New Music Society - Music for Wilderness Lake
Time & Location
About the Event
The Society for New Music is opening its 50th anniversary season, Discovering Gold, with multiple performances of a touchstone work of “environmental music” – Music for Wilderness Lake for twelve trombones by Canadian composer and environmentalist R. Murray Schafer.
Schafer (1933-2021) built on John Cage’s interest in sound, yet expanded his scope to include sound and environment - developing the concept of a soundscape, which this work represents. Composed in 1979, Music for Wilderness Lake is performed with twelve trombonists positioned around a body of water; its two movements “Dusk” and “Dawn” are intended to be performed at specific times of day. The piece utilizes the physics of sound waves reflecting off the water and incorporates the sounds of Nature into the rendering of each unique performance. Schafer’s work draws awareness to the way instrumental and natural sounds can create a unified experience. In his own words: “Music for Wilderness Lake returns to a more remote era, to an era when music took its bearings from the natural environment, a time when musicians played to the water and to the trees and then listened for them to play back to them.”
Schafer’s recent passing on August 14th has compelled us to dedicate this performance in his memory and to his focus on the connections between music and the natural world.
The program includes other Nature-inspired works for trombone ensemble by Joe Buono, Michael Davis, Ryan Meredith, A.L. Gassmann, Steven Verhelst, and Max Richter.