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Cy Giacomin

The following article from the Chronicle Herald

Giacomin scores big
Halifax composer chosen to write music for Symphony Nova Scotia film
Fri. Sep 25 - 4:46 AM

Halifax composer Cy Giacomin is a lucky guy. He’s one of four deserving young Atlantic Canadian musicians selected to write an original film score for a short film, have it recorded by Symphony Nova Scotia, and then screened at the Atlantic Film Festival.

It’s the marriage of new musical talent with professional musicians and filmmakers in the AFF’s new Emerging Composer-Director Mentorship Program.

Giacomin took a brief break from McGill University this week to return home and take part in the recording of his score for Aram Kouyoumdjan’s new short film.

“We were assigned to each other,” Giacomin said backstage at the Cohn during the recording session earlier this week.

“He lives in Halifax. I live in Montreal. We talked over the phone. We hit it off. We bounced ideas back and forth - it was ‘just awsome,’ ‘great,’ ‘let’s do that’ every single time.“

Koyoumdjian’s film was originally a rock music video. When Giacomin received the edited film he first made sure to watch the video over and over again on YouTube, but with the sound turned off.

“I wanted a completely clean slate to start with,” he said. He did not want to use the original song in his music.

Darren Fung, who is vice-chairman of the Guild of Canadian Film Composers, conducted SNS through the four new scores Monday afternoon, using a click track to guarantee a precise matchup of music and image.

Recording engineer/producer Hayward Parrott of St. Cecilia Studios mastered the recording as the composers and SNS resident conductor Martin MacDonald noted musical hitches on the score for re-recording and punch-ins.

Fung said in an SNS press release, “The co-operation of all four partners (SNS, AFF, Guild and St. Cecilia Studios) is truly a testament to the incredible artistic and production comunities that exist in Atlantic Canada. This is a unique program that highlights the importance of the director-composer relationship, as well as the importance of original music in film and television.”

Fung, who lives in Montreal, mentored the composers.

“I could go over to his place when I had a rough draft done and he wanted to see the orchestration,” said Giacomin.

“He wasn’t as interested in how the music works with the actual image itself; instead, he would look for things like ‘this particular melody is lost because of hearing other scoring here.’ His comments were very technical. He told me you have to do all the mixing in the score; don’t leave it up to the recording engineer.”

Giacomin has won awards at the Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival on trombone and piano, as well as composition classes, since he was a teenager. He studied compostion with Jerome Blain for his undergrad degree at Dalhousie University.

Other Nova Scotia composers in the program include Robert Kenning from Wolfville, David Christensen from Halifax,and Duane Andrews from St. John’s, N.L.

Participating film directors include Andrea Dorfmann and Rachel Bower from Nova Scotia as well as Adam Perry from Charlottetown.

Andrea Thomas, director of operations for the AFF, commented in a press release, “The AFF is very excited to be building on the pheomenal success of the music and image program (through) our regional collaboration with the East Coast Music Association . . . that opens up new relationships and markets for Atlantic Canadian musicians and filmmakers.”

Erika Beatty, CEO of SNS, said, “This program came out of a strong desire for the symphony and the film festival to collaborate with others within the regional cultural sector. It’s so exciting for the symphony to help give voice to the thoughts and ideas of these young artists.”

The screening of the four films is in Park Lane 8 today at 1:30 p.m.


Stephen Pedersen is a freelance arts writer in Halifax. Visit his blog at stephenpedersen.wordpress.com