Professor Sabine Breitsameter Guest Lecture

May 21, 2024

On Friday, May 17th, professor Sabine Breitsameter gave a guest lecture at SFU's Burnaby Campus. See below for the talk details and a link to the full talk video. 

Five reasons to revisit Schafer’s The Tuning of the World: Reflections on the future viability of soundscape and acoustic ecology

This talk is based on Sabine Breitsameter’s recent 2nd edition of Die Ordnung der Klänge (The Ordering of Sounds), her German translation of R. Murray Schafer’s The Tuning of the World. It was already in 1977 that Schafer’s original publication was released in North-America. It took more than another decade for the book to arrive in the European discourse. In her role as publisher, translator, and in her introductory essay to the book’s 2nd edition Klang, Klima, Oikos (Sound, Climate, Oikos), Breitsameter carves out the future importance and viability of Schafer’s approach to soundscape studies and his acoustic ecology, by focusing on his “polyphonic” attitude, which coined his aesthetic approach as an artist-pedagogue as well as his programmatic writings.

Breitsameter suggests reading R. Murray Schafer’s seminal work against today’s grain, and detach it from an obviously consolidated, maybe even frozen, perspective which tends to focus too much on a limited notion of ecology. As an alternative interpretation, she suggests, to embed Schafer’s ideas and practices as an early and consistent example in an overall aesthetics or care.

Sabine Breitsameter: Since 2006 Professor of Sound and Media Culture at Darmstadt UAS/Germany, research chair for Artistic Research and Media Aesthetic Practice, director of the Master’s program International Media Cultural Work. Co-president and presidium speaker of Hessian Film- und Media Academy hFMA, and member of the German Music Council (Media Committee).

1987-2008 author, dramaturg and director for cultural radio in Germany, Europe, and internationally; focus: electroacoustic art forms, experimental radio, soundscape studies and media ecology. 2004-2008: Visiting professor for Experimental Audio Media and co-founder of the "Soundstudies" Master’s program at the University of the Arts Berlin. Artistic and scientific director of numerous international conferences, e.g. The Global Composition 2012 + 2018, on Media Campus Dieburg/Germany. Publisher and translator of Schafer’s main written oeuvre Die Ordnung der Klänge. Eine Kulturgeschichte des Hörens, 2nd edition, Schott International Mainz 2023.