Canadian-American composer Emily Doolittle was born in Nova Scotia in 1972 and educated at Dalhousie University, the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, Indiana University and Princeton. Since 2008 she has been Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
She has written for such ensembles as Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Albany Symphony, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, the Motion Ensemble and Meduse, and such soloists as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc, Janice Jackson, Patricia Green and Helen Pridmore, pianists Rachel Iwaasa and Ruth Rose, viola d’amorist Thomas Georgi and viola da gambist Karin Preslmayr.
Her doctoral research was on the relationship between bird and other animal songs and human music, a field in which she continues to be active. Other interests include the traditional music of various cultures, community music-making, and music as a vehicle for social change.
“As I was listening to the Doolittle piece, I had the particularly odd experience one has when the evening bird and insect sounds outside suddenly become very active. These fit so easily into the piece, I actually had to stop to be sure they weren’t part of the recording.
Fitting, then, that Doolittle’s note mentions her interest in natural imagery and soundscapes, both of the poem and of Nova Scotia and Seattle, where both Doolittle and Bishop spent time. The piece was even effective with the window closed.”
Erin Heisel, American Record Guide