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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