Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer was a French composer, broadcaster, engineer and acoustician. His innovative work in both the sciences—particularly communications and acoustics—and the various arts of music and radio presentation after the end of World War II, as well as his anti-nuclear activism and cultural criticism garnered him widespread recognition in his lifetime. Amongst the vast range of works and projects he undertook, Schaeffer is most and recognized for his accomplishments in electronic and experimental music, at the core of which stands his role as the chief developer of a unique and early form of avant-garde music known as musique concrète; the genre emerged in Europe from the utilization of new music technology developed in the post-war era, following the advance of electroacoustic and acousmatic music. Schaeffer's writings are oriented towards his development of the genre, as well as the theoretics and philosophy of music in general. Today, Schaeffer is considered one of the most influential experimental and subsequently electronic musicians, having been the first composer to utilize a number of contemporary recording and sampling techniques that are now used worldwide by nearly all record production companies.
His collaborative endeavors are considered milestones in the histories of electronic and experimental music. Schaeffer was born in Nancy in 1910, his parents were both musicians, at first it seemed that Pierre would take on music as a career. However his parents discouraged his musical pursuits from childhood and had him educated in engineering, he studied at several universities in this inclination, the first of, Lycée Saint-Sigisbert located in his hometown of Nancy. Afterwards he moved westwards in 1929 to the École Polytechnique in Paris and completed his education in the capital at the École supérieure d'électricité, in 1934. Schaeffer received a diploma in radio broadcasting from the École Polytechnique, he may have received a similar qualification from the École nationale supérieure des télécommunications, although it is not verifiable as to whether or not he actually attended this university. In 1934 Schaeffer entered his first employment as an engineer working in telecommunications in Strasbourg.
In 1935 he began a relationship with a woman named Elisabeth Schmitt, in the year married her and with her had his first child, Marie-Claire Schaeffer. He and his new family officially relocated to Paris where he joined the Radiodiffusion Française in 1936 and began his work in radio broadcasting and presentation, it was there that he began to move away from his initial interests in telecommunications and to pursue music instead, combining his abilities as an engineer with his passion for sound. In his work at the station, Schaeffer experimented with records and an assortment of other devices—the sounds they made and the applications of those sounds—after convincing the radio station's management to allow him to use their equipment; this period of experimentation was significant for Schaeffer's development, bringing forward many fundamental questions he had on the limits of modern musical expression. In these experiments, Pierre tried playing sounds backwards, slowing them down, speeding them up and juxtaposing them with other sounds, all techniques which were unknown at that time.
He had begun working with new contemporaries whom he had met through RTF, as such his experimentation deepened. Schaeffer's work became more avant-garde, as he challenged traditional musical style with the use of various devices and practices. A unique variety of electronic instruments—ones which Schaeffer and his colleagues created, using their own engineering skills—came into play in his work, like the chromatic and universal phonogenes, Francois Bayle's Acousmonium and a host of other devices such as gramaphones and some of the earliest tape recorders. In 1938 Schaeffer began his career as a writer, penning various articles and essays for the Revue Musicale, a French journal of music, his first column, Basic Truths, provided a critical examination of musical aspects of the time. A known ardent Catholic, Schaeffer began to write minor religiously-based pieces, in the same year as his Basic Truths he published his first novel: Chlothar Nicole — a short Christian novel; the Studio d'Essai Club d'Essai, was founded in 1942 by Pierre Schaeffer at the Radiodiffusion Nationale.
It played a role in the activities of the French resistance during World War II, became a center of musical activity. In 1949, Schaeffer met the percussionist-composer Pierre Henry, with whom he collaborated on many different musical compositions, in 1951, he founded the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète in the French Radio Institution; this gave him a new studio. This was a significant development for Schaeffer, who had to work with phonographs and turntables to produce music. Schaeffer is acknowledged as being the first composer to make music using magnetic tape, his continued experimentation led him to publish À la Recherche d'une Musique Concrète in 1952, a summation of his working methods up to that point. His only opera, Orphée 53, premiered in 1953. Schaeffer left the GRMC in 1953 and reformed the group in 195
Joseph Williamson was an English eccentric, property owner and a philanthropist, best known for the Williamson Tunnels, which were constructed under his direction in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool, England. His philanthropy earned him the nickname the King of Edge Hill, whilst his tunnel-building activity earned him posthumous nicknames, including the Mole of Edge Hill and the Mad Mole. For many years it was thought that Joseph Williamson was born in Lancashire. However, research by staff and volunteers of the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre has shown that he was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire and that his father was a glassmaker in a small village near Barnsley. At an early age, his family moved to Warrington. In 1780, when he was aged 11, he left his family and went to Liverpool where he was employed in the tobacco and snuff business of Richard Tate, he gained promotion within the business and developed his own merchant's business in partnership with Joseph Leigh. In 1787 Richard Tate died and control of the business passed to his son, Thomas Moss Tate.
Williamson married Thomas' sister, Elizabeth, in St Thomas' Church, Liverpool in 1802. The following year Williamson purchased the business from Thomas Moss Tate and from this, together with his other business enterprises, he amassed a considerable fortune. In 1805 Williamson bought an area known as the Long Broom Field on Mason Street, Edge Hill, a undeveloped outcrop of sandstone and around this time moved into a house on Mason Street, he began to build more houses in Mason Street which were built without any plans and which were "of the strangest description". The land behind the houses dropped for about 20 feet and, as it was the fashion to have large gardens and orchards behind them, he built brick arches onto which the gardens could be extended. Following this, he continued to employ his workmen, recruited more, to perform tasks, some of which appeared to be useless, such as moving materials from one place to another and back again, he used the men to build a labyrinth of underground halls and brick-arched tunnels.
Labour was plentiful at the time and with the ending of the Napoleonic wars in 1816, there were more unemployed men in Liverpool. The tunnels were built at depths between 10 feet and 50 feet and they stretched for several miles. Williamson retired from his business in 1818 but continued to be a landlord, one of his tenants being the Unitarian philosopher, James Martineau, his wife died in 1822 and he became eccentric, devoting all of his time to supervising his excavations and tunnel-building. In the 1830s he came into contact with George Stephenson, building the extension of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway from Edge Hill to Lime Street stations and whose own excavations passed through those of Williamson. Williamson died in 1840 aged 71 at his home in Mason Street, the cause of death being "water on the chest", he was buried in the Tate family vault at St Thomas' Church and left an estate of £39,000. He left no immediate descendant; the tunnelling ceased with his death. In 1911 St Thomas' Church was demolished.
Many of the graves were removed but the Tate vault remained. In 1920 the site became a car park. During the Paradise Street development in 2005 the grave was discovered in an archaeological dig; the developers of the site, Grosvenor Henderson, plan to build a memorial garden to Williamson when the development is complete. There is much evidence of Williamson's eccentricity in addition to his tunnel-building activity, his own house and the other houses built under his direction were unorthodox and impractical in design. On the day of his wedding, following the ceremony he went hunting, still dressed in his wedding clothes. On one occasion he invited guests for dinner but served them only a simple meal of porridge and hard biscuits. Many of the visitors left, he described those who remained as his real friends and invited them to stay for a more lavish feast. Relationships with his wife were not always amicable and he said himself that they led a "cat and dog" life. On one occasion Williamson set free all the birds in his wife's aviary, declaring that it was a pity that men did not have wings to enable them to enjoy liberty.
His manner varied from being "rough and uncouth" to "kind and considerate". His clothes were patched and untidy but his underclothes were clean and fine, he held a pew at St Thomas' Church. Citations Sources Friends of Williamson's Tunnels Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre
Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar or S N Ratanjankar was a distinguished scholar and teacher of Hindustani classical music, from the Agra gharana. Foremost disciple of Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande and Faiyaz Khan of Baroda State, he remained principal of Bhatkhande Music Institute, for many years, where he trained many noted names in the field of music, his father Narayan Govind Ratanjankar was born in Mumbai. Shrikrishna's grand father, Govindrao came to Mumbai in the middle of 19th century. After graduation Shrikrishna's father, Narayanrao became a police officer in the British regime. At the age of 7, S. N. Ratanjankar was trained under the guidance of Krishnam Bhatt of Karwar, he received instruction from Anant Manohar Joshi and under Faiyaz Khan of Agra gharana. In 1911, he started training with musicologist Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande and is today his most well known disciple, he graduated from Bombay University in 1926. In the year 1925, Ratanjankar graduated from the Wilson Mumbai, he was the Principal of Bhatkhande Music University, at Lucknow for several years, was appointed Vice-Chancellor at Indira Sangeet Kala Vishva Vidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh.
He was once again called to head the Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapeeth on a two-year contract. His students include K. G. Ginde, SCR Bhatt, Chidanand Nagarkar, V. G. Jog, Dinkar Kaikini, Shanno Khurana, Sumati Mutatkar, Prabhakar Chinchore, C R Vyas, Chinmoy Lahiri, Roshan Lal Nagrath; as a vocalist he sang Khayal styles of Agra gharana. A known musicologist like his mentor Bhatkhande, Ratanjankar has more than 800 compositions under his pen name "Sujan", notated and documented diligently by his disciple K. G. Ginde, he published books including Geet Manjari, Taan Sangrah, Sangeet Shiksha, Abhinava Raga Manjari. He composed some new ragas such as Marga Bihag, Gopika Basant, Kedar Bahar, Sawani Kedar, Ranjani Kalyan and Salagvarali, he was appointed Chairman of the Jury of Auditions of AIR in the mid-1950s, during which time he was involved in a re-auditioning controversy, which involved re-auditioning of Indian musicians performing on AIR, who considered it an insult and opposed it and were upset about Ratanjankar's rude and angry comments, this diminished his reputation among Indian classical musicians.
In 1957 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, in 1963 the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music and Drama, awarded him its highest honour for lifetime achievement, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. Deshpande, Vāmana Hari. Between two tanpuras. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 0-86132-226-6. Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar'Sujan': a many splendoured genius, by Sumati Mutatkar. Lotus Collection, 2001. ISBN 81-7436-175-8. Pandit Bhatkhande. National Book Trust, 1967. S. N. Ratanjankar: List of 78 rpm recordings, nsu.edu