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Voices in the Wilderness: Thinking about Murray Schafer in 2019

Voices in the Wilderness: Thinking about Murray Schafer in 2019

May 31, 2019
National

"On a particularly sunny and warm May day in Belfast – one might even have called it summery – my thoughts turned to the coming season, and to the phenomenon of music performed in the great outdoors, or even deep in the wilderness, if the friends and followers of Murray Schafer are to be emulated. My reverie gradually took me back to a much earlier time when such thinking was a fresh idea.

I recalled that in the summer of 1979 my CBC Radio colleague, John Reeves, approached me with an unusual proposal for a broadcast. He asked if I would consider funding an episode he wanted to produce for my recently established contemporary music series, Two New Hours (1978–2007) on what was then known as the CBC FM Network. The notable aspect of his proposal was that it would feature a composition by Murray Schafer, to be recorded on a wilderness lake. The title of the episode was simply, Music for Wilderness Lake. The performance of the work would be by an ensemble of 12 trombonists, ringing the lake, and the recording would be made from the perspective of microphones positioned in a canoe in the middle of the lake..."

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Related Composers: R. Murray Schafer