Composer John Welsman has received a 2018 Canadian Screen Awards Nomination for Best Original Music for a Non-Fiction Program or Series for his score for Peter Raymont and Nancy Lang's feature documentary Where the Universe Sings – The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris, from White Pine Pictures.

The film is a portrait of the life and works of Lawren Harris, co-founder of the legendary Group of Seven. His life journey took him on a path that began in the poorer neighbourhoods of Toronto, continued to northern Ontario and the Rocky Mountains, and ultimately to the Arctic. Harris was a spiritual man always on the move for what he described as “the summit of his soul.”

Welsman says: This film is a definitive documentary on an amazing artist, and composing for it was both a joy and a challenge for me. The score is based on a series of upwardly moving scales, continually rising as they make their way to a higher place, mirroring in a sense Harris’ own spiritual journey.

Here’s a selection from the score called Ice Flows. This piece features the theremin, an instrument I chose as one of the main voices in the score’s palette for its other-worldy electronic vibrato and spiritual connotation.