Canadian composer and acoustic ecologist R. Murray Schafer is known for his outdoor works. Other scholars have considered the collaboration between musicians and the physical world in Schafer’s compositions and have linked performer-environment interaction with Canadian identity and environmentalism. Yet the role and meaning of outdoor acoustics in Schafer’s music remains understudied. This article investigates the aesthetics of echo in Schafer’s outdoor theatre work The Princess of the Stars (1981–4). Echo not only sends an original sound back from a surface but also offers insight into the role that musical sounds play in prescribing an interpretation of nature.
Le compositeur canadien et écologiste acoustique R. Murray Schafer est connu pour son travail artistique en extérieur. Un certain nombre de chercheurs ont examiné l’interaction entre musiciens et environnement physique dans les compositions de Schafer et ont établit un lien entre ces interactions et l’environnementalisme ainsi que l’identité canadienne. Le rôle et les implications de l’acoustique extérieure dans la musique de Schafer sont toutefois encore négligés par la recherche. Cet article examine l’esthétique de l’écho dans l’oeuvre théâtrale de Schafer intitulée The Princess of the Stars (1981–4). On montre ainsi que l’écho renvoie non seulement un son d’origine par l’entremise d’une surface, mais qu’il offre aussi un aperçu du rôle des sons musicaux dans la prescription d’une certaine interprétation de la nature.
Download the article in PDF to read it.
Tyler Kinnear is instructor of arts at Western Carolina University. His teaching and research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century music, music and the environment, and histories and theories of listening. His written work has been published in such journals as Ecomusicology Review, Music & Politics, and Organised Sound. Currently, he is principal investigator of Sonic Histories, an interdisciplinary research initiative studying how students experience histories of race, class, and (dis)ability at an institution of higher learning through sounds heard and imagined.
- Adamenko, Victoria. 2007. Neo-Mythologism in Music: From Scriabin and Schoenberg to Schnittke and Crumb. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon.
- “Artistic Committee Meeting with R. Murray Schafer and Tim Wilson.” Recorded 23 July 1985. Princess of the Stars Production Files, Inter-Arts Fonds 1994–43.4, Banff Centre Archives, Banff, AB.
- Barrow, Rosemary. 2017. “Narcissus and Echo.” In A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology, edited by Vanda Zajko and Helena Hoyle, 299–310. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Bell, Laura, Lisa Wagels, Christiane Neuschaefer-Rube, Janina Fels, Raquel E. Gur, and Kerstin Konrad. 2019. “The Cross-Model Effects of Sensory Deprivation on Spatial and Temporal Processes in Vision and Audition: A Systematic Review on Behavioral and Neuroimaging Research since 2000.” Neural Plasticity, 31 October. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914961/.
- Born, Georgina, and David Hesmondhalgh, eds. 2000. Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representations, and Appropriations in Music. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Bullen, Daniel. 2019. “Letting Go of Thoreau: Renewing America’s Legacy.” Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments, 28 February. https://www.terrain.org/2019/nonfiction/letting-go-of-thoreau/.
- “CBC Morningside Interview with Tim Wilson.” Recorded 12 August 1985. Princess of the Stars Production Files, Inter-Arts Fonds 1994–43.3, Banff Centre Archives, Banff, AB.
- Chua, Daniel K. L. 2006. “Untimely Reflections on Operatic Echoes: How Sound Travels in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Beethoven’s Fidelio with a Short Instrumental Interlude.” Opera Quarterly 21 (4): 573–96.
- Cook, Robert C. 2013. “The Vocal Ecology of Crumb’s Crickets.” Journal for the Society of American Music 7 (2): 123–45.
- Cronon, William. 1996. “Introduction: In Search of Nature.” In Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, edited by William Cronon, 23–68. New York: W. W. Norton.
- Crossman, Rae, with participants of The Wolf Project. 2007. “Notes from the Wild: An Account in Words and Music of R. Murray Schafer’s And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon.” New Quarterly 101 (Winter). https://tnq.ca/story/notes-wild-account-words-music-r-murray-schafers-wolf-shall-inherit-moon/.
- Davies, Stephen 1987. “Authenticity in Musical Performance.” British Journal of Music Aesthetics 27 (1): 39–50.
- de Kerckhove, Derrick, and Tim Wilson. 2002. “Recovering Narcissus: Sound and Touch in the Digital World.” Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology 3 (1): 15–17.
- Doolittle, Emily. 2001. “Thoughts on R. Murray Schafer’s Wolf Project.” Unpublished paper, http://emilydoolittle.com/wolfpaper.pdf.
- Droumeva, Milena, and Randolph Jordan, eds. 2019. Sound, Media, Ecology. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Dufton, Brooke. 2018. “A Voice in the Wilderness: A Singer’s Guide to the Implications of Performance Context in R. Murray Schafer’s Wolf Music.” PhD diss., University of Toronto.
- Fabian, Dorottya. 2001. “The Meaning of Authenticity and the Early Music Movement: A Historical Review.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 32 (2): 153–67.
- Francis, Daniel. 1997. National Dreams: Myth, Memory, and Canadian History. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp.
- Galloway, Kate. 2007. “Pathways and Pilgrims: The In-Between Spaces in the Patria Cycle.” Intersections: Canadian Journal of Music 28 (1): 134–45.
- Galloway, Kate. 2010. “‘Sounding Nature, Sounding Place’: Alternative Performance Spaces, Participatory Experience, and Ritual Performance in R. Murray Schafer’s Patria Cycle.” PhD diss., University of Toronto.
- Galloway, Kate. 2012. “Roughing It in the Woods: Community and Emplaced Experience in the Cultural Practice of R. Murray Schafer’s Patria.” MUSICultures 39 (2): 30–60.
- Grace, Sherrill. 2001. Canada and the Idea of North. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
- Hamilton, Graeme. 2017. “The Shady Past of Parks Canada: Forced Out, Indigenous People Are Forging a Comeback.” National Post, 25 August. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/the-shady-past-of-parks-canada-forced-out-indigenous-people-are-forging-a-comeback.
- Harley, Maria Anna. 1994. “Space and Spatialization in Contemporary Music: History and Analysis Ideas and Implementations.” PhD diss., McGill University.
- Harley, Maria Anna. 1998. “Canadian Identity, Deep Ecology and R. Murray Schafer’s ‘The Princess of the Stars.’” In Northern Soundscapes: Yearbook of Soundscape Studies, edited by R. Murray Schafer and Helmi Jarviluoma, 1:136–37. Tampere, Finland: Department of Folk Tradition, University of Tampere.
- Ingold, Timothy. 2007. “Against Soundscape.” In Autumn Leaves: Sound and the Environment in Artistic Practice, edited by Angus Carlyle, 10–13. Paris: Double Entendre.
- Jaeger, David. 2016. “Coming of Age in the 1990s—Part 2.” WholeNote, 29 April. https://www.thewholenote.com/index.php/newsroom/feature-stories/26031-coming-of-age-in-the-1990s-part-2.
- Kelman, Ari. 2010. “Rethinking the Soundscape: A Critical Genealogy of a Key Term in Sound Studies.” Senses and Society 5 (2): 212–34.
- Keogh, Brent, and Ian Collinson. 2016. “‘A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place’: The (Ab)uses of Music Ecology.” MUSICultures 43 (1): 1–15.
- Kinnear, Tyler. 2017. “Music in Nature, Nature in Music: Sounding the Environment in Contemporary Composition.” PhD diss., University of British Columbia.
- Kymlicka, Will. 2003. “Being Canadian.” Government and Opposition 38 (3): 357–85.
- MacKenzie, Kirk Loren. 1992. “A Twentieth-Century Musical/Theatrical Cycle: R. Murray Schafer’s Patria (1966–).” PhD diss., University of Cincinnati.
- MacKinnon, J. B. 2014. The Once and Future World: Nature as It Was, as It Is, as It Could Be. Toronto: Vintage Canada.
- Mondo Mediaworks. 2012. “Inuksuit: An Outdoor Recording Odyssey at Guilford Sound. Guilford, VT.” Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/55954956.
- Nalewicki, Jennifer. 2017. “This Canadian Lake Hides an Underwater Ghost Town.” Smithsonian Magazine, 5 October. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/underneath-canadian-lake-sits-preserved-ghost-town-180964645/.
- National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 2019. Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report. https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/.
- Parks Canada. 2017. “History of Lake Minnewanka.” Last modified 6 April. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/les10-top10/minnewanka.
- Pearson, Tina. 1983. “Beyond RA: R. Murray Schafer in Conversation.” Musicworks 25:3–11.
- Plutarch. 2009. “Theseus.” Translated by John Dryden. http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/theseus.html.
- Rea, John. 1974. “Richard Wagner and R. Murray Schafer: Two Revolutionary and Religious Poets.” Canada Music Book 8 (Spring/Summer): 37–51.
- Resnick, Philip. 2005. The European Roots of Canadian Identity. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
- Rhodes, Richard A. 1985. Eastern Ojibwa-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary. Berlin: Mouton Publishers.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1969. The New Soundscape: A Handbook for the Modern Music Teacher. Toronto: Clark & Cruickshank.
- Schafer, R. Murray, ed. 1973. The Vancouver Soundscape. The Music of the Environment Series, no. 2. Burnaby, BC: Sonic Research Studio, Simon Fraser University.
- Schafer, R. Murray, ed. 1977. Five Village Soundscapes. The Music of the Environment Series, no. 4. Vancouver, BC: A.R.C. Publications.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1977. The Tuning of the World: Toward a Theory of Soundscape Design. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1981. Music for Wilderness Lake. Bancroft, ON: Arcana Editions.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1983. “Canadian Culture: Colonial Culture.” In On Canadian Music, 75–94.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1984. On Canadian Music. Bancroft, ON: Arcana Editions.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1985. “Ursound.” Musicworks 29 (Fall): 19–22.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1986. Patria: The Prologue The Princess of the Stars. Toronto: Arcana Editions.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 2002. Patria: The Complete Cycle. Toronto: Coach House Books.
- Scheffer, Erin Elizabeth. 2010. “The Self and the Wolf: An Examination of R. Murray Schafer’s Wolf Project.” MA thesis, Florida State University.
- Scott, L. Brett. 2019. R. Murray Schafer: A Creative Life. London: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Shields, Rob. 1991. Places on the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity. London: Routledge.
- Smith, Mark M. 2015. “Echo.” In Keywords in Sound, edited by David Novak and Matt Sakakeeny, 55–64. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Sweeting, Adam, and Thomas C. Crochunis. 2001. “Performing the Wild: Rethinking Wilderness and Theater Spaces.” In Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism, edited by Karla Armbruster and Kathleen R. Wallace, 325–40. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.
- Taylor, Charles. 1991. “Shared and Divergent Values.” In Options for a New Canada, edited by Ronald Watts and D. Brown, 53–76. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
- Taylor, Timothy. 1997. Global Pop: World Music, World Markets. London: Routledge.
- Thoreau, Henry D. 2004. Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- Titon, Jeff Todd. 2012. “Echo and Reflection.” Sustainable Music Blog, 30 August. http://sustainablemusic.blogspot.ca/2012/08/echo-and-reflection.html.
- Town of Banff. n.d. “Indigenous Peoples.” https://banff.ca/1103/Indigenous-Peoples.
- Truax, Barry. 1978. Handbook for Acoustic Ecology. Music of the Environment Series, no. 5. Vancouver, BC: A.R.C. Publications.
- Truax, Barry. 2001. Acoustic Communication. 2nd ed. Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 2015. Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. http://caid.ca/DTRC.html.
- Waterman, Ellen. 1997. “R. Murray Schafer’s Environmental Music Theatre: A Documentation and Analysis of ‘Patria the Epilogue: And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon.’” PhD diss., University of California.
- Waterman, Ellen. 1998a. “Confluence and Collaboration Part One: Performing R. Murray Schafer’s And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon.” Musicworks 70 (February): 6–10.
- Waterman, Ellen. 1998b. “Confluence and Collaboration Part Two: Performing R. Murray Schafer’s And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon.” Musicworks 72 (October): 16–24.
- Waterman, Ellen. 2001. “Patria at the Millennium.” TOPIA: A Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 6 (Fall): 21–44.
- Wilson, Tim. 1985. “The Place of the Princess.” Banff Letters (Spring): 28–32.
- Adams, John Luther. Inuksuit. 2013. Recorded 12 June 2012, at Guilford Sound, Guilford, VT. Cantaloupe Music, CA21096. CD and DVD.
- Schafer, R. Murray. n.d. “R. Murray Schafer—Music for Wilderness Lake .” Canadian Music Centre Ann Southam Audio Archive.
- Schafer, R. Murray. n.d. “R. Murray Schafer—Patria. The Prologue: The Princess of the Stars .” Wendy Humphreys (soprano). Recorded 8 September 1995, at Lake Muskoka, near Haliburton, ON. Canadian Music Centre Ann Southam Audio Archive.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1974. Soundscapes of Canada. Ten one-hour radio programs produced by members of the World Soundscape Project. Aired on CBC-FM Ideas, 21 October–1 November.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 1999. “Princess of the Stars: Copy of Edited Master.” Eleanor James (mezzo-soprano), “Aria of the Princess.” Recorded 8–10 August 1985, at Two Jack Lake, near Banff, AB. Princess of the Stars Production Files, Inter-arts Fonds 1999–34.5, Banff Centre Archives, Banff, AB.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 2002. “Ariadne’s Aria.” On Canadian Composers Portraits: R. Murray Schafer. Wendy Humphreys (soprano). Recorded 12–14 September 1997, at Wildcat Lake, near Haliburton, ON. Centrediscs/Centredisques, CMCCD 8902, CD.
- Schafer, R. Murray. 2009. “The Princess’s Aria, from The Princess of the Stars (1981).” On Patria—R. Murray Schafer. Wendy Humphreys (soprano). Recorded 8 September 1995, at Lake Muskoka, near Haliburton, ON. Opening Day, ODR 9307, CD.