R. Murray Schafer – Listen

by David New, National Film Board of Canada


‘I imagined the soundscape as a huge musical concert that is running continuously. The tickets for this concert are free, and we are all listeners. But we are also performers because we make sounds. To a certain extent, we could also aspire to be composers and conductors, shaping an designing its events.

Since we are condemned to listen to it, why not try to improve it? It seemed inevitable to think this way because we are always at the centre of our soundscape, listening out. That is exactly contrary to the visual environment of which we are always outside, looking.’

p.11 ‘I Have Never Seen a Sound’ (Murray Schafer, R, 2005)