just check things out as I go along. 

I have a website - got that in 2003 and sort of started with the internet around that same time. I think my You Tube Channel happened around 2007 or there-abouts. 
I also sell music on various sites - including my own (
elflauto.ca), Amazon and Tutti Classical Music, All Flutes Plus etc and I do think this all helps. 

I have had an unplanned but incredibly serendipitous life. As for a serendipitous meeting with a composer in the mid 1990’s. That was with Dr. David Duke who I met thanks to a phone conversation with his teacher Jean Coulthard - Dr. David Duke was doing his Doctoral studies on Jean Coulthard’s compositions. 

I was playing some music by Coulthard and we both lived in the greater Vancouver area - so I phoned her - we got talking and she suggested I study composing with David Duke. I phoned David and then studied with him for many years. I think he is a gifted and brilliant teacher - and I don’t think serious composing for me would have gotten off the ground - but for him. I actually really miss studying with him. He has an amazing understanding of including historical forms - which I feel are very important and often neglected. 

So there we are for now. Hope the summer is going well for you so far. Here in Molesey, Surrey it’s pouring rain. 

With many thanks again for your interest in my musical adventures. 

Till soon.

Colleen
😊🎢
————
Begin forwarded message:

From - Colleen Muriel 
To - Eric Ruijssenaars 
Date: 22 June 2020 at 07:38:25 BST

Subject: Quick Question - I hope

ο»Ώ_Good Morning Eric. 

I had a thought this past weekend. Not sure if this would interest you - no worries if not - just thought I would ask. 

I felt our emails were fascinating and might interest people. You have a wealth of knowledge about women composers that might interest people. It certainly was interesting to me. 

So - I wondered if you would be open to my putting our emails together in a type of edited conversation on my website with a link to DONNE Women in Music, or any other website that you would like. I’m thinking this would go on my home page below my bio - sort of in addition to the Canadian Music Centre interview that is there now. 

I would take out some of my overly personal comments about orchestras and my experience with the Christian worship concert - and maybe edit things slightly - you could take out or add whatever you would like as well. 

I hope I’m not being too presumptuous - I would of course send everything to you before putting anything in my site - this way you can let me know if you want to take anything out or add anything.

So....?? Would this interest you - or perhaps not. I’m fine either way. I just thought there were some really interesting things in our conversation that might be of interest to others.

Again. Thanks so much for your interest in women’s music.

Have a lovely day. 

Till soon.

Colleen 
🎢😊
Sent from my iPad

From - Eric Ruijssenaars 
To - Colleen Muriel 
Date: 22 June 2020 at 11:07:53 BST

Subject: Re:  My life as a composer - the ongoing conversation

ο»Ώ_
Hi Colleen,

Many thanks again, for your last very interesting mail. And for your latest mail. I have no objection to you publishing our correspondence.

How very nice you have spoken with Jean Coulthard! 

Pretty soon in late 2017 I got to know the main old Canadian women composers, like for instance Violet Archer. A great trio of the old ladies died in 2000, and my impression was that by then they were quite well-known names in Canada. But even you only got to know them in the 1990s. 

I have Fanny Crosby in my list of composers:
24 March 1820 b Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby (Brewster, New York, United States)
12 February 1915 d Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby (Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States)
YouTube, Spotify – very many gospels and hymns
Cecil Alexander will be a text writer. 

My list has 8 hymn composers, which is incomplete, as it only covers those who merely did hymns. I haven't got you as a hymn composer, as you do a lot of other genres too. 

I presume Christian music organizers just reflect the general trend. It depends on one’s particular faith. I’ve seen a giant amount of modern religious music, or heard of course rather by women.

Thank you for the 3 stars! But I’m just a humble servant really. And I can happily stay in the background.

Best Wishes, Eric

Colleen Muriel

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Earmark with Colleen Muriel (interview February 14, 2017 with Matthew Fava of the Canadian Music Centre)
Click here to read the full article.
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Choice Classics On Marlow 97.5 FM - June 9, 2013 (2-4 pm)
featuring the the music of Colleen Muriel
Canadian composer Colleen Muriel introduces her piece 'Pliés for Monday' ahead of the premiere as part of Maria's '7 Notes in 7 Days.
Recorded July 20, 2020

To find out more about Colleen's music, check out this link:
https://acwc.ca/members/colleen-muriel/

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Celia Jones talks to local flautist and composer Colleen Muriel, mezzo-soprano Alison Wheeler and organist Julian Callows about their new Christmas CD, supporting the Sam Beare Hospice, Weybridge, and playing extracts.unnamed
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