Ear to the Earth 2010

Produced by
Electronic Music Foundation

R. Murray Schafer
Acoustic Ecology:
A Current Perspective

Wednesday, October 27, 8pm
Greenwich House Music School
46 Barrow Street

R. Murray Schafer, founder of acoustic ecology and pioneer in the field of soundscape studies, presented his current perspective on sound, listening, and soundscapes.

In 1970, Schafer founded the World Soundscape Project (now the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, Canada. There, he worked with Hildegard Westerkamp and Barry Truax, researching the relationship between individuals, societies, and their sonic environment. His 1977 publication The Tuning of the World summarizes his research and introduces the concept of acoustic ecology.

In this encounter, Bernie Krause joined R. Murray Schafer in conversation.

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R. Murray Schafer
Acoustic Ecology and Sound
    A current-day perspective on sound, listening, and soundscapes.

A 30-minute talk

A secluded lake as a stage

The Enchanted Forest

Origins of Acoustic Ecology

The Last Exercise



R. Murray Schafer
Canadian composer and author R. Murray Schafer has won acclaim not only for his achievement as a composer, but also as an educator, environmentalist, scholar, visual artist and provocateur. A pioneer in acoustic ecology and soundscape studies, Schafer was awarded both the first Glenn Gould Prize and the first Jules Léger Prize, as well as two lifetime achievement awards from The Canada Council for the Arts.

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In addition to his work with acoustic ecology, Schafer has been working on a large-scale series of outdoor operas, bringing his work, as Bernie Krause puts it, "into the environment".

From The Palace of the Cinnebar Phoenix
Photo by Risheng Wang

Colin Eatock wrote, in the New York Times on August 27, 2005, that "For 40 years, Schafer has been writing a huge cycle of 12 music-theater works, collectively titled Patria. Larger than Wagner's Ring ... this cycle challenges the boundaries of both music and theater." And William Littler wrote, in the Toronto Star, that Patria is "The most wildly imaginative and physically ambitious series of music theatre works in the history of the Canadian stage."

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