“Life is confusing but always amusing, don’t try to understand just let it be,” sings Rudy Silvamer in “Life is a Symphony.” The fourth-year neuroscience student not only composed and recorded the song, he wrote and directed a film with the same name. The movie picked up the Artistic Achievement Award at the U of T Film Festival in March.
The five-minute short chronicles the life of a young street musician in Mexico City who dreams of becoming a pianist in the U.S. Despite talent and determination, his immigration request is stamped “Rejected.” The film echoes some of the citizenship trials that Silvamer faced while moving from Mexico City to attend U of T. (Although one difference is the main character crosses the border illegally.) Earlier this year, for example, he entered an EMI Music Canada contest to win a record deal. Consistently voted in the top three by fans, the winsome vocalist seemed on his way to becoming a pop star. Then EMI eliminated Silvamer because he’s not Canadian.
Sorely disappointed, Silvamer kept right on singing. He has just released his first album, Orkestra, online. He composed every song, and recruited music students from U of T and the Royal Conservatory for the orchestra. A fusion of pop and electronic music set to classical arrangements, he calls his genre “space orchestra.” Indeed, “The Losers’ Anthem” is about an astronaut wannabe whose only hope of getting to outer space is by building a bridge out of Lego blocks. “Sunshine in the Rain” is more down to earth. “It’s just a goofy, flirty love song about a couple girls I met at U of T,” he says.
Silvamer hopes to find a way to pursue all of his diverse interests. “I’ve faced different challenges trying to divide my attention, but even though my heart is in music and film, neuroscience has offered me an elegant and inspiring alternative.”
A U of T lab is working with actors, writers and directors on how they could harness AI and other emerging technologies to generate new ideas and – just maybe – reinvent theatre