Patria Music/Theatre Projects
Registered Canadian Charitable Number:
10409 4370 RR 0001
Patria (Latin for homeland) is the title of a cycle of related music dramas that Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer has been creating during the last thirty years. At the present time, eight parts of this monumental undertaking have been performed and published. Several further works are in various states of creation. But enough has already been presented to reveal the series as perhaps the most radical and challenging cycle of music dramas to be produced within the past half century.
Many of the works are conceived for special environments: a lake, a forest or a deserted mine. Some begin at unusual times of the day or night (dawn, sunset, midnight) or extend beyond the accepted durations for theatrical works. RA, for instance, is conceived for a set of indoor and outdoor spaces and lasts 11 hours. And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon (the as yet incomplete epilogue to the Patria cycle) lasts for a week in a wilderness forest.
In these works theatre meets ritual, mythology penetrates art, the activities of performer and audience become blurred, the arts court one another, flow together in confluence, even moving into areas not normally considered art forms: touch. . .fragrance. . .
Yet for all its diversity, Patria is a unified cycle with a common theme: the search of a male and female character for one another through the many labyrinths of life on earth. The search takes them to many cultures and past epochs, finally to reach its apotheosis on the shores of the wilderness lake from which it began. While some of the Patria works require special environments, others are intended for performance in traditional theatres. Each is self contained, though cross-references to the other works are numerous, ultimately resulting in a rich and complex mythology.
Patria Music/Theatre Projects: Mission Statement
To develop, create, promote and produce new works of music/theatre by Canadian composers throughout Canada and abroad. As well as develop the talent of young performing artists, to encourage them to perform new works by Canadians and to educate and increase the public's appreciation of the aesthetic arts including new works of music.