R. Murray Schafer

Raymond Murray Schafer, born 1933, is one of Canada’s best known living composers. Perhaps best known for his World Soundscape Project, concern for acoustic ecology, and his book The Tuning of the World (1977).

His passion for the environment was captured in Patria, “a monumental operatic salute to nature.” His work, “Patria 3:The Greatest Show,” was performed in Peterborough’s Del Crary Park in 1987 and again, the following year. He was for many years the artistic director of the Peterborough Festival of the Arts. His writing includes his memoirs, ‘My Life on Earth and Elsewhere.’ His studies of musical theory since the 1960s have included the concepts of soundscape of schizophonia. To that end he coined the term ‘schizophonia’ in 1969; the splitting of a sound from its source, or the condition caused by this split: “We have split the sound from the maker of the sound.”

Among his many honours, Schafer was the first recipient of the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music in 1978 for String Quartet No. 2 ‘Waves.’ He was conferred with the Governor General Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2009, and was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2013.

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