Re: French Touch

Subject: Re: French Touch
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Thu Oct 27 2005 - 08:56:10 EDT

Thanks for the thoughts.

I can't speak for others in this matter, just from my experiences.

I find Schaeffer to be flawed and limited in a general way, and in
many specifics, notably in his apparent lack of knowledge regarding
perception. It seems we just hear things differently. For me,
Schaeffer works in 'codified' or language-specific fashion. In my
view as an academic and curricular designer, it is only one of a
number of paths.

My thinking was strongly influenced by (read assisted in being
codified) Appleton and Perera's "The Development and Practice of
Electronic Music" (1975), which while now out of date, presents a
much more universal view of electroacoustics (including two different

Schaeffer doesn't deal with electroacoustics, and Concordia has an
Electroacoustic Studies undergraduate program.

To site R Murray Schafer as an advocate of electroacoustics is to
misunderstand him. I would propose that you read his thoughts on
technology and how it has destroyed the humanist spirit. He recently
refered to himself as a Luddite. (He is currently Artist-in-Residence
in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia.)



At 00:24 -0400 2005/10/27, Louis Dufort wrote:
>Taking about "reduced listening" and seeing that a lot of you out there are
>aware of Pierre Schaeffer's writing made me wonder if english
>electroacoustic teachers at Concordia, Mcgill, SFU, across Canada and US
>give a complete course on sound perception using the Traité des objects
>Musicaux as the principal source?
>My guess is no and I would argue this is why our music is so different
>between Québec, and the rest of Canada & US. In fact in England where I
>believe do use a lot of Schaeffer principal notion seems to be closer to
>Québec électro than the music made on the west side of St-laurent Street.
>Diversity is certainly a sign of richness but one should wonder why is there
>a huge gap on both side, although English speaking community do have their
>Schafer, Murray it is, very strong on the west coast.
>I must admit that the last EMS05 in MTL did make some very nice effort to
>mix it up. Any comments on this would be appreciated.

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