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sylvi macCormac

People describe sylvi’s voice as having a rich and moving nature. Weaving elements of soundscape with music and voice her work resonates along the lines of Canada and Ireland. Reflecting on experiences through music: the mirror in the sea sylvi writes of spirit and soul, blues and bones, heart and home, intensely of passion, joy, pain, tragedy, and of loving Earth. We hope you enjoy sylvi’s music and consider her work regarding writing, performing, recording, and soundscape in the areas of programming, publishing or communications.


sylvi macCormac creates soundscapes by weaving together various elements: her rich Celtic heritage, her love of music and sound, and inspiration being born and living in Coast Salish territory, Vancouver,  Canada.


She began performing music in the early 80’s while working in children’s theatre, taking up songwriting, playing Vancouver’s folk circuit and composing soundscapes. She published four albums and an online ebook about WB Yeats and Japanese Nõ Theatre.


Sylvi’s music is heard internationally and her compositions have been published in such collections as the Canadian Music Centre and Canadian Electroacoustic Community, with commissions and film credits from KickStart, CBC and the National Film Board of Canada.


Sylvi was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1982, when she was 21 years old. Aware that she would soon lose the ability to tour and play guitar, she took up studies at Simon Fraser University where she was introduced to computer music, soundscape and composition. In 1999, Waves of Kokoro, one of sylvi’s soundscapes, garnered international acclaim by receiving an Honourable Mention at Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique, held in Bourges, France.


Her production credits include the 2004 CD, Uts’am/Witness that includes artists Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bruce Cockburn and the Squamish Eagle Song Dancers. She is also the creator of WHEELS Soundscapes: Voices of People with Dis Abilities, at the Vancouver Adapted Music Society. Sylvi volunteered with the Vancouver Folk Music Festival for 30 years, and composed VFMF Soundscapes 1999-2002: Festival Quartet for Solitude, a labour of love in honour of the Festival.


The Feather Songbook & CD (2016) was her fifth publication, including Coastal Chants CD (2008), Raven Shadows (2006), Voices & Wheels (2000), Phoenix (1996) and Coastal Chants Tape (1992). sylvi has sat on the jury for the Canada Council and appears in the 2017 Canadian feature film, Bella Ciao! the violence by Director Carolyn Combs.

Bella Ciao !

Why this film?
Because communities build coherence and maintain dignity through traditions of cooperation and resistance.
Where is it set?
At the intersection of the Latin, Italian and First Nations communities along Commercial Drive in east Vancouver.
Who are the characters and performers?
The main character is Constanza, played by Carmen Aguirre. She arrived in Vancouver as a child, fleeing the Chile of Pinochet in which her mother was “disappeared” for her political beliefs.
Soledad (Alexandra Lainfiesta), Constanza’s daughter, is seeking a second part-time job to have the resources to take better care of her ailing mom.
Arnaldo (Tony Nardi) owns a restaurant on the street. His most regular clients are his two old friends, Basilio (Franco Ferrucci) and Luca (Leonardo Tenisci). Basilio is Soledad’s father, although he has refused to admit it.
Niki (Taran Kootenhayoo) is in Vancouver to find his missing sister. He teams up with Lenny (Sylvi macCormac), who is on a search of her own. And he is outwitted by Raoul (Billy Marchenski), a sculptor who manages to entrap himself. And he eventually meets Hester (Marie Clements), a housing activist and long time ally of Constanza.
The Can Man (John Emmet Tracy) is an expert in living with a small carbon footprint. He has much to teach The Professor (April Telek), who is conducting interviews for yet another study on “the homeless.” She comes armed with a Graduate Student (Gavin Langelo).
Tony (Massimo Frau) owns the café in which the interviews are happening. In the evening, musicians gather. They include a singer with a midi (Tiffany Moses) and an oud player (Gord Grdina).
Beth (Alison Denham) is an addict whose possibilities are closing in. The Crow (Amanda Burke) watches all.
Who is the Director? Who is on her team?
Carolyn Combs is directing, with Caroline Perry as First AD. Andrew Forbes is Director of Photography and Roman Hylwa is Production Designer. Casting director is Lynne Carrow. Line Producer is Karen Wong. Post Production supervisor is Ken Hayward.
Who wrote the Screenplay?
Michael Springate with Carolyn Combs and Jeremy Waller.
Which Production Company is making the film?
Three local production companies invested in a new production company, Bella Ciao Digital, to make this work possible: Commercial Drive Productions (Carolyn Combs, Michael Springate, Carla Jones), Aja Entertainment (Victor Martinez Aja, Rob Murphy) and RNR Media (Karen Wong). Those six names are the producers. This film is being shot without any government assistance. It is fueled by commitment and passion.



sylvi macCormac’s music continues to be heard internationally and can be found in the

Library & Archives of Canada

La Phonetique of the IMEB @ Bibliothèque Nationale de France @

IRCAM, the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustic/Music, one of the world’s largest public research center dedicated to both musical expression and scientific research.

Canadian Music Centre’s Electricities/Électricités CD (2003) includes ”the gently haunting ambience of Sylvi MacCormac’s ‘penny: a process’ … ‘Electricities / Électricités’ travels through time, from Hugh LeCaine’s 1957 pioneering and artful experiments with the world’s first ‘Sackbut’ synthesizer on ‘The Burning Deck’ and Ann Southam’s sparse and elegant ‘Reprieve’ from 1979, to the cutting edge and ground breaking contemporary works of Robert Normandeau and Louis Dufort.”


Electroacoustics (including Soundscape Composition) stretches the boundaries of music by collaging sound, story and song, transforming sound sources with signal processing and combining them in creative ways. Diffusion extends familiar structures, by placing the listener inside the soundscape while inviting us on imaginary journeys. ( sylvi macCormac )

for more information see/hear



For information on the band Sylvi MacCormac & Horizon please see their electronic press kit here.