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Winnipeg-born musical artist behind the sound of many favourite TV shows and films, including X Company and Flashpoint

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Another hit Canadian show often means more award-winning and nominated music for composer Ari Posner | Photo: Scott Murdoch

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Coronavirus has interrupted life for everyone, but for award-winning music composer Ari Posner, embracing the slower pace of life, while working from home and spending time with his family, has been a gift.

“2019 was a really hectic year,” said the film and television music composer. “Since quarantine, I’ve been getting back to my roots and playing piano.”

The 49-year old composer received three Canadian Screen Awards (CSA) nods this year, for his original score work on Netflix/CBC’s Anne With An E, Carter and Let’s Go Luna.

Posner won the CSA for the category of Best Original Music, Fiction, on the CBC show Anne With An E.

He also co-wrote the score with his long-time friend and collaborator, Amin Bhatia. This is the third year in a row that the duo has been nominated for their work on the series.

Anne With An E was nominated for the most awards second to Schitt’s Creek, noted Posner.

A fixture in Canadian screen, Posner scored CSA nominations for X Company and the critically acclaimed series Flashpoint. Feature films include Borealis, All the Wrong Reasons, and the romantic comedy My Awkward Sexual Adventure. Alongside colleague Ian Lefeuvre, Posner spent five years scoring the hit children’s animated series Johnny Test.

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Over the years, Posner has been nominated five times for Gemini Awards, and was the recipient of a Juno Award for producing the popular children’s album Music Soup.

“It’s lovely to win an award, but what is more satisfying is that ‘mixed playback’ when you go to the final mix of the episode, and you see everything come together,” said Posner. “And if it’s done properly, it’s such an amazing sort of synergy where it tells the story and the music is part of that — you feel the magic.” 

The music, he added, is the “last piece of the chain”. It’s possible to spend up to a day and a half composing for just two minutes of story.

“Goodnight Anne” from Anne With An “E”. Composed by Ari Posner and Amin Bhatia

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Posner describes his home life as musical.

“Both my parents like to sing and perform,” said Posner. “I took piano lessons from age six. Later on I began to learn by ear. I would listen to popular ballads from Chicago and Air Supply. The production and harmonies were amazing and I started to learn how to play the chord changes.”

Posner moved to Toronto in 1989 to study Fine Arts at York University, where he focused on composition and improvisation. “My first job after graduating was playing piano for the university dance department, and eventually I got a job at an arts school playing five days a week.”

It was there that Posner met his future mentor, Rick Shurman — a student’s father, who had heard him perform at a school production.

“I had written a piece of music and this guy in the audience took note of it, and congratulated me. It turns out he worked at a jingle company called Pirate Radio and Television,” said Posner. Sure enough, by 2002, he was writing jingles for Pirate Radio and Television.

“It wasn’t what I planned. I never imagined myself doing advertising music. What I really wanted to do was to be writing scores for television and write songs for artists and produce.”

Ari Posner (right) with fellow Anne with an “E” composer Amin Bhatia in the studio | Photo: Scott Murdoch

In 2005, Posner received the opportunity of his life when Shurman landed the show Get Ed. The cartoon was a co-production between Red Rover and Disney. Posner co-wrote the score with Amin Bhatia, earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. 

“It was a remarkable moment,” said Posner.

Posner’s next major career opportunity was working on the police drama series Flashpoint.

“It really was a flashpoint for me. Out of the show’s five seasons, we were nominated for a CSA four times, and won an award in the fourth season for best dramatic score.”

Posner reflects on last summer when he went to visit his friend, Cantor Michael Smolash of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Detroit, to produce a music album called With One Breath.

“The album features traditional Hebrew prayers. It’s a celebration of Jewish music that brings together the sounds of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Judaism,” said Posner. “It was a very satisfying, rewarding and spiritual experience.

As for what’s next, for this acclaimed composer? Posner will begin scoring CBC’s Detention Adventure, as well as the second season of PBS Let’s Go Luna in late Fall. The latter series received a CSA nomination for Best Music in an Animated Series.

“It’s a lovely show that role models diversity, and teaches kids about other cultures,” said Posner. “We had to create music authentic to 20 different countries throughout the first season. It was a bit of musical gymnastics.”

Ari Posner’s COVID piano performances from home on his Facebook page can be viewed by clicking the links below:

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

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