A Gemini Award nomination

The kid has had to endure his share of skeptical glances and raised eyebrows from Dad about his choice of music as a career. So it’s only fair that Dad should, quite publicly, eat some crow.

Brian Pickett, left, and Graeme Cornies at Voodoo's Toronto studio
Brian Pickett, left, and Graeme Cornies at Voodoo's Toronto studio

Graeme, our second son, never gave up on the music thing. It likely began before he was born, when his mother Jacquelyn filled our home with music while he was in the womb, then carried him on her hip through many choreography sessions and theatrical rehearsals. When we moved back to Canada and her choreography career evolved into that of a troubadour harpist, Jacquelyn’s musicality influenced the development of his own styles of expression.

The passion grew during elementary school, when I lent him my acoustic guitar and taught him a few chords. It continued through high school, when, like many pubescent guys faced with the choice between a sports field and a stage as the place to express burgeoning manhood, he formed a rock ‘n’ roll band with his friends.

It got more serious when he enrolled in York University’s fine arts program. And through thousands of sets in hundreds of smelly bars and clubs, through sleepless nights crowded up against looming deadlines, through nickel-and-diming his way to his next paycheque, he was relentless in the pursuit of that thing that would give him the greatest vocational joy.

If I needed any more evidence that my early skepticism was misplaced, it came this week with a Gemini Award nomination. Graeme, along with Voodoo Highway Music business associates Brian Pickett, James Chapple and David Kelly, snagged a nod in the Best Original Music Score in an Animated Program or Series category. The Toronto company is an up-and-comer in field of commercial music composition; their credits range from National Geographic TV specials to 30-second spots and jingles. Graeme’s credits reflect that growing range and diversity.

So, from a somewhat sheepish dad who also happens to be a huge fan: bravo. Here’s the opening minute of the nominated World of Quest series. In addition to helping score the series’ music, Graeme sings the World of Quest chorus, as he also did in the opening theme of Total Drama Island, farther below. Come to think of it, the Total Drama Island theme is, in some respects, rather autobiographical.

Update (Oct. 20): The Gemini award in this category went to Michael Richard Plowman for his music to computer-animated action comedy adventure series Jibber Jabber. Graeme’s text to me from the ceremony on learning the news: “No dice this time 😦 It’s all good, though :)”

3 Replies to “A Gemini Award nomination”

  1. How wonderful to read about the successful nomination your son received. ‘Never giving up on the music thing’ is a sign of real passion and dedication to the art. Congratulations!

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