Cellist and Composer Margaret Maria on Her Latest Album, Goddess of Edges

Jenny Poole
6 min readMar 12, 2024

Margaret Maria knew she was creating something special with her latest solo album Goddess of Edges. The cellist and composer maintains an improvisational approach to her music, maximizing the emotional impact of everything she creates. Goddess of Edges is said to capture Margaret’s experiences in a liminal state of being, existing “between things.” Margaret’s multilayered music merges her many states of being into compositions that surprise even the musician herself!

“To some extent I take my technical abilities for granted,” says Margaret. “But when I’m actually playing and trying to get ‘the performance’ I can feel all those years of experience in my fingertips.”

Guided by her unwavering belief that “Music Can Change the World,” Margaret even released a recent single by that very name. I sat down with Margaret to discuss her body of work and learn more about her spiritual outlook on life and art.

You’ve spoken in depth about the creative and energetic influences behind your music and the artistic force which drives you. Can you take us through the technical aspects of being a cellist and composer?

That’s an interesting question, because the demands of being a composer that uses the cello as the featured instrument are very different from when I was performing. I used to be a symphony musician pretty much my whole life; first in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra right after graduating from The Curtis Institute of Music, and then in The National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Now when I play my cello, it is highly improvisational and it is the main tool for me to communicate the emotional content of the music. I also have to function like a whole orchestra, so the challenge is great! I also am blessed with the tech side of things, so I can push the envelope with tempos and things that are virtually unplayable live, but I can make it work in the production process. To some extent I take my technical abilities for granted, as I totally get immersed in creating the layers needed for my composition, but when I’m actually playing and trying to get ‘the performance’ I can feel all those years of experience in my fingertips and it allows me to make all those incredible sounds you hear on the new album ‘Goddess of Edges’ and in the Marbyllia improv as well. As a composer, I’m pretty much all sensing and don’t compose from any theoretical perspective. I am free of having any composition education, so I am free to go find what I am looking for exactly how I want to and continue the process until the music is as powerful as I can imagine.

Goddess of Edges, by Margaret Maria

Your latest solo album, Goddess of Edges, is said to be about how you frequently find yourself in a liminal state of being. Can you say more about this, and can you tell us who the Goddess of Edges is to you?

The Goddess of Edges is intimately connected to my subconscious being. The divine feminine, the creative soul, the source of all music, the seeds of creativity, limitless love, are all a part of how I create and move in this world. Sometimes I’m made to feel more real than I need or want to be. And sometimes I have the deep need to be real and experiencing real time. Yet, that is not my inherent nature. My natural state is existing ‘between things’, between concepts, between two extremes, between the conscious and subconscious, between the wave and the particle. My music and the Goddess of Edges are one.

Margaret Maria, PC: Bret Archangel Menezes

As a co-creator of the band Rage Angel alongside Craig Robert McConnell, you create music for film and TV licensing. How is creating music for licensing different from creating music for an album release?

Not so much different. The constraints are there, but so are the constraints when I am creating my own music. No matter how free we say we are, there is still an inherent structure that needs to hold all the stars and heavens and music in place. So for me, no matter what I create, it’s always an intense musical and collaborative experience. Rage Angel is one of the most stimulating and intense sounds that I have co-created, where Craig truly volleys my energy back and forth and returns back to me ideas that rev up my inner engine even more. There’s really nothing better than having a collaborator who can take my energy and up it by another 1000%!!! So in that way, it is a bit different…I have help to make the music even more powerful than I can imagine!!

You co-founded a non-profit, OrKidstra, which inspired your new single “Music Can Change the World.” Can you talk about the inspiration behind this?

OrKidstra is peace in action. When the world gets crazy, I know that I am doing my part to show the world what peace can look like. Music has saved me and my new collab partner Tréson, over and over again. Social change through music programs offer kids the chance to play music and build community and true belonging. The 5 pillars of AIM (Academy of Impact Through Music) are vital to these kinds of programs changing the world: Agency, Intrinsic Motivation, Artistry Without Limits, Holistic Development, and Community. I will also add that to love without limits is also one thing that was born of my relationship with Tréson. When we have such differences in our lives, sometimes deep pain from living in this world, from things that have happened in our lives, love is really the only answer. If the world could learn to love without limits, it is only then that we can find peace. ‘Music can change the world, If we dance and sing together, One voice In unity, Our voices together’. I am clearly an idealist, but my music guides the way and my own voice will not stay quiet…but it has to be said through music (and my actions and words.)

Margaret Maria, PC: Bret Archangel Menezes

Watching you perform is a completely immersive experience. You come across as passionate and delighted by impulse, and it can be heard in your music. What goes through your head and body when you perform? Is it a different experience than when you first wrote the music?

Thank you for that beautiful observation. Music is such a powerful force within me, I just need to start playing and it plays me!! It’s an immediate connection to my spirit world, my emotions and my heart. But when I am creating my own music, it is the same feeling. I take emotions, coat them with notes and send it back out as music. That may sound strange to some. I live in this world all the time and even I’ll admit it’s getting stranger as I keep going. I truly love improvising and that’s the only way I perform these days. My Marbyllia duo with pianist Bill Gilliam is one of those spaces where I can just unleash and go. And my emotions definitely lead the way there…the power of the moods and moments…the power of tenderness within my fingertips, or the power of huge intense moments that just take over. My feelings are too big for my own body, so I am eternally grateful that I have music to hold some of it for me.

Margaret Maria, PC: Bret Archangel Menezes

What grounds you as a human and as an artist?

My first instinct is, nothing grounds me. But Gus, my sweet gentle Pomsky helps me greatly. My kids and family (I have young adult kids now)…they need me once in a while, so I come down a bit. My teaching…it brings me joy to help and watch my students grow. My hula-hoop…definitely keeps me grounded in some healthy way. Doing interviews like this also gives me pause and reflection. Driving between Ottawa and Toronto every two weeks…that 5 hours in the car takes me out of one head space into another. I don’t think I can separate the human part from the artist part of me anymore…so each energy that buoys me, affects all the parts of me and in turn, my life and my music.

Thank you for reading, keep up with Margaret’s work via her official website.



Jenny Poole

Film, TV & Music Journalist, Writer & Teacher. Over 10 years covering the entertainment industries, working with major US and Global outlets.