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New collaborators, cellist Margaret Maria and pianist Bill Gilliam have formed their duo Marbyllia and released the album Uncountable Spheres, a sonic free-exploration between friends. These two well-travelled artists have collided from different worlds: Gilliam, a London-born, multi-award-winning Toronto composer, pianist and poet, is well known for his prepared piano and sonically stretched compositions and collaborations. Cellist Margaret Maria, a U of T graduate who went on to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, is becoming known as an improvisor, composer and producer after shedding her previous life as a classical cellist with the Vancouver Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestras, though she has been improvising, teaching and collaborating for many years. Their new experimental piano and cello duo album is described as “a journey from our earth’s core gravitational forces and our troposphere where we live impacted by climate change, and further up into our distressed stratosphere.” The resulting landscape is often spacey, explosive, dark and stormy, but each track reaches through the different levels of the atmosphere and eventually breaches the surface. The two improvisors push the limits of each other: Gilliam’s extensive range of sounds from his piano and Maria’s extended cello technique and unusual sound makers. The track Stratosphere in Distress is a solid representation of this dynamic team.