Colleen is the alias of French musician Cécile Schott, who over the course of five albums has consistently reinvented herself by taking acoustic instruments out of their usual context and pushing the boundaries of their playability, with compositions ranging from the mysterious and contemplative to kinetic and playful.
Colleen has played live all over Europe, the US, Japan, Brazil and Singapore, giving more than 200 concerts in prestigious venues and festivals such as Moogfest, Big Ears Festival, Mutek, Transmediale, Villette Sonique, Rewire and many more. From 2003 to 2007, she released three albums on The Leaf Label. While Everyone Alive Wants Answers (2003) was made up entirely of acoustic samples taken from her eclectic record collection, The Golden Morning Breaks (2005) saw her exploring a wide range of acoustic instruments which she all played herself. In 2006 French radio station France Culture’s commission for a “radiophonic workshop” became the Colleen et les Boîtes à Musique EP, focusing on the sound world of music boxes. 2007’s Les Ondes Silencieuses fulfilled her dream of making a modern album using almost exclusively baroque instruments (viola da gamba, spinet, clarinet, classical guitar and crystal glasses). After a break from recording and touring, Colleen returned with The Weighing of the Heart in May 2013 on Second Language, with a significant shift in approach, focusing on the voice and on a more colorful and rhythmic approach, still using a wide variety of instruments and introducing a modified treble viola da gamba. Her fifth album Captain of None, released on Thrill Jockey in 2015, is the most melodic in her repertoire, with fast-paced tracks rooted by prominent bass lines and her instruments of choice, the treble viola da gamba and her voice. It features delicately crafted, other-worldly pop songs incorporating dub-inspired techniques.
She will release her 6th album this fall on Thrill Jockey, this time focusing on electronics and voice.