For information on the band Sylvi MacCormac & Horizon please see their electronic press kit here.
sylvi macCormac & horizon – SUNDAY, JULY 24 – Backstage Lounge 1585 Johnston Street on Granville Island
CD OF THE WEEK
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).
BY TOM HARRISON, THE PROVINCE FEBRUARY 15, 2016
The Feather Songbook & CD (2016)
The Feather CD contains 13 Music Tracks available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/sylvimaccormac6
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
www.sylvi.ca – www.cdbaby.com – www.nicoledextras.com
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
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
Located on The Coal Harbour Seawall, Lloyd Bruce Home Collections Inc. is Vancouver’s newest furniture and accessory store with a mixture of the most amazing furnishings from around the world, as well as interior design by renowned designers, Robert Bruce McKay and Douglas Lloyd Somerville.
150-510 Nicola Street
On the Coal Harbour Seawall
Vancouver British Columbia
Hours: When we’re here we’re open………almost all the time!
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
SOUNDSCAPE is FoR the BiRDS aka
Field of Sound : is Stochastic a Dirty Word ?
Soundscape Presentation with sylvi macCormac
Sound Walk Hear : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tueYL0LID6Q
Filmed in Coast Salish Territory, Canada 2013
during Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture
at the Roundhouse – www.roundhouse.ca
Thanks to Barry Truax et al for Teaching with Joy
Dedicated to Sylvia macCormac Murphy 1933-2013
Director : Gene Greenwood – http://www.fartingpuppy.com
Producers : sylvi macCormac & Gene Greenwood
http://www.SYLVI.ca/ – http://www.kickstart-arts.ca/
SOUNDSCAPE is For the Birds : is Stochastic a Dirty Word ?
612 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 2V3
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 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 – http://www.roundhouse.ca
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).
“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.