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Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann is a nationally recognized composer, conductor and virtuoso performer, appearing regularly as a violist and guest conductor and composer with several orchestras in the Southern California area. She currently serves as Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City, CA and as the assistant conductor of the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra. She is also the principal violist of the Golden State Pops Symphony Orchestra, The Culver City Symphony Orchestra, and the Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra. She also performs with the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, The Rio Hondo Symphony and the La Mirada Symphony.

Her musical studies began at age 4 with piano; at 10 she added viola and guitar. She now plays a wide variety of musical instruments including Celtic harp and flute.

Sylvia completed her undergraduate studies at Chapman College, and did her graduate and post-graduate studies at the University of Southern California & in London, England. 

Dr. Mann lived in Louisiana from 1987 - 2002 where she served as the principal violist of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and violist of the Premier String Quartet. She also enjoyed performing with the popular all woman band, “Lip Service” and was the recipient of the Shreveport LA Regional Arts Council's prestigious Music Fellowship Award.

Sylvia has recently composed incidental music for a number of short festival films and theatre productions in the Los Angeles area, as well as multiple chamber music works and symphonic pieces for films, symphony orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and choral groups across the nation. Her original recorded music is now available at iTunes, Napster, Real Rhapsody, CDBaby, and a number of other digital music services. She also is a signed artist for DMX, Spafax and Face music - which program music for major cable television shows & music channels, as well as for major airline music selection channels.

(From the e-mails by Sylvia to Vitaly Sumin)

November 12

Dear Vitaly -

I am excited and pleased to be the composer for this project. There are so many levels of awareness in both the original story and the script - it is fascinating! Music is always so vital to a film. Beyond simply setting moods, the music can exist in and utilize many levels of awareness - it's a great match. I'm looking forward to working on this project - bringing together multiple level of art, music, light, dark and Dostoevsky!

December 28

Dear Vitaly -

When I came on board as the composer, the first clip for which I created music shows the beginning of the search for missing screenwriter Robert Hurley. At first I thought that all this mystery and intrigue was "tongue-in-cheek". I thought that Robert was just playing a giant joke on everybody - most especially you. But as time progresses, it gets stranger and stranger.

January 3

Dear Vitaly –

As I continue working on the music for the behind the scenes clips, it strikes me that perhaps we are getting somewhere in spite of all the delays. The quality of these clips, in terms of editing, camera work, etc, keeps showing what a talented group of people we have collected. It seems that in spite of all the obstacles, the film itself is determined to be made!

January 6

Dear Vitaly -

As I continue to work on our clips, the behind the scenes events relating to Hurley, his disappearance, the cult, the people trying to stop the production - it all seems like something out of some strange intrigue novel. The most disturbing thing to me is that this "cult" is really bizarre. It's nothing at all like many of the truly wonderful pagan religions. It is almost as if someone is just taking all the things that people don't really understand - the things they fear, and is capitalizing on them by creating the "cult". It all seems manufactured - and almost intended to just create fear out of ignorance. In fact - I am concerned that this "cult" that Robert and Natalya and company are part of, may really be some type of some kind of criminal/political group, and that they are using it just to frighten and control people. It could do a lot of damage. We need to find out what Hurley (or someone) is up to with this, stop it, and get to work on what's really important - our film!

January 8

Dear Vitaly -

I'm really enjoying doing the additional " type work of finding locations, arranging for rehearsal space, contacting potential crew and cast members, etc. It's challenging, but fun! Especially since, as you know, I am constantly working at being able to work in the many different aspects of this business. I found today's rehearsal very interesting. Working with the actors, exploring the characters with them, understanding how they each understand their character helps me in creating music for each of them, and that imparts all the various moods and levels we need in this film. Working at all these different levels of the film production enhances my main work on the music!

January 17

I have enjoyed using a variety of thematic devices for the characters and themes coming through the clips – light and dark are juxtaposed in the music as well as the film work.

I have just finished another group of clips (9-13) and the result for all of them is good – everything is falling into place, at least musically – the themes sometimes begin to write themselves!

Well that’s it for now – I’ll have more comments soon!


February 5

Dear Vitaly -

Well this note is just kind of a quick bit of info. The music production for the clips is going well - I'm working on a new idea for the L-T sequence, which I think you will LOVE! - I'm combining elements of old and new - Musical motives from the revolutionary era with modern ideas...I'll send you more about this soon - along with the samples of the sound!