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Wrong R. Schafer?

R. Murray Schafer


Concordia University

Email: r***@***.ca


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Concordia University

Web References(200 Total References)

Faculty of Fine Arts: General Events Archives

finearts.concordia.ca [cached]

The Music Department welcomes R. Murray Schafer to Concordia
After all these years, R. Murray Schafer (b. 1933) is still thought of as our most prominent avant-garde Canadian composer. He is known in particular for his theatrical productions, taking place in unusual surroundings (Wilderness Lake, Toronto's Union Station, Coimbra's labyrinthine streets of the old quarter, etc) and usually drawing on ancient myths. Murray Schafer himself has almost passed into legend, and we at Concordia determined that we should acquaint a new generation of students with the vast range of his accomplishments. Mr. Schafer has been invited partly to serve as a catalyst for the collaborations between Music, Theatre, Contemporary Dance, and Cinema at Concordia University. (Such collaborations are manifest not only through individual student initiatives and occasional exchange of faculty members as visitors to the other Department, but also the on-going development of common programmes at both graduate and undergraduate level). This fall, he will be teaching a course in which 75 or so students from the four Departments will work together to design and develop a Theatre of the Senses. The final production will take place within an exciting new / old space near downtown Montreal, where the audience can stroll or be led through a variety of spaces, listening to, watching, and otherwise becoming involved in an assortment of performances by small groups. The themes linking these mini-performances, as well as the cumulative effect of the various groups' activities, will be developed by the students throughout the term - of course with the expert advice of Mr. Schafer. Murray Schafer has composed for all manners of ensemble and instrumentation: large orchestra (including one with skidoo), solo harp, trombones around a lake, massed choirs, solo voice, and even electroacoustics - including the works he composed for three pavilions at Expo 67. He is probably best known in many Montreal households for his cycle of string quartets, which have received two brilliant marathon performances by the Molinari Quartet in the last few years. His reputation as a musician is due in large part to his unusual ability to fuse exquisite detail, more typical of the 19th-century master, to startling new forms more typical of the most avant-garde show. In short, we are delighted to welcome Mr. Schafer to Concordia, and sincerely hope that he will benefit as much out of his visit to us as we know we will to his. For more insight into his work visit www.patria.org.

Sensing the City - sensous explorations of the urban landscape

david-howes.com [cached]

R Murray Schafer and The Theatre of the Senses
R. Murray Schafer was Composer in Residence at Concordia University during the Fall term of 2005. This essay reports on some of the teaching techniques he used and the end-of-term production entitled "The Theatre of the Senses" which he facilitated. During the Fall term of 2005, Murray Schafer led a Master Class in the Senses for 75 students from Concordia University's departments of Music, Theatre, Film and Dance. Transforming the classroom into a sensory gymnasium, Schafer had his students exercise each of their sensory faculties by, among other things, composing smellodies, apple-tasting, going on barefoot walks around campus, and foregoing speech for a period so as to heighten their receptiveness to the world around them. He also lectured on some of his past works, such as "The Palace of the Cinnabar Prince" (Part 8 of the Patria Cycle), which was set around a wilderness lake, and Ko Wo Kiku, "Listen to the Incense," which was commissioned by the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. The Theatre of the Senses could also be linked to the nineteenth century tradition of the "total work of art" or gesamtkunstwerk, which Schafer has done so much to expand by situating his pieces in wilderness settings (so that all of nature becomes a stage).

Sensing the City - sensous explorations of the urban landscape

www.david-howes.com [cached]

Murray is the Composer in Residence here at Concordia this Fall, where he is conducting what is best described as a MASTER CLASS IN THE SENSES. The course will lead to a performance in early December at an as yet undisclosed location of a work to be called THE THEATER OF THE SENSES. The work will be co-designed by Murray and the 75 fortunate students from Music, Theatre, Contemporary Dance and Cinema enrolled in his course. I dropped in on Murray at his office on the Loyola campus earlier this week to talk about his aims for the course. I was intrigued to learn that he is schooling his students in various techniques for recovering and living their senses to the full, such as going on barefoot walks around campus, or setting aside 24 hours in which you try not to speak to anybody so as to heighten your sense experience of the world around you. He also has his students making smellodies, that is arranging odours the same way you might arrange notes in music. Murray has been developing these techniques for many years, beginning with children's books, like Rhinoceros in the Classroom, and A Sound Education: 100 Exercises in Listening and Sound-Making, which is directed at slightly older youths. You could say that Murray conceives of the classroom as a sensory gymnasium, where you exercise each of your senses instead of passively absorbing the 'three Rs': reading writing and arithmetic. I have been doing ethnographic research on the senses across cultures for some 20 years. I thought I knew something about technique, but I came away from our conversation bristling with new ideas, having just had my senses "cleaned", in one of Murray's catchphrases. Murray is the author of many such catchphrases or soundbites, which open up worlds of possibilities. Others include "acoustic ecology," "soundmark" and "schizophonia," some of which we shall be hearing about presently. Composer, dramatist, music educator, music journalist, pioneer in the field of soundscape studies, Murray has also made significant contributions to the humanities as a musicologist/literary scholar, creative writer, and visual artist. (Many of his musical scores include illustrations and/or graphic notations, and have been exhibited from time to time in galleries) For Murray, the whole of nature is a stage, and the sounds of nature play no less a role than the instruments or voices of the human performers. His genre-crossing work has accordingly attracted many prizes, such as the first Glenn Gould Award in 1987, the first Louis Appelbaum Composers award in 1999, and there is no end to his commissions. In addition to crossing disciplinary borders, Murray's work crosses sensory borders, as in Ko Wo Kiku, "Listen to the Incense. This work was commissioned by the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. It incorporates elements of the Japanese incense ceremony in its first movement, as jars of lit incense are passed around from performer to performer. You might think it takes a musician to think of "listening" to incense, but in fact if you delve deeply into Buddhism, as Murray has, you will find that hearing with the nose can put you on the path to Enlightenment. Murray's best known academic work is The Tuning of the World, first published in 1977, and translated into many languages. He is also a contributor to The Auditory Culture Reader, published by Berg of Oxford in 2003, the first book in the Sensory Formations series. Enough said. Let us now turn this auditorium into an acoustic gymnasium. Phyllis Lambert, Mirko Zardini, members of the CCA and of the public, I present you R Murray Schafer ( click here for the lecture).

Emily Cheung - Vancouver Chamber Choir

vancouverchamberchoir.com [cached]

Since 2004, Emily has sung in concerts worldwide, from South Africa to Venezuela to Malaysia, including such highlights as the 2008 Summer Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Hong Kong with Jackie Chan, the World Premiere of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer's The Love That Moves the Universe, and as a featured soloist in a private concert for the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

A Garden of Bells - Vancouver Chamber Choir

vancouverchamberchoir.com [cached]

A Garden of Bells: The Choral Music of R. Murray Schafer, Volume 1

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