R. Murray Schafer: A Creative Life
by L. Brett Scott
Can be found online at Rowman & Littlefield publishing website.
The Enchanted Forest is the story of Patria 9: The Enchanted Forest, written as a narrative by Schafer with illustrations by Diana M. Smith. The book also contains a CD narrated by the author with some of the children's songs from the production recorded by La Jeunesse Choir.
The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World
This is the book in which Schafer introduces a new field of study: the soundscape. It is the first attempt ever made to document changes in the acoustic environment throughout history and across cultures. There are chapters on the natural soundscape, the post-industrial soundscape, sound symbolism, music, noise, silence and soundscape design. As such The Tuning of the World has been adopted by students and researchers as the grammar for acoustic ecology, necessary today if we are to avoid destroying ourselves with sound pollution. Appreciated by general readers for its clear and attractive prose style, The Tuning of the World has been praised by specialists in many disciplines as a work which will have far-reaching effects on the future.
'Schafer's book is a consciousness-expanding experience.'
Voices of Tyranny: Temples of Silence
Studies and Reflections on the Contemporary SoundscapeConsisting of several important essays on aspects of the soundscape written over the years since the publication of The Tuning of the World together with new pieces joining them and bringing them up-to-date, this book is a valuable collection by the person who first initiated soundscape research. Essays deal with creation and destruction by sound, the dialectics of the soundscape, music and the soundscape, and soundscape design. There are studies of Russian and French soundscapes described by Chekhov and Hugo, a diary of a Canadian soundscape and observations on the latest examples of soundscape design from Japan, Germany, and elsewhere.
Hardback $50.00 and paperback $30.00, 168 pages
A Sound Education
100 Exercises in Listening and Soundmaking
This book will be useful to every teacher concerned with improving the listening skills of children and young people. The exercises could serve as a foundation for music but they are intended to have a broader application than this. In today's noisy world it is more important than ever for whole populations to begin to listen more carefully and critically. Here are exercises dealing with soundmaking and listening, gradually leading on towards the designing of soundscapes, both personal and public.
Hardback $35.00 and paperback $20.00, 144 pages
This little book consisting of seventy-five exercises in listening and creating music, is related to A Sound Education, but here the exercises are more directly concerned with music-making and creation. Music composition still remains the missing element in most music education programs. HearSing is not a course in composition but it provides some basic sound materials and suggests a way of joining them that could lead to original creative work.
Paperback $20.00, 100 pages
The Thinking Ear: On Music Education
Thirty years ago Schafer began publishing a series of pamphlets on music education that quickly established his reputation as an original thinker in the field. The constant theme in these writings is musical creativity: a second theme is the relationship of music to the acoustic environment. Frequently the writings also illustrate bridges from music to the other arts.
These pamphlets have remained popular; they have been translated into several languages and have become influential texts for music educators in many countries. The five original texts are included in this volume: The Composer in the Classroom. Ear Cleaning, The New Soundscape, When Words Sing and The Rhinoceros in the Classroom.
But what makes this collection unique is the addition of all the more recent writings, hitherto uncollected, including essays on subjects as diverse as the building of sound sculptures and the training of a community choir.
This is the only accurate and definitive collection of Schafer's writings on music education. It belongs in the library of every contemporary music teacher. Teachers of movement, drama and language arts will also find this collection full of stimulating cross references to their own arts.
Hardback $45.00 and paperback $30.00, 350 pages
The Book of Noise
The Book of Noise is intended as an introduction to the problems of noise pollution in the modern world. It is written in clear simple language and is therefore suitable for schools or citizens' groups concerned with noise problems in the community. The hazards of noise are presented and solutions are outlined. Contact names and addresses are given for further reading and action.
Paperback $10.00, 36 pages
The Composer in the Classroom
The first of Schafer's booklets recounting his experience teaching children and young people. The technique used is Socratic, asking questions like, "What is music?" and probing beyond the obvious answers to arrive at other surprising conclusions.
Paperback $10.00, 37 pages
The New Soundscape
The first formulation of the now-famous concept of "soundscape" and its relationship to music. The book has been a standard in classrooms around the world ever since it was written in 1968.
Paperback $10.00, 65 pages
When Words Sing
A unique investigation of the middle ground between poetry and song, containing numerous references to historical work and full of simple vocal exercises for young people to try out. "Poetry is when words sing" - 6-year old boy.
Paperback $10.00, 50 pages
Patria: The Complete Cycle
In this book Schafer explains his extensive cycle of music dramas under the generic title of Patria, a project on which he has been engaged for 30 years. Although the Patria cycle is integrated thematically and many of the same characters reappear in different works, the panorama over which the events occur is vast, unfolding across many cultures and drawing extensively from numerous world mythologies. While some works are intended for traditional theatrical performance, others are conceived for unique environments, or for performance at special times of the day, night or year.
In Patria: The Complete Cycle, Schafer discusses his evolving ideas of music and theatre in their relationship to mythology, ecology, ritual and religion. There are chapters on each of the completed Patria works and notes on those in progress. The book also contains production photographs, pages from the scores, and two essays on 'The Theatre of Confluence.'
Paperback $25.00, 272 pages
E.T.A. Hoffmann and Music
'A welcome and relevant contribution.'
Like Hoffmann, Schafer's work moves into numerous fields and his sympathetic treatment of the subject may also be read as an introduction to many of his own 'romantic' attitudes towards music.
E.T.A. Hoffmann and Music was a prize-winner for design at the Leipzig
A reader enters a secondhand bookshop. A blue book drops into the reader's hands from a back shelf. The reader begins to read, discovering that the book describes a person reading a blue book in a secondhand bookshop. From there the book takes hold of the reader's life, changing it totally.
When it was first written, Schafer had copies of Wo1f Tracks secretly planted in secondhand bookshops across Canada and the U.S.A. It may still be found in many of these places, waiting to transform your life... or you can order it from Arcana Editions.
Hardback $45.00 and paperback $25.00 144 pages
Garden of the HeartThis romantic novella binds together a cycle of songs with reminisences of the years Schafer spent in Vienna, woven into a mystery story in which the origin of both the text and the music are gradually revealed by characters from Persia and Eastern Europe.
Paperback $30.00, 78 pages
Dicamus et LabyrinthosA philologist attempts to decipher an ancient script from Crete, purportedly relating to the story of Theseus, Ariadne, the Minotaur and the labyrinth. But in the course of his work he himself becomes trapped in the labyrinth of language. Following his disappearance, his notebook is found and published in order that the archeological profession may decide whether the Cretan script has been accurately and finally deciphered.
This graphic novel, which deals with mythology, language and translation, is a key source book for Schafer's Patria cycle in which the myth of the labyrinth is the central theme.
Hardback $45.00 and paperback $25.00, 148 pages
'A literary work such as this defies categorization.. a golden thread
of striking originality,' said Quill and Quire of this unusual
book which Schafer describes as a graphic novel.
On Canadian MusicThis book consists of essays dealing with various aspects of music in Canada. Throughout the volume the reader will notice Schafer's own concern for a Canadian musical style, first, through the manifesto Music in the Cold. and then in several of his own 'Canadian' compositions. The book concludes with notes and prefaces to some of these works: North/White, Music for Wilderness Lake and The Princess of the Stars.
The book is not analytical but is intended for general reading.
'I urge you to buy Schafer's book at once. He's a voice crying in
the wilderness, but it is a magnificent voice - loud and clear and true
to the man who gives it birth.'
Music in the Cold'The snows came early this year. It is the beginning of a new ice age. The wind howls at our ears as we dig for wood in the snow, and I wonder what this will do for music?'
Thus begins this manifesto in which Canadian culture is examined in counterpoint with outside influences. In thirty lively pages Schafer describes the rise and fall of Canada, behind which the true culture persists. This is a culture conditioned by climate: it is full of 'tiny events magnified,' requiring special sensing abilities. 'The scene you miss is the white hunter with the white bow stalking the white animal.'
This is an essential document for anyone interested in the culture of the North.
Paperback $10.00, 32 pages
The Chaldean Inscription
'A typographical jeu d'esprit' is the way Stephen Adams describes this work in his bibliography of Schafer's writings. Other readers have found varied meanings in this curious calligraphic book, based on an ancient Chaldean inscription.
'A poem whose memory seems to recede page by page into a maze.'
'The text is like a mantra: as you repeat it you gradually enter a different consciousness, one that is actually closer to the essence and mystery of the original text.'
Paperback $10.00, 38 pages
"To begin: a pile of unblemished paper. The pens are arranged to the side...I have begun to mark up the first sheet...." So begins this collection of narratives combining fantasy, wit and arcane knowledge with drawings in a variety of styles from the serious to the whimsical.
Paperback $15.00, 66 pages
The Sixteen Scribes
The King had sixteen scribes and everything he spoke was copied out carefully by each of the scribes to be sent to the most distant provinces, where local governors were waiting for the messages. But one day one of the scribes made a fatal mistake which plunged the entire realm into civil war.
The Sixteen Scribes invites the reader to find the error: but it also begs the question, what is an error? Members of the Toronto Handwriters' Guild collaborated to produce a variety of stunning and beautiful calligraphic styles.
Paperback $10.00, 36 pages
OUT OF PRINT
R. Murray Schafer: A Collection
The poets bp Nichol and Steve McCaffery edited this collection of Schafer's writings for the magazine Open Letter. Their aim was to present the writer through as many perspectives as possible. The collection contains articles on theatre and the soundscape, a libretto, a musical composition, some creative writing and a bibliography of Schafer's works.
Paperback $20.00, 225 pages
227 1st Line Douro
Here is a printable version in pdf format.
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