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Kye Marshall: Biography

Kye Marshall
1943 -
Region: Ontario

Kye Marshall

Kye is a professional cellist and composer of both classical and jazz music and an avant garde improviser. She has produced five CDs: Standard Time, a compilation of jazz standards; Winter's End and Say When, original jazz compositions with Don Thompson and In the Moment and Chiaroscuro, spontaneous compositions with Thomas Baker.

Kye's compositions have been heard on television and radio, in films, dance performances and theatre and in various Toronto venues such as Glenn Gould Studios, Harbourfront, NY Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Music Gallery as well as in Austria and the United States.

An eclectic performer, Kye has played jazz, classical and free music in numerous venues from Roy Thomson Hall to the Rex Tavern with various ensembles including her jazz quartet, the Epic String Quartet, the National Ballet Orchestra, and the Baker\Marshall Duo.

Kye also uses her improvisational skills as a music psychotherapist.

Kye Marshall's classical compositions are influenced by her work as a jazz musician, a free improviser, a music psychotherapist and a classical performer. They incorporate the melodic angularity, harmonic colour and rhythmic vitality of the jazz idiom, and, inspired by free improvisation, a strong sense of colour, emotional intensity, and form based on process rather than structure. In her jazz compositions, her classical background is evidenced in her use of the tone row, varied formal structures and unusual instrumentation.

Another influence is her work as a music psychotherapist where her improvisations with clients inspire her compositions with an emotional freshness and immediacy. They give a new perspective to polyphonic writing through a multi layering of contrasting, sometimes conflicting, voices.

Sept. 2005

List of Works

*Please note that the works listed below may not be available through the CMC. Check our catalogue to see what has been deposited by this composer.


Three Movements for String Orchestra (2002)
Commissioned by Hemispheres Orchestra through the Toronto Arts Council. Professional Reading by Symphony London through the CMC

Variations on a Canadian Theme (1986)
For junior string orchestra. Premiered in Austria Commissioned by Alliance for Canadian New Music through the Ontario Arts Council.

Orchestra with Soloist

Concerto for Bass Trombone and String Orchestra (1982)
Premiered at the Glenn Gould Studios Commissioned by John Capon

Chamber Works

Reflections: Four Movements for Brass Quintet (2000)
Commissioned by the Trillium Brass Quintet.

Interact. Four Movements for String Quartet (1999)
Premiered at St. Edwards School. Commissioned by The Toronto Symphony Education Programs

Canonac Three Movements for Piano, Violin and Cello. (1999)
Premiered at the Sheraton Hotel Auditorium, Toronto.

We Make the Air: Elegy for Lina Chartrand (1997)
For contralto and string quartet, Commissioned by the Company of Sirens. Premiered at Bloor St United Church, Toronto

A full length composition for clarinet, piano and violin trio. Commissioned by the Bob Misky Trio. Premiered at the North York Centre For The Performing Arts.

Little Miss Easter Seals (1992)
For Solo cello, commissioned by CBC Radio Morningside Drama

Moon Saga (1990)
For flute, cello and piano. Commissioned by Ardeleana Trio. Premiered at St. Andrews Church, Toronto

Fantasy For Solo Cello (1989)
Commissioned by Steven Green. Premiered at the Music Gallery, Toronto

Six Movements for Marimba with Violin, Cello, Flute and Oboe (1988)
Written for Beverly Johnson. Recorded in Toronto with Factor Grant.

String Quartet #1 (1979)
Premiered at the Pauline McGibbon Centre and CBC Radio.


Two Pieces for Piano: Song & Dance (1979)
Premiered at the Heliconian Club


Wild Nights: Poems of Emily Dickinson (1999)
Set for choir. Commisioned by the Uxbridge Chamber Choir. Premiered at the Uxbridge United Church.


Voice in the Dark.
Astral Shells (1998)

Synthesizer dance score. Commissioned by the Parahumans Dance Theatre Performed at Ohio StateUniversity

Voice in the Dark (1997)
Synthesizer dance score. Commissioned by the Parahumans Dance Theatre. Premiered at Damn Straight Dance Studios.

Little Miss Easter Seals (1993)
Theatre score for synthesizer. Commissioned by the Company of Sirens. Premiered at Tarragon Theatre, Toronto

Film Scores

The bliss in all of this. (1999)
For Solo Cello. Premiered in Toronto

Keeper. (1998)
For synthesizer. Premiered at the Uptown Theatre, Toronto.

Windy (1995)
Film score for synthesizer Premiered in Toronto

Tales of Tomorrow: Our Elders (1982)
For piano and oboe.
Written for a CBC documentary film

Jazz Compositions

Whereupon (2003)
Interrupted Conversations (2003)
On a Whim (2002)
Tokens (2002)
Stretch (2002)
Say When (2001)
Rush Hour (2001)
Seguin Summer (2001)
Libra (2001)
Tracken (2001)
Don't (2000)
Will You Be (1999)
Radar Reef (2000)
WWW.Com (2000)
Nights on the Rideau (1999)
Merger Madness (1997)
Way Back When (1996)
Alimbo (1994)
Mad Mary (1994)
Memories of Boston (1994)
Evensong (1995)
Letz Getz Goin' (1993)
Lullabye of Darkness (1993)
Twilight (1993)
Bach to Bop (1992)
T. L. C. (1992)
Woman's Common Blues (1992)
Winter's End (1991)
All of Us (1990)
A Blues in 'A' (1990)


No Boundaries
Dance score on electric cello for the Parahumans Dance Theatre, premiered in Toronto, 1998

The Necklace Legacy
Peterborough New Dance, premiered at the Peterborough TownHall, 1995

Curling Maman's Hair
With Lorraine Pelletier reading text by Lina Chartrand, Mayworks, Clinton Tavern, Toronto, 1995


Click here to listen to all works by Kye Marshall