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sylvi macCormac

sylvi macCormac sylvi macCormac

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sylvi macCormac

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sylvi macCormac is an artist who works with sound ...

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.

Composers Miriam Rainsford and sylvi macCormac enjoy conversation and a cup of tea with cats and radio static across the waves

Sylvi MacCormac Sylvi on the harp

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Raven Shadows (larger image)

Raven Shadows CD (c) 2005
including Aural Shadows; Railway Lines: Acoustic Tracks;
Echoes of Home: All th Way from Ireland / …ireann & Digital Silence (:33)
to be released on line 2005 with
th Rose & th Railway : of Yeats & Noh Being & Blooming on Line (2000.CDrom)
about WB Yeats, Maude Gonne, Japanese Noh Theatre & Being in Relation to Language
including electroacoustic composition Railway Lines : Trains of Thought (7:5o)
with Sounds of th Royal Hudson 1888 (WSP/SFU Archives)
Miniature Train from th Railway Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada 1998
'Forsythia by th Sea like Yellow Roses on Railway Lines into Eternity' (from R&R)

Raven Shadows

  1. you are the raven (7:1o)
  2. aural shadows (5:3o)
  3. railway lines (3:4o)
  4. echoes of home: all th way from ireland (20:oo)
  5. witness: round journey (7:1o) xrpt
  6. de constructing abuse (12:3o)
  7. does this SOUND like me (6:oo) xrpt
  8. danny: a portrait (3:oo)
  9. sound compassion (2:00)
  10. head & detail (3:00
  11. digital silence 3 (0:33)

sylvi macCormac / na / da / bc

(c/p) 1994/2004 sylvi & see through publishing (socan)


You are the Raven

your heart went cold with falling snow
i wanted to keep you warm
but you didn't trust me anymore
so we burnt the blankets they had pox anyway
we burnt the treaty scribbled in a drunken stupor
our nerves couldn't take the blow
my body breaking down was making us afraid
how could you understand a bird so strange?

it's time to set Ravens free
before there's no old growth left
in a little village on the edge of time
in the rainforest of Canada's West
in the rainforest of the Spirit in the rainforest

if i could give you anything
it wouldn't be electronic trinkets or plastic beads
i'd give you solace that you need
to hear your own life speak
without me there listening

God i love you but i could not say
anything that would make the hurt go away
is our only hope loving silence as a Rose?
i'm going home. i'm going home to pray
in loving silence, loving silence as a Rose.


Aural Shadows : o th Rose & th Railway

like ships that should never pass
lines that would never cross
cousins that could never kiss
from opposite sides of the tracks
with theremin on the radio
you are beautiful and gonev with breezes off the water
and the train slowing down
i was going to bring you a book of yeats
from the bookstore down the street
no realizing our hearts might never meet

we are our mothers daughters
and our fathers child
down by the water side
forever wild
like ships that should never pass
lines that would never cross
cousins that could never kiss
from opposite sides of the tracks
then why is our baby girl
more than ten years old
forever greater than any gold

and do you still read that book of yeats
from the tower down the street
the one i gave you long ago
so our hearts might meet
were we just some aural shadows
through the sky as up words
shooting stars go by

like ships that should never pass
lines that would never cross
cousins that could never kiss
from opposite sides of the tracks
with dripsody on the radio
we are here and then gone
with breezes off the water
and the train slowing down

Theremin - electronic musical instrument which responds to movements of hands,
inventor Leon Termen (1920's Russia)
Dripsody - composition with sounds of water drops
by Hugh LeCaine, electronic pioneer (1955 Canada)


Railway Lines

i was born
onto the railway line
train ran right over me
didn't see it coming?
did you see it coming?
or love is blind

what would my father say?
what would your mother say?
what would our brothers say
if the mountains fell into the sea?

made a million
lost another
in fools gold
now i'm on my third
only the best
in guinness

i was thrown
onto the railway line
train ran right over me
didn't see it coming?
did you hear it coming?
or love is blind

i was born onto the railway line
train ran right over me


Echoes o' Home: All the way from Ireland

a portrait of a family by sylvi macCormac

all the way from ireland

first i was young then i was old and in between i saw the world
first i loved and then i lost and then i loved again
all the way from ireland (sylvi 1998)


i'm going to the place where angels live
you can send me your letters there
i'm going to live on the other side where i can never fail
to hear the birds sing of the rising sun of our hunger and our joy
i've had too much of this world now i'm going home to innisfree
i'm going to piece myself together now i'm going home in peace
i'm going home to innisfree
i'm going to the place where angels live
i'm going home to innisfree (sylvi 1996)

thought i saw you

i thought i saw you again we opened our hearts and let each other in
we spoke of our memories and of places we've been
of what we've come to know and our visions
i remember your face so very well every line has a story to tell
the tick tock of our clocks rock different kinds of time
the meaning of our melodies matches the rhythm of our rhymes
we always wanted to travel the world
set our sights on eternity with sails unfurled
for we are spirit more than of form
why worry about walls when there are no doors
soon it will be my turn to travel with the tide
i've heard you say that the waters wide
i've got to know myself what's on the other side
you know this feeling yourself there is no denying
yes we are spirit more than form
why worry about walls when there are no doors ?
when our journey is over much we'll meet by the water and share a cup
there'll always be a place for you and a place for me
out by the sea silhouetting free i thought i saw you again
i thought i saw you thought i saw you thought i saw you (sylvi 1994)

With the voices of
Aunt Wiunie MacCormack (hello)
Captain William Harney (goodbye)
Stella MacCormack Harney (nee Robinson)
(lovely garden & singing)
Sylvia Murphy (nee MacCormack)
John James Murphy
Uncle Tony Murphy
Auntie Patricia Martin (nee Harney)
Carl Murphy, Mich&egreave;le Murphy
Philip Murphy, Melanie Murphy
sylvi (macCormac) murphy
Soula (purring) Bell & Clock

Songs and Music
Stella talking humming whistling in audio-post
while recording Radio Telefis Éireann airing
Coffee Song and Valderi Valdera
Uncle Tony singing Two Eyes o Blue
Sylvia (mum) singing Little Sir Echo
& My Curly Headed Baby from ShowBoat
MichŹle (sister) John (dad) Tony (uncle)
singing My Grandfather's Clock
sylvi's i thought i saw you (phoenix CD)
Railway Lines: Trains of Thought (v&w CD)

With love to all the family
to the voices here & all those loved by each.
Dreams come & go. While branches travel far
the Core of the Tree will always be as precious
as a tiny blooming Prunis Surbata Autumnalis

thanks to Barry Truax & WSP @ SFU for compositional guidance & encouragement

(c)(p) 2000 sylvi & see through publishing
s.o.c.a.n. ~ ~ ~ ~


Voices (larger image)

MAPL except for Stella MacCormack with Captain William Harney and Cat in Bagnelstown Carlow, Ireland (1970's), talking singing whistling Coffee Song (they've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil) by Bob Hilliard & Richard Myles, Pear Tree Music & Valderi Valdera by Enrique Calva and Gasson Fuentes, Editora Cefuma, as broadcast on the RTÉ (radio television eireann) while sending audio letter to their daughter Patricia Harney (my aunt). MUM sings Little Sir Echo by J.S. Ferris, Beatrice Marsala, Joe Marsala and Laura Smith, and My Curly Headed Baby by George Clutson, Warner Chappell. Uncle Tony Murphy sings Two Eyes of Blue (writer?) & my sister Michéle, Uncle Tony and John Murphy (DAD) sing My Grandfather's Clock by Henry C Work, 1876. Echoes o' Home opens with great Aunt Winnie MacCormack's audio-letter from 12 Rowan House Sussex Road Dublin 4 March 1992 to my mother, Sylvia Frances Sarah MacCormack Murphy in Vancouver BC Canada.

WHEEL 1 - Danny : a Portrait w Daniel Hunt (3:00) 1997 - voice (tenor) *O Danny Boy ... they used to call me Mick Jagger in Kelowna and Robert Plant in White Horse*

WHEEL 2 - Sound Compassion I & II (5:00) 1997 w Nancy Anastasia Rudkievich Briggs - voice (soprano) Russian Folk Opera *K u k u r u K u k u ... o Solo Maria*

does this SOUND like me ? with the voices of 21 artists with DIS abilities composer : sylvi macCormac

this sounDscape was composed for Outside the Lines
by working with 21 artists voices and th sounds of art materials: cameras, wood, hammer, saw, paint brushes in containers & on canvas, beads, pencil writing and glass bottles (percussion&wind)... other sounds include walking, walking w/ cane, and electronic wheel chair ... some interviews were recorded long distance via phone (...rings...). i'm honoured to find time with them ... you can listen for a few minutes or join th artists for an hour dis-cussing (dis) abilities & art ... (2001)

with thanks to th artists & all @ S4DAC
Society for Disability Arts & Culture
Geoff McMurchy / Elizabeth Shefrin / 604-685-3368


does this SOUND like me ?

voices&words: brice canyon, karen chapnick, dominic fetherston, doreen finnegan, bernadine fox, kelly haydon, alvin hipke, shaira holman, emma kivisild, velveeta krisp, claire kujundzic, anna lam, paul lang, jordan lige, della mccreary, andrew mccully, geoff mcmurchy (s4dac executive director),julie milano, cleo pawson, take 5, margaret van der pant, rose williams ... composer: sylvi macCormac (1:00:30) 2001 composed for Outside the Lines (self portaits by artist with disabilities) Penulum Gallery 2001 / Roundhouse Gallery 2001

SOCAN (p) 2001 s4dac / / 604-685-3368
(c) 2001 sylvi & seethrough publishing /


Witness (larger image)

Witness: Round Journey
journey from vancouver to squamish and beyond into the heart of wilderness

composed for Witness by sylvi macCormac with Squamish - Spirit Song, Journey Song and Honour Song as sung by ta-lall-Sahm-cane siyam (Chief Bill Williams), Kwalucton, William Nahanee, Aaron Nelson-Moody et al.

Voices of Conscience : ta-lall-Sahm-cane siyam, Nancy Bleck Slhalnčy Sp'čkwus, John Clarke Xwexwsélkn , Amir Ali Alibhai, Paul Hundal, Joan, Drew Leetham, William Nahanee, Aaron Nelson-Moody, Shel Neufeld, a young english boy, Marie Preissl, Bob Turner, Cease Wyss and Senaqwila, a young squamish girl.

Aaron Nelson-Moody carved the circular image for the Witness project. It represents token or *tala* to thank witnesses - which were sandollars, not coins.
Wilderness Soundscapes and Voices were recorded around the Elaho River, the Carnegie & Roundhouse Commmunity Centres Vancouver BC Canada 97-99.

This is my attempt at an expression of the essence of Witness through sound. "We have never stopped being nature" (Nancy Bleck).
We will never stop being nature unless nature itself ceases to exist.
We are voices of the city, country, forest and wilderness ...
"What does it mean to you personally ?" (Amir Ali Alibhai)
composed for Witness by sylvi macCormac w the octophonic Audio-Box
Huy chewx a ... Hoychka ... Thank you ... for the honour and for listening ...

Witness Project : / / / / Soundscape Composer : / na / da / bc
w thanks to and for th Audio Box
this is the stereophonic mix of an octophonic composition composed w th Audio Box
songs tala voices used with permission (c)(p) 2000/2002 sylvi & see through publishing
proceeds from the sale of this CD benefit (wilderness education) & Witness

dedicated to John Clarke Xwexwsťlkn

  1. XŠlek' Sekyu SiyŠm / Chief Ian Campbell - Sxwi7shenalkwlh / Deer Song (3:o2)
  2. Sandy Scofield - All My Relations (2:14)
  3. Veda Hille - Plants (2:56)
  4. Bruce Cockburn - Child of the Wind (4:o8)
  5. Barry Truax - Island (3:o3 xrpt)
  6. sylvi macCormac - Carving Canoes : For the Wild (3:55)
  7. Sandy Scofield - Broken Land (3:35)
  8. Hildegard Westerkamp - Beneath the Forest Floor (3:20 xcrpt)
  9. Buffy Sainte-Marie - Starwalker (3:o3)
  10. Kinnie Starr - Red PercentX (4:oo)
  11. Shel Neufeld - Midnight Forest Run (3:55)
  12. sylvi macCormac - Horizon (5:oo)
  13. Anthony Mcnab Favel - Northern Loon (1:55)
  14. Jeremy Williams - Wind in the Cedars (2:oo)
  15. sylvi macCormac - Witness : Round Journey (18:1o) with Squamish Spirit, Jouney & Honour Songs
  16. Takaya / Wolf Song (8:1o) Sp'Škwus Slķlem / Eagle Song Dancers

Produced by sylvi macCormac
with T'Uy 'Tanat / Cease Wyss
SlhalhnŠy Sp'Škwus / Nancy Bleck
Telťlsemkin SiyŠm / Chief Bill Williams - -

(p) 2004 UTS'AM / WITNESS
all proceeds to UTS'AM / WITNESS


WHEELS Soundscapes & CD Compilations (2006 / 08 / 10 )
Produced by sylvi macCormac with Colin Nairne & Jim Vallance

with voices of people with dis abilities and Dal Richard's Big Band bkwrds
juried by folks from SOCAN / CBC / SLFA / SUN with info & links
to Artists, Adapted Technologies, Music Education, Web Conference