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Sarnia composer scoring music for famed kid classic

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

Erica Procunier grew up watching the beloved Thomas the Tank Engine, along with millions of children around the world.

So she still has to pinch herself when telling people she’s now scoring the music for the iconic character.

Erica Procunier

“I just love this show,” said the Bright’s Grove native and St. Christopher Secondary grad. “Did I ever think that I would be working on something so famous? No.

“It’s part of history, right?” she added. “I feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”

The acclaimed film and television composer was commissioned by Canadian animation studio Nelvana Enterprises to compose the music for “Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!”

The series is an animated reboot of the famous Thomas & Friends franchise, airing now on Treehouse in Canada, and the Cartoon Network in the U.S., and is set to stream on Netflix later this month.

Procunier will score all 104 episodes, along with two, one-hour specials.

“We had to stay away from the old score of the original,” Procunier said of the classic television series launched back in 1984.

“It’s nice to be able to start fresh and brand new, but the old music is so recognizable that I really had to avoid it, and not think about it at all.

“So I started out by just coming up with new themes for the characters,” she said of Thomas, and his pals including Percy, Gordon, James, and a new bullet train named Kana — the fastest train on the Island of Sodor.

“It just made sense to put her theme in a more electronic kind of pallet of music… which is really interesting because the show sound is very traditionally orchestral.”

Procunier, who was recently nominated for a daytime Emmy for her work on the Apple TV+ series Ghostwriter, has an impressive resume of work on film, television and other media. In 2016 she was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto International Film Festival to compose the score for ‘DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver,’ a live film-concert for the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Procunier started playing piano at age seven and was a regular at the Lambton County Music Festival growing up. She earned a Masters of Music Composition at Western University and often returns home to support events like Sarnia’s South West International Film Festival (SWIFF).

While working on Thomas and Friends, Procunier is also scoring a feature film — a thriller — and a nature series on the Great Lakes.

“I like having diversity with my projects, and I really like being able to explore all these different sides of my sound,” she said. “It keeps things interesting.

“I’m just going to keep chugging along,” she added with a laugh. “I have a lot of train puns.”

 

 

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