sylvi macCormac & horizon – SUNDAY, JULY 24 – Backstage Lounge 1585 Johnston Street on Granville Island

sylvi poster, June 6, 2016-2

The Feather Songbook & CD (2016)

Sylvi MacCormac introduced herself in the ’80s with cassettes that showed her to be a talented songwriter in the Joni Mitchell/Bruce Cockburn vein. She later won acclaim for her soundscapes (sometimes no more than a taped conversation over tea). The Feather, her first album in years, manages to combine all her pursuits. The front half is about 50 minutes of her songs, the most pleasing of which is the title track featuring an ethereal yet intimate vocal plus equally moody instrumentation such as a melancholy violin. The rest of the CD is taken up by her soundscapes. These abstractions are an acquired taste, but are more concise than formerly with layers of sound and some arrangement. Both halves suggest sophistication (or maturity).

The Feather Songbook & CD (2016)

The Feather CD contains 13 Music Tracks available at


The Feather
1. The Feather (5:42)
2. Why? (4:42)
3. Carving Canoes: For the Wild (5:08)
4. Horizon (4:55)
5. Phoenix (5:31)
6. Aural Shadows (6:02)
7. Coastal Chant (6:02)
8. The Feather (7:39) 1993 & 2013 miX
9. Little House Big World (4:21)
10. Vaudeville Soundchecks #therewerenomixingboardsinvaudeville (8:42)
11. Voices of a Place: Hildegard Westerkamp inside the Soundscape (6:16)
12. Waves of Kokoro (10:42)
13. Penny: a Process (3:12)

Produced by sylvi macCormac and Dave Symington; Mastered by Dave Meszaros
Recorded and Engineered by Dave Symington and Graeme Liam Wyman
Songbook & CD Design by Nicole Dextras; Music Notation by Brenda Baird

Voice and Harmonica by sylvi macCormac – Keys and Accordion by Brenda Baird – Saxaphone and Flute by Ross Barrett Viola by Thomas Beckman – Violin by Blaine Dunaway – Vocals by Mahal Langston – Musical Saw and Penny Whistle by Andrea Minden – Percussion and Didgeridoo by Russell Shumsky – Acoustic and Electric Bass by Wendy Solloway – Electronic Drums by Dave Symington – Electric Guitar & E-Bow by Graeme Liam Wyman

Recorded at VAMS Studio except Track 9 recorded with The Boom Booms and VAMS Choir at VAMS and The Warehouse Studio for VAMS Straight Goods CD (2013) Co-produced by Dave Symington and Craig Northey and Tracks 10-13 recorded and composed at SFU and See Through Studios by sylvi macCormac

Special Thanks to Dave Symington, Nicole Dextras, Brenda Baird, Graeme Liam Wyman, Musicians, Dave Meszaros, Matthew Wild; Bravo Gloria, Souying, Jay Q for help sustaining and translating Little House Big World / Bahay Kubo Malaking Mundo; T’Uy Tanat/Cease Wyss for giving a Skwxwú7mesh/Squamish blessing to The Feather Songbook & CD

The Feather on the cover was given to me in ceremony of Uts’am / Witness (1997-2007)

Chen kw’enmántumi / Huy Chewx A / Meegwetch / Hi Hi / Graçias / Merçi / Xie Xie / Do Jay / Abrigado / Salamat Po / Shukriya / Dhanyavad / Chokrane / Cám On / Kop Khun Kha / Danka / Dziekuje / Hvala / Spasiba / Tashakur / Mamnoon / Asante / Go Raibh Maith Agat / Thank You

Dedicated with Love and Thanks to my Mother, Father, Brothers, Sisters, Family, Friends, Community, Vancouver Adapted Music Society, Squamish Nation and All my Relations

© 2016 sylvi & see through publishing (socan) Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver BC, Canada – –


Sylvi MacCormac finally has her album and book, The Feather, ready. She launched it Jan. 30 at Havana and goes online with it Tuesday via CD Baby.

Tom Harrison, The Province February 1, 2016

Sylvi MacCormac has all but received her shipment of a new CD and her songbook The Feather. She’s at the Havana Theatre, Jan. 20.
Tom Harrison, The Province Jan 27, 2016



PDF – macCormac The Feather Songbook sml

E-Book soon to be released

The Feather Songbook contains 8 notated songs
and A Very Sweet Beginning (semi-autobiography)

The Feather on the cover was given to me during ceremony of Uts’am / Witness (1997-2007)

Dedicated with Love and Thanks to my Mother and Father Brothers and Sisters, Family, Friends, Community Vancouver Adapted Music Society, Squamish Nation and All my Relations

See Through Publishing Coast Salish Territories Vancouver BC Canada


“You are the feather given to me . . .

sylvi macCormac is a poet and a storyteller, and the feather is an ideal metaphor for her musical output: soft but strong, natural and enduring. As a musician she soars across boundaries, producing songs and soundscapes that echo her Celtic folk roots just as much as the electroacoustic world in which she was and remains, a pioneering figure. An eclectic persona with a fresh take on life and a humorous tickle in her veins, sylvi macCormac has been a constant and strong presence on the music scene and her voice flows with humanity, harmony, and justice. Her deep, introspective understanding of herself coupled with her quest for learning, love and inclusion result in a craft of immense depth and meaning. She discovers notes and phrases that touch the soul and intuition of humankind, often tending to trigger tears, laughter, epiphanies and calm in the listener. Working with sylvi is a creative exploration, I dare say an adventure! This is not creativity of conformity or format or genre but rather, a unique voice undergoing constant transformation and reflection. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, open and aware and enjoy this journey in life through her music!
Dave Symington December 2015 Vancouver, BC Canada


The Feather Songbook & CD

are also available for your piano or table at

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150-510 Nicola Street
On the Coal Harbour Seawall
Vancouver British Columbia
V6G 3J7
Hours: When we’re here we’re open………almost all the time!

Tom Harrison, The Province writes

macCormac_harrison copy

Songs create a communal soundscape
Folk Rock: MacCormac’s only concession to MS was trading guitar for harmonica

Tom Harrison,The Garage, The Province, Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A remarkable thing happened to sylvi macCormac on her way to becoming a folksinger.
Remarkable because you can’t call being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis funny.
Remarkable because, even though she gets around in a wheelchair, macCormac has become a folksinger.
Remarkable because she hasn’t let the perceived disabilities hold her back. She has become internationally recognized for her soundscapes, contributed tracks to two Vancouver Adapted Music Society comps and two videos sponsored by Shore FM.
Wednesday, she and her group, Horizon (Dave Symington, Wendy Solloway, Brenda Baird, Ross Barrett), will perform songs from her forthcoming The Feather at the Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture Festival.
The Feather, which is being recorded at the VAMS studio at G.F. Strong, will be her fourth album. MacCormac no longer plays guitar, but flashes about a harmonica, which has become part of her sound.
“It had got to the point where I couldn’t play guitar, that folk-rock,” she recalls. “So the MS pushed me to it.
“I was a picture framer and I was a folk-rock singer,” macCormac continues. “I wanted to tour Canada. That was my vision. Now, I’ve returned to folk-rock. It was kind of returning to my first love.”
The Feather will be re-recordings of songs that have stood out on her three previous albums. macCormac sings with a hushed intimacy not unlike one of her primary influences, Joni Mitchell, but she also evokes her Irish heritage and a love of nature.
“I think they’ve summarized the feeling I originally had,” she says of the songs chosen for The Feather. “As I was doing the soundscapes, I thought, ‘I have to do this. I have to put a band together.’ Seeing the audience enjoying it. It’s really lovely to go back to the old songs. “It’s really lovely to go out there again.”
The soundscapes have become an important adjunct to her identity.
They are found sounds, a collage of bird songs, waves hitting the beach, insects buzzing, tea kettles whistling, conversations overheard. They are not merely ambient abstractions.
“I think there are different philosophies,” macCormac says. “It can be about the awareness of sound around us. It can be about what is healthy or unhealthy and how it affects us.”
She got into making soundscapes by studying SFU’s Barry Truax, a modern classical composer, but her guide was Hildegard Westerkamp’s Voices Of The Place. She made her first soundscape not long after she was diagnosed with M.S. and still able to walk in on her own to the VAMS studio.
In 1999, one of her soundscapes received an honourable mention from the International Electro-Acoustic Foundation and she’s been recognized for another, Voices And Wheels.
She was appearing as a clown at the Children’s Festival when she realized something was wrong. macCormac was tired, numb, losing her vision. She’d be fine one day and then she’d be sick the next. She was told she had multiple sclerosis in 1982.
Since then, macCormac has endeavoured to live by her belief in respect, understanding, compassion and came to a conclusion. “It wasn’t about me,” she says. “I was part of the horizon. It’s about community and being supported by the community. I didn’t have an image of myself. I just wanted to be a folksinger.
“MS teaches you in a way,” she observes. “You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.”

In concert sylvi macCormac Where: Slocan Hall, 2750 East 29th When: June 4 Tickets: $3-$10

© The Province 2014

SOUNDSCAPE is FoR the BiRDS aka Field of Sound : is Stochastic a Dirty Word ? a Soundscape Workshop with sylvi macCormac

Field of Sound : is Stochastic a Dirty Word ?

Soundscape Workshop with sylvi macCormac

Sound Walk Hear :

Filmed in Coast Salish Territory, Canada 2013
during Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture
at the Roundhouse –

Thanks to Barry Truax et al for Teaching with Joy
Dedicated to Sylvia macCormac Murphy 1933-2013

Director : Gene Greenwood –
Producers : sylvi macCormac & Gene Greenwood –


SOUNDSCAPE is For the Birds : is Stochastic a Dirty Word ?


History of Electroacoustics – for Soundscape Workshop

SOUNDSCAPE is For the Birds : is Stochastic a Dirty Word ? – for Soundscape Workshop

VOICES & WHEELS – for Soundscape Workshop


sylvi macCormac has facilitated Soundscape Workshops
2016, Feb 18,  9:30-11:00
One Mo’Town Music Fair, UBC Learning Exchange,
612 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 2V3
2013 at Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture at the Roundhouse –
2008, SFU, Philosophy of Music, Dept of Education –
2001, originally presented to Audio Engineering Society, Vancouver Chapter
with Octophonic Presentation of  ‘Witness: Round Journey‘ (20:00) 2000
composed with the Audio Box –
for Uts’am / Witness – –

Heart of the City Soundscapes

my new composition will be included at
Wednesday October 28, 2015, 2pm – 3pm
Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main

Join friends from the neighbourhood, dignitaries, Phoenix Winter (President, Carnegie Community Centre Association) and special guests for this the grand Opening Ceremony of our 12th annual festival! Today we celebrate the artists in our midst; the strength and resilience of the Downtown Eastside community; and the theme of this year’s Festival, Nourished by Community.
William Nahanee (Kwel-a-a-nexw) of the Squamish Nation will open with a Welcome Song; DTES favourite Dalannah Gail Bowen and Owen Owen Owen will nourish our souls with their heart-felt music; Sylvi MacCormac will share her new soundscape on the Festival accompanied by a slide show of festival photographs; poet-extraordinaire Muriel Marjorie Williams will stir things up with trombonist Brad Muirhead; John Endo Greenway, Rosemary Georgeson and Grace Eiko Thomson will present an excerpt from Against the Current, along with a hopeful surprise! And the Hastings Street Band will have us ready to boogie with their toe-tappin’ hot jazz.

Refreshments! Everyone welcome.

sylvi macCormac & the Horizon – Live – Roundhouse Theatre

sylvi macCormac & the Horizon – Live – Roundhouse Theatre


sylvi macCormac and the Horizon

sylvi macCormac : Vocals
Brenda Baird : Keys, Musical Director
Thomas Beckman : Viola
Wendy Solloway : Acoustic & Electric Bass
Dave Symington : Electronic Drums
Gene Greenwood : Video Director

Roundhouse Theatre –

Aural Shadows

Aural Shadows

Sylvi MacCormac – Aural Shadows
Video #897 of 1000 – For DAY897 of EveryDayMusic on Sept. 14, 2014. Recorded live at the Roundhouse Community Centre during Project Everybody on Sept.10, 2014 in HD (XA10 in 1080p).

The Feather


“Sylvi macCormac has her video on YouTube. Confined to a wheelchair due to her multiple sclerosis, macCormac recorded The Feather with Blaine Dunaway at the Vancouver Adapted Music Society’s studio at G.F. Strong. The vid poignantly interpolates a younger, standing macCormac singing her song.” Tom Harrison, The Province, July 2013

Feather will feature in an upcoming book/dvd that will include footage of sylvi, who has multiple sclerosis, when she was standing and playing guitar.



sylvi macCormac recording The Feather at Vancouver Adapted Music Society’s fully-accessible recording studio.

sylvi’s music runs from folk to cinema-for-the-ears soundscapes. Her songs have a particular depth.

The VAMS recording studio, located at GF Strong Rehab Centre, has all-custom equipment that makes music accessible.


‘Little House Big World’ was a song running in my head for years, so when i heard a traditional Phillipino song called ‘Bahay Kubo’ about a little hut with a garden with vegetables to share, i was inspired to ask friends to help me translate my song into various languages – Tagalog (Phillipino), Italian, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Kurdish.

Home and Community, Nutritious Food and Music, are so important to our well being and happiness. As a musician and composer with Multiple Sclerosis, Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS) has given me a supportive community, and state of the heART accessible studio located at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

Produced by Craig Northey and Dave Symington, with support from ShoreFM, ‘Little House Big World’ was recorded at VAMS and Bryan Adam’s ‘The Warehouse Studio’ with the Boom Booms & VAMS Choir for the 25th Anniversary of CD The Strong Sessions.

We dedicate our performance of ‘Little House Big World’ to people of the Philipines who lost their homes in Typhoon Haiyan, and to all who have no home and community.


Musician sylvi macCormac sings on stage at launch party of The Strong Session, a CD featuring artists with severe physical disabilities (Nov. 30, 2013).
Electronic soundscape composition was foreign to sylvi macCormac until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1982. Although she was hooked on playing guitar, knowing that she would eventually lose the ability to play, she turned to studying computer music at Simon Fraser University.
She sang one of the surprise ballads of the night dedicated to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in their native tongue. She also prides herself for being able to sing in Cantonese, Mandarin, Kurdish, French and some Italian.
The international flavor and environmental themes of her music are inspired by her Celtic past and present awareness of immigrant communities in Vancouver. The result was a renewed passion from letting go of guitar playing, and immersing herself in soundscape composition and singing.
“When one door closed, another opened . . . we do that as people—we keep growing and adapting,” said macCormac.

VAMS Choir arrangement for Nov. 30th concert


[sylvi ‘s solo]
in a little house in a big world
with a lot of love for everyone
bahay kubo – malaking mondo
magandang – omaga

sye oak – dai sai guy – fa yun – ho lang [Cantonese]

une petite maison – dans le grand monde
une belle soirée – pour tous [French]

in a little house in a big world
a beautiful garden to make us strong

manganda kapa sa omega [Tagalog]
you are more beautiful than the morning

You are more beautiful than the morning
You are more beautiful than the morning
manganda kapa sa omaga

1:44[Everyone chants 2x]

“In a little house in a big world
With a lot of love for everyone
In a little house in a big world
A beautiful garden to make us strong”

1:59 [Sylvi – start same time as word “strong” from last verse]
in a little house in a big world
with a lot of love for everyone
bahay kubo – malaking mondo
magandang – omaga

[Wait 8 beats after “omagaaaa” has been held for 4 beats]
2:19 [Kent’s solo]
sye oak – dai sai guy – fa yun – ho lang
une petite maison – dans le grand monde
une belle soirée – pour tous

2:34 [Sheena’s solo]
in a little house in a big world
a beautiful garden to make us strong
manganda kapa sa omaga

2:50 [Sheila and sylvi harmony (start on count 8)]
you are more / beautiful / than the morning (2x)

3:05 [Sarah and sylvi harmony]
manganda kapa sa omaga [Sarah and sylvi]
you are more beautiful [Sarah]
than the morning [Sarah and sylvi]

[wait 4 beats]
3:21 [Everyone chants 2x]
“In a little house in a big world
With a beautiful garden to make us strong
In a little house in a big world
With a lot of love for everyone

3:28 [Sheila starts during 2nd time of chant, same time as ‘one’]
“You are more beautiful than the morning”

3:36 [Everyone sings and is free to harmonize]
You are more beautiful than the morning
Magandang kapa sa omaga
You are more beautiful than the morning
Magandang kapa sa omaga
You are more beautiful than the morning
Magandang kapa sa omaga

(c) sylvi 2012
english-tagalog (filipino)-italian -cantonese-francais-kurdish-mandarin
[for choir of wheel voices] http://www.VAMS/ org


For twenty-five years, VAMS has been supporting and promoting physically disabled artists in the Metro Vancouver area. In celebration, VAMS artists teamed up with some of Vancouver’s top artists to record an album. We are thrilled to share this collaboration between long-time VAMS artists and musicians from all over the Metro Vancouver community.


Barney Bentall, Jim Byrnes, T. Nile, Bend Sinister, Greg Drummond, The Boom Booms, Shaun Verreault, Steve Dawson, Dave Symington, Joe Coughlin, Odds, Rolf Kempf, C.R. Avery, Sylvi MacCormac, and many more!

The album is available online iTunes Link:

Please share, post, and let people know about #VAMS and the #StrongSessions!

Vancouver Adapted Music society

To celebrate the release and the last 25 years of #VAMS , we partnered with Shore 104.3 FM to host an anniversary concert on November 30th at the SFU Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre in Vancouver

The night will be filled with live musical performances by
The Strong Sessions artists and special guests Spinal Chord.

SFU Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
149 W Hastings St
Doors open @ 7:30pm. Concert @ 8pm.
Free Tickets to 25th Anniversary Concert:

Proceeds go directly back to supporting VAMS projects.

For twenty-five years, VAMS has been supporting and promoting physically disabled artists in the Metro Vancouver area. In celebration, VAMS artists teamed up with some of Vancouver’s top artists to record an album – Strong Sessions
Strong Sessions Album Release: Tuesday November 26, 2013
VAMS’s 25th Anniversary + Strong Sessions Concert is on Saturday November 30th, at the SFU Fei + Milton Wong Theatre, Vancouver BC.
Tickets will be available by donation this November.
Supported by SHORE 104.3 FM


BLACK VELVET WHITE LIGHTNING : Christopher Ward, an audio-portrait with music eXamples

CW_welcomebanner_credit – songwriter – composer –
BLACK VELVET WHITE LIGHTNING : Christopher Ward, an audio-portraitwith music eXamples (2015)
BLACK VELVET Alannah Myles
Christopher Ward & David Tyson
Keith Richards Mick Jagger
Robert Plant Jimmy Page
MAYBE YOUR HEART Christopher Ward
in Platoon (movie)
Paul Buckmaster, string arranger
LOVE ME TENDER Elvis Presley
with poetry of Sonya Sanchez
Christopher Ward & Tim Tickener
HALLELUJAH Leonard Cohen live
WILD MAN BLUES Louie Armstrong and His Hot Seven
Armstrong – Morton. May 1927.
CLAIRE DE LA LUNE Claude Debussy
BLUE Joni Mitchell
ONCE IN A LONGTIME Christopher Ward
SHAKE IT OFF Taylor Swift
MEMPHIS Christine Campbell
FLYING Shari Ulrich & Hometown Band
REVOLUTION Number 9 Beatles
BBC Ming Tea
with Mike Myers, Christopher Ward, Susanna Hoffs, Mathew Sweet, Stuart Johnson
SCREAM Janet & Michael Jackson
MY GIRL Temptations
BLACK VELVET Alannah Myles
Christopher Ward & David Tyson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ – composer : sylvi macCormac
Thank You to Christopher Ward & Artists. Permissions Requested and Pending. Soundtrack for a Movie ? a Parody ? “this work is declared ‘Fair Use’ for “entertainment and educational purposes only” and “non-profit” hopefully “transformative” enjoyed by all <3
What is fair use?
Fair use is a legal doctrine that says you can reuse copyright-protected material under certain circumstances without getting permission from the copyright owner. Check out the videos below for helpful examples of fair use.
Different countries have different rules about when it’s okay to use material without the copyright owner’s permission. For example, in the United States, works of commentary, criticism, research, teaching, or news reporting might be considered fair use. Some other countries have a similar idea called fair dealing that may work differently.
Courts analyze potential fair uses according to the facts of each specific case. You’ll probably want to get legal advice from an expert before uploading videos that contain copyright-protected material.
The four factors of fair use
In the United States, fair use is determined by a judge, who analyzes how each of the four factors of fair use applies to a specific case.
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
Courts typically focus on whether the use is “transformative.” That is, whether it adds new expression or meaning to the original, or whether it merely copies from the original. Commercial uses are less likely to be considered fair, though it’s possible to monetize a video and still take advantage of the fair use defense.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work
Using material from primarily factual works is more likely to be fair than using purely fictional works.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
Borrowing small bits of material from an original work is more likely to be considered fair use than borrowing large portions. However, even a small taking may weigh against fair use in some situations if it constitutes the “heart” of the work.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
Uses that harm the copyright owner’s ability to profit from his or her original work are less likely to be fair uses. Courts have sometimes made an exception under this factor in cases involving parodies.

#BlackVelvet #Elvis #AlannahMyles #BlackVelvetWhiteLightening #AudioPortrait