Program 705: Listening to the World
KALW Broadcast Date: July 17, 2022 | Host: Ed Herrmann
Canada’s best known composer, R. Murray Schafer, wrote an enormous amount of music, including works for voice, orchestra, chamber ensembles, and a series of site specific rituals meant to be performed outdoors. However, in the U.S. Schafer’s ideas, especially as expressed in his seminal 1977 book Tuning of the World, are better known than his music. As the founder of acoustic ecology, he spawned the study of our sound environment, and advocated a harmonious relationship between people, sound, and nature.
For this Music from Other Minds program Ed Herrmann presents some of Schafer’s music, including several of his string quartets; an excerpt from his early Minnelieder, based on medieval German texts; Epitaph for Moonlight, a piece for youth choir using graphic notation and words invented by 7th graders; and an excerpt from Gitanjali, a song cycle based on poems by Rabindranath Tagore. The program also features Schafer’s curious monologue on Canadian culture Music in the Cold; and interviews with composer Hildegard Westerkamp, a former student of Schafer who in the 1970s worked with Schafer on the World Soundscape project; and Eric Leonardson, sound artist and Executive Director of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
R. Murray Schafer was born on July 18, 1933. His birthday is now promoted by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology as World Listening Day.