Continuumix #7

Continuumix #7
Snowforms graphic scoretitle=

Hieroglyphs of Ontario
Exploring the Music of Raymond Murray Schafer

Selection by Continuo
Total time: 54:35

This mix is intended as a tribute to a composer whose philosophy and music have deeply influenced the inception of this blog. Various pioneering aspects of Raymond Murray Schafer‘s oeuvre have been included: Soundscape and Acoustic Ecology, vocal and choral music, orchestral and chamber music with echoes of Ives, Webern and Shostakovitch, outdoor music performed in the open, graphic scores and spoken word. A track by Hildegard Westerkamp, Murray Schafer’s close associate in the World Soundscape Project, 1973-80, is also included, as well as sound poetry by his friend bp Nichol, whose death inspired the String Quartet n°4 in 1989. Both Murray Schafer and Westerkamp gave lectures at the Uses and Abuses of Sound conference that took place in Koli, Finland, last week (June 16-19, 2010).

All music excerpts from personal collection, except where noted. Color pictures above from Miss Mussel’s post on a Murray Schafer-inspired soundwalk, as part of Open Ears Festival 2009, Kitchener, Ontario. Poet Rae Crossman is seen with an oar. Snowforms graphic score from Musicworks journal #16, Toronto, 1981.

  • Nocturne for solo flute (1996)
    Ellen Waterman, flute. Recorded by Gayle Young at Wildcat Lake, Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, Central Ontario, 1998. From Musicworks magazine+CD #72 , Toronto, 1998.
  • East (1972)
    National Arts Centre Orchestra, Mario Bernardi, conductor. From the Transcription series LP published by Radio Canada International, 1973. Based on a text from the Isha-Upanishad.
  • Music for the Morning of the World (1969)
    For mezzo-soprano and magnetic tape. Kathy Terrell, mezzo-soprano. The excerpt is the 2nd half of the piece with prominent electronic sounds. Based on lyrics by Turkish poet Jalâl al-Din Rûmi. From the 2xLP Loving, Melbourne Records, Canada, 1979.
  • Kits Beach Soundwalk (1989) by HILDEGARD WESTERKAMP
    For spoken voice and tape. Field recording made on Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver. Based on Westerkamp’s mid-1980s Soundwalking radio show experiments. An excerpt from Iannis Xenakis’ Concret PH 2 is embedded at the heart of the piece. From the Transformations CD on Empreintes Digitales, Montréal, 1996.
  • The Vancouver Soundscape (1973)
    Urban sounds from Murray Schafer’s World Soundscape Project first LP. Recorded by Howard Broomfield, Bruce Davis, Peter Huse and Colin Miles. From the Cambridge Street CD reissue, Vancouver, 1996.
  • Here The Sounds Go Round (1980)
    Murray Schafer reads own text, from Sounds Unseen, flexidisc issued by Presentation House and Gallery Stratford, Ontario, 1980.
  • Howling wolves sounds from the internet.
  • String Quartet n°5 – Rosalind (1989). Excerpt features the Wolf Theme, a transcription of the animal’s howl. From the Quatuor Molinari 2 CD set on ATMA Classique, Québec, 2000.
  • Arcana (1973)
    Mary Morrison, soprano. Chamber ensemble conducted by Sydney Hodkinson. Based on Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs. From the Transcription series LP published by Radio Canada International, 1973.
  • Reflexions Sur Le Son (1980)
    Murray Schafer reads own text, in French. From Sounds Unseen, flexidisc issued by Presentation House and Gallery Stratford, Ontario, 1980.
  • Generations Generated (1977) by BP NICHOL
    From the Ear Rational: Sound Poems 1966-1980 cassette. Retrieved from PennSound.
  • Sun (1982)
    For a capella chorus. The Elmer Iseler Singers. From a compilation 2xLP titled Premiere, Canadian Music Center, Centrediscs, 1984.
  • Snowforms (1981)
    For chidren’s choir. Here interpreted by a woman’s choir, the Vancouver Chamber Choir. From A Garden of Bells – The Choral Music of R. Murray Schafer CD, Grouse Records, 2008. Snowforms‘ graphic score (pictured above) was conceived as an equivalent of a snow storm.

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17 Responses to “Continuumix #7”

  1. 1 twinkle June 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    This is great on headphones. You pick up well on his soundscape / immersive environment here. Nice work. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.

  2. 2 continuo June 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this mix as an immersive experience, even if it was first conceived as a modest continuum-mix ;D
    Thanks for your comment.

  3. 3 lightactivity June 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Nice! I was just looking at this web-page, which has some Schafer interview clips (along with, oddly, some Raymond Williams clips)

    I used to have Schafer’s electronic anti-war children’s record “Threnody” but I think I sold it. Interesting how his ideas about sound and music are tied up in his leftism and vice versa.

  4. 4 continuo June 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Well, this is a composer with a philosophy of his own, not someone jumping on the last Structuralist bandwagon. And his educational writings and projects, especially towards children, are an inspiration for educators the world over. I was not aware of the link you mention, so thanks — these interviews are lovely. In this exquisite YouTube video, Murray Schafer has some very touching words about children and music.
    While there are many composers I admire, there are very few I genuinely love. Murray Schafer is one of them, I guess. Thanks for your comment.

  5. 5 trakl June 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Thanx a lot for this,but what about a cue file?
    is it possible?

  6. 6 continuo June 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Not sure to understand what you mean by ‘cue file’. These mixes, by definition, are continuous and tracks constantly overlap.

    If your question is about identifying what’s playing at any given moment, try to read the above notes carefully for hints.

    If you would be interested in source LPs with separate tracks, let me know, I could post them here. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. 7 trakl June 23, 2010 at 6:57 am

    If it is possible to post this source LPs (with separate tracks)-this will be wondefull,
    Thanx in advance.

  8. 8 continuo June 23, 2010 at 7:09 am

    OK, I’ll post some of them this summer.

  9. 9 Administrador July 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Great. Thanks one more time

  10. 10 Doug Harvey August 30, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Hi Continuo, awesome blog – I’d like to communicate offlist, can you e me? DougH

  11. 11 continuo August 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Hi Doug, reach me at:
    teepeesfrp [at] yahoo [dot] fr

  12. 12 Wey Nagrom December 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    This is remarkable. Great hearing works from coast to coast in Canada. Incidentally, one of the recordists from the Open Ears Festival interviewed our coffee business, Merchants of Green Coffee, to be used alongside recordings from Guatemala. In the future, she may lead a sound walk through the building we operate out of. While I haven’t listened, here’s a link to the soundfile:

    Thanks again for the memorable listening experience. Lost a TB of music recently, now taking my time re-collecting certain lost items. Tracing my way through your blog is a pleasure.

  13. 13 Wey Nagrom December 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Finally listened to Victoria’s sound tour through Guatemala and discovered MGC was featured elsewhere, on the Green Planet Monitor web blog/podcast series: Aside from the plug, it also happens to be highly informative.

  14. 14 Peter December 9, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Hmmmmm …. intriguing …..

    thx for posting!

  15. 15 continuo December 9, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Thanks for your comment.

  16. 16 Maryse March 10, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Hi continuo,
    your website is really amazing, there is so much beautiful music.
    I was hoping on dowloading this mix from you, but it directs me to an ilivid download page? And then I can’t find the download link anywhere? Is it normal?
    Thanks in advance for your answer!

  17. 17 continuo March 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    The blog (and links) are no longer maintained, Maryse.

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