See Through Publishing is pleased to announce

the online release at – http://www.vams.org/Wheels.html

Wheel No. 7 with Dal Richards & Friends (2010) by sylvi macCormac


from WHEELS Soundscapes: Voices of People with Dis Abilities

More than a year in the making and featuring a vast cast, from newcomers to Vancouver’s legendary Dal Richards & His Orchestra – Wheel No. 7 is both epic and accessible.

sylvi macCormac is a talented performer and composer, who has of late been focusing on soundscapes. Her work is filmic, it’s like watching a movie without pictures – actually, listen to Wheel No. 7 with your eyes closed and you are on a journey.

The track is the latest in the long-running Wheels project, which mixes the voices of people with dis-abilities, recorded on location and at the VAMS accessible studio at G.F. Strong Rehab. Centre, with sylvi’s compositions and soundscapes.

The intent of WHEELS is to inspire excite and empower people, encouraging individual creativity and collaborative creative projects.



Wheel No.7 with Dal Richards & Friends
from WHEELS Soundscapes: Voices of People with Dis Abilities
by sylvi macCormac (2010)

Sincere Thanks to VAMS, Wheel Vocalists and Dal Richards for permission to compose with excerpts of his beautiful big band recordings – Dal Richards

with excerpts of Chattanooga Choo & Tuxedo Junction w Jamie Croil & Diane Lines, Blues in the Nights w Jim Byrnes & The Hour of Parting are from Dal Richards & Friends CD recorded at the Armoury, Vancouver, BC – Armoury Studios

Voices: Dal Richards, Ellie O’Day, Brad Jacobsen, Teri Thorson, Fay Ferguson, Karen Van Bieson, Ted Dickson, Jim McLean, Sheila Lee, Bobbi Styles, Gurjet & Will w Youth from Unlimited Program (Brittania Community Centre), Marcia Smith, Todd Oseki, Terry LeBlanc.

Royal Hudson and CPR Steam Engine (1888) originally from the library of the World Soundscape Project at SFU, are included with Antique Miniature Train (recorded at The Railway Club, Vancouver, 1998) and the voice of sylvi macCormac from ‘Railway Lines: Trains of Thought’ (7:00) on Voices & Wheels CD (2000) – http://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/search?q=sylvi+macCormac

http://www.sylvi.ca – http://www.vams.org/Wheels.html


WHEELS Soundscapes: Voices of People with Dis Abilities

As part of her BFA at SFU, Sylvi started the WHEELS project (1997) at SFU & VAMS and continues to compose with the voices of people with DIS abilities to create soundscapes and audio portraits. Sylvi was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1982. She hopes to create and facilitate more interdisiplinary projects for people with dis abilities interested in pursuing artistic & expressive work.

A child of Irish Immigrants who grew up in Coast Salish Territory on the West Coast of Canada, though no longer able to walk or play an instrument because of Multiple Sclerosis, I am “still brave” because of my community and because Electroacoustic Soundscape composition and “New and Improved” Radio provides me access to transcend Dis-Ability and continue to explore Fields of Sound.

macCormac, who has multiple sclerosis, drew inspiration for the Wheels project from audio portraits created by Peggy Seeger, Ewan McColl [and producer Charles Parker] of the BBC. “They were doing audio portraits and worked with people with arthritis. So they were the first people with disabilities having a piece about them’ macCormac says” The Simon Fraser University Soundscape studies, Glenn Gould’s Solitude Trilogy inspired me to compose and Peggy Seeger’s work at the BBC was the catalyst to do Wheels working with people with disabilities’

www.sylvi.cahttp://www.VAMS.org – http://www.SFU.ca


Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS) — Music studio for people with disabilities;

Mini-Interview with sylvi macCormac

Communauté électroacoustique canadienne / (CEC) Canadian Electroacoustic Community
eContact! 11.2 – Figures canadiennes (2) / Canadian Figures (2)

Strait Goods – The Best of VAMS CD


The Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS) supports and promotes musicians with physical disabilities. ‘Strait Goods’ was a compilation CD launched in celebration of VAMS’ success and the achievements of all its artists over the past 20 years.

includes Why ? (4:34)  from  Phoenix CD (1996)

Co-Produced with Colin Nairne – (54:57) recorded out back o th Royal Hudson at the Bone Yard, the workin’ studio of Barney Bentall & the Legendary Hearts  http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusicPopEncycloPagesB/bentall.html


60×60 Athena Mix premiered at
Embracing Diversity / Expanding Horizons in celebration of Women History Month March 2nd 2011 at Murray State University, Kentucky, March 2, 2011, at 1:30pm – http://www.murraystate.edu/Academics/CollegesDepartments/CollegeOfHumanitiesAndFineArts/Music/AthenaFestival.aspx

National University of Music Bucharest, Romania

on May 6, at the “Dinu Lipatti” Concert Hall

of the National University of Music Bucharest, at 18:00.



Wheel No.3

Spirit Wheels : Journey – part 1 of Puppet Opera in 3 parts (3:06) 1997

words & voices: Geoff McMurchy (& metal sculpture), Anastasia Rudkievich Briggs, Jayne Dinsmore, Daniel Hunt, Philip Murphy (& penny whistle traditional … the hag with the money) words, recordings & composing: sylvi macCormac

Spirit Wheels: Journey 3:07 (1997)

can be heard @ www.VAMS.org

Spirit Wheels: Journey (xrpt)

accompanys paralympic dancer Kelly Smith with wheelchair & metal wings,

choreography & metal wings by Geoff McMurchy

included in the documentary –

Shameless: the ART of Disability (2006)http://www.NFB.ca

directed and written by Bonnie Sherr-Klein, producer Tracey Frieson

collaborating artists Persimmon Blackbridge, Catherine Frazee, Geoff McMurchy, David Roth

editor Lara Mazur, cinematographer Kirk Tougas, composer Veda Hille, assistant director Teri Snelgrove, location sound recording Jeff Henschel, sound supervisor Gael MacLean

also printed on

Presence II CD (2000)http://cec.concordia.ca

Voices & Wheels CD (2000)http://www.sylvi.ca


Wheel 3.5 aka Wheel No.4

Penny : a process (3:07) 1998 is printed on

Canadian Music Centre – http://www.musiccentre.ca

Electricities / Électricités CD (2003)

including ‘ the gently haunting ambience of Sylvi MacCormac’s ‘penny: a process’ … ‘ Electricities/Électricités’ offers 37 new windows in a brief tour into the extraordinarily rich and divers history, geography and currents of Canadian electroacoustic music drawn from the huge catalogue of the Canadian Music Centre’s Distribution Service. ‘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. This CD sampler includes excerpts from some of the most innovative and exciting electroacoustic music happening in Canada over the past five decades.’

also printed on
Presence III CD (2002) – http://cec.concordia.ca
Voices & Wheels CD (2000) – http://www.sylvi.ca

Penny : a process (3:07) 1998

voice & penny whistle: Philip Murphy; words, recording & composing: sylvi

a Choir of Voices ? a Flocking of Birds ? an Immense Gong ? Nõ ?

This piece was created with signal processing transforming the source sounds of a penny whistle and the voice of Philip Murphy speaking words from Composition.

also printed on

Presence III CD (2002) – http://cec.concordia.ca – Performed at Sonic Boom 2001

Penny in Mexico


SEPTEMBER 20–28, 2006

By Michael Matthews
University of Manitoba

On Thursday I presented a lecture on Canadian electroacoustic music. Considering the limited time frame allotted (one hour) I tried to offer some degree of overview balanced with some degree of historical perspective. Excerpts that I played included:

• Hugh Le Caine — Dripsody (1955) [on SONUS.ca]
• Bengt Hambraeus — Intrada: “Calls” (1975)
• Francis Dhomont — … mourir un peu: Thème de la fuite (1984–87)
• Gustav Ciamaga — Pour M (1987)
• Sergio Barroso — La Fiesta (1989)
• sylvi macCormac — penny: a process (1998) [on SONUS.ca]
• Ian Chuprun — “I was very safe… in my dream” (1998) [on SONUS.ca]
• Michael Matthews — Away, tear away (2003)

In addition to playing musical excerpts, I spoke a bit about some of the regional activity in Canada, mentioning many of the studios and giving a bit of background on their history and development. A brief question and answer session closed the presentation.

Visiones Sonoras 2006 http://www.visionessonoras.org
Michael Matthews http://www.michaelmatthews.net
Originally published in eContact! 9.2 Canadian Regions: The Prairies. Montréal:
Communauté électroacoustique canadienne / Canadian Electroacoustic Community, March 2007.


Wheel No. 6

does this SOUND like me ? w th voices of 21 artists w dis abilities (1:00:00) 2001

composed for th KickstART! Society for Disability Arts & Culture http://www.S4DAC.org

Outside the Lines: self portaits by artists with disabilities –
Pendulum Gallery 2001 – KickstART! : Celebration of Disability Arts & Culture – Roundhouse 2001

does this SOUND like me ? (5:42) xrpt is printed on Raven Shadows CD (2006)


including excerpt of does this SOUND like me ?

In a series on accessibility we spoke to Sylvi MacCormac. She’s a soundscape artist and musician who’s trying to break down some of those barriers through her work. She’s created the Wheels Project. That’s a collection of soundscapes and musical compositions featuring the voices of people with disabilities.
Host, St-Laurent, Bernard – Exec Producer, Sandell, Neil – Studio Producer, Parise, Michelle – Studio Tech, Hoffman, Kent

CANADA FAVOURITE SONG – Last week we asked you tell us about your favourite Canadian song. We’ll read some special letters and play some special Canadian music.

THE HOCKEY SONG Duration: 00:02:09

Sylvi MacCormac is a soundscape composer who is trying to break down perceptions about people with disabilities through her work. URL: http://www.sylvi.ca/ URL: http://www.disabilityfoundation.org/vams?
artist, Sylvi MacCormac

SUBJECT: accessibility; disabilities x?
Work Name: WATER RUSHIN……’ THROUGH MY BRAIN/ MacCORMAC, S ?Recording Title (CD or Album): TOO YOUNG TOO OLD/MacCORMAC, SYLVI ?Label Name: SEE THROUGH PUBLISHING/SOCAN ? ? ?exerpted from www site of CBC Sounds Like Canada


Wheel No.5

Railway Lines : Trains of Thought (7:50) 1998

A Canadian story about coming home along poetic-aural-historic Railway Lines

with 1888 Steam Engine & Royal Hudson and from World Soundscape Project Archives(SFU);

Antique Miniature Train recorded 1998 @ The Railway Club (Vancouver Canada),

voices: Gordon Cobb & sylvi; guitar, song/story lines, recordings & composing: sylvi macCormac

published & on line @

http://www.deepwireless.ca – Deep Wireless CD I 2004 –



DEEP WIRELESS CD I 2004 includes railway lines : trains of thought (7:5o)

witness : round journey (7:oo xrpt)

does this SOUND like me ? (1:oo:oo) online only

http://www.NAISA.ca/ DeepWireless – http://www.CBC.ca/OutFront

Now in its third year, New Adventures in Sound Art is again producing the commission/residency opportunity as part of Deep Wireless, co-produced with CBC Radio’s “Out Front” and Charles Street Video. 2004 Deep Wireless artists are Marilyn Lerner, sylvi macCormac, Marion van der Zon and Richard Windeyer, with peices broadcast on CBC Radio from May 24-27 and spatialized versions presented on May 28th & 29th as part of the “Radio Theatre” performances at the Latvian House. De Constructing Abuse (12:30) by sylvi macCormac appears on Raven Shadows CD (2006)

Railway Lines : Trains of Thought (7:5o) also appears on line at



Radio Art from Canada – sylvi macCormac on Railway Lines: Trains of Thought – Railway Lines: Trains of Thought stretches the Boundaries of Radio by collaging sound, story and song in an aural journey. This composition strives to extend the familiar structures of radio and music, by transforming sound sources with signal processing and combining them in creative ways, while inviting the listener into an imaginary journey along metaphoric Railway Lines. A child of Irish Immigrants who grew up on the West Coast of Canada, though no longer able to walk or play an instrument because of Multiple Sclerosis, I am “still brave” because of my community and because Electroacoustic Soundscape composition and “New and Improved” Radio provides me access to transcend Dis-Ability and continue to explore Fields of Sound. The Railway has both transported and run over many lives, both first nations and immigrants, in its quest for expansion and development. The Railway, while being sold out from under our feet, is still symbolic of various lines (commodities/communication/cultures) that break us apart and vibrant lines that bind us together as community in the unique and changing cultural horizon that is Canada.


E.u.C.u.E. October 14, 2005, 3rd Concert, 24th Series, Report By Talli Gadon….’Railway Lines: Trains Of Thought, an eight-minute autobiographical and narrative work by Sylvi MacCormac was next. She is a Canadian composer who studied Electroacoustics at Simon Fraser University in B.C. The piece was met with surprise as the narrative format disturbed the flow and changed the direction of the concert. It was a pleasant change however. Backed by guitar and environmental sounds, she speaks of dreams and about her life with the reoccurring theme of bravery and strength through the words ‘I was a strong child, I was a brave child’. We learn of her suffering and are taken with her through her transgressions, healing and redemption from her troubled past. This piece was a little out of place and could have been more appropriately set in the program. http://www.deeprollers.com/Ecue_Report1_Talli_Gadon.htm



Composer/Musician sylvi macCormac – who played harmonica and sang harmony vocals accompanied by her recorded backing tracks of gentle guitar and voice – performed her piece, Aural Shadows, a song inspired by the beauty of the Theremin and the poetry of W.B. Yeats.

The audience was privy to a cut from macCormac……’s Wheels Project (www.sylvi.ca) – a series of compositions interweaving the sounds and voices of VAMS members and their work into electronic sound portraits. An excerpt from Spirit Wheels: Journey, composition number three in the Wheels project, was played; a tapestry of artist……’s voices, the sounds of their work and a hauntingly familiar Irish pennywhistle.


Dec 2, 2008  –  Transcribed: Feb 8, 2009

opens with Horizon from Coastal Chants ( 2008 CD – 1992 Tape )

Kevin Rapanos :

in Vancouver’s GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, the Vancouver Adapted Music Society has worked to build a state of the Art recording studio fully accessible to people with Dis Abilities. VAMS was co-founded in 1988 by two Vancouver Musicians, Sam Sullivan and Dave Symington, both Quadrplegics. Sam who played the keyboards, and Dave a drummer, formed the Society to tackle the barriers faced by musicians such as themselves. Both had become Quadraplegics due to Sporting Injuries. i caught up with sylvi macCormac, one of Vancouver Adapted Music Society’s featured artists. Sylvi has Multiple Sclerosis but has none the less had a long and successful music career, partly in thanks to VAMS.

sylvi macCormac :

Now that the Studio is State of the Art, and when i say that i mean State of the HeArt, like there’s alot of heart and soul has gone into building it, because it’s allowing a place for Musicians with Dis Abilities to work to the best of our Ability, with a supportive community. It’s not really designed for Music Therapy, but as we know Music is Therapeutic, and it’s Spiritual and it’s Communication.

it’s set in GF Strong, which is a Major Rehab Hospital, so it’s unique and overwhelming because for myself with MS, i learnt in the first week at being at GF Strong, that it is Neuro Musculo Skeletal Dis Ease. So it’s overwhelming, but it’s wonderful because of the support of community.

Horizon (music)
sylvi macCormac :

if we look beyond the confines of the performing stage, and we can look further, Music is bigger than we are. Success does not always have to be in financial terms. It can be in Creativity.

like Glenn Gould suffered his own dis abilities. He was a great piano player but he was also a perfectionist. He found that by going into the Recording Studio it allowed him to excell at that. Alyssa Serpa, a guitarist that i was playing with recently was speaking about being interested in Geology. Barry Truax at SFU has some of the most beautiful music, and he is a computer whiz as well. Music goes beyond just performing on stage.

By learning all of those things to co-produce Uts’am / Witness CD, which included Buffy Ste-Marie, Bruce Cockburn, Barry Truax and Squamish Eagle Song Dancers. i was so honoured and excited, and how could i have done that except that even the Dis Ability forced me to go to school to study Music Education. So, it opened up. it’s a wonderful field. Music itself, it’s so expansive, bigger than us.

Horizon (music)

sylvi macCormac :

VAMS allows a creative space for musicians to have accessability, and the studio allows for infinite possibilities for recording and communication. VAMS furthers the goals of helping people with dis abilities and all people, as we become a more inclusive and compassionate society.

to me, (dis) ability and ability are fluctuating, shifting like water. they are malleable, constantly changing. and it’s our perceptions and definitions of what it is to be human and frail, and our strengths, right ? So, we are often underestimated as people with (dis) abilities, and as people, and a healthy society, i think, includes a diversity of people, and a vibrant cultural mosaic of all peoples. So it’s really important. VAMS is really important for all people.


i love you when you are young

and live with the vision of One

Heart and our stories told

while rivers run while rivers run

still to share on the horizon

by the waters edge and in the canyon

i love you when you are brave

stand raging in the storm

letting go these weapons of woe

bought and sold body and soul

i love you when you are old

and move with a certain flow

cherishing these precious moments

with all there is to know

still to share on the horizon

by the waters edge and in the canyon

still to share on the horizon

© sylvi & see through publishing 1988 (socan)

on Coastal Chants (2008 CD / 1992 Tape)

with Blaine Dunaway & Joseph Pepé Danza

Tom Harrison, The Province

Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last night, Sylvi MacCormac oversaw the CD release of her Coastal Chants at Iron Works. This might be her most accomplished and focused collection, with its pronounced sense of atmosphere and MacCormac’s dusky folk voice. She’s been immersed in spoken word, sound collages and other projects, but she first was recognized as a folk-influenced singer and is impressive in that role.