For this Guided Listening, you will need the following:
A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Malcolm Forsyth, Atayoskewin
Audio assets: Excerpts I-III from Atayoskewin by Malcolm Forsyth

Audio excerpts and textual information are provided following the guided listening.

I. Build Background
• Share: Composer Malcolm Forsyth was commissioned by Shell Canada to compose a piece to mark the opening of a new refinery and petrochemical complex in northern Alberta.
• Read the information about Forsyth and this project in the text asset: Malcolm Forsyth, Atayoskewin.
• Ask students to share what they know about the Alberta oil sands and how they are processed.
• (Optional) Have students do some online research about the oil sands if they are not familiar with the refining process.

II. First Impressions
• Listen to the following three excerpts th Read More
For this Guided Listening, you will need the following:
A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Malcolm Forsyth, Atayoskewin
Audio assets: Excerpts I-III from Atayoskewin by Malcolm Forsyth

Audio excerpts and textual information are provided following the guided listening.

I. Build Background
• Share: Composer Malcolm Forsyth was commissioned by Shell Canada to compose a piece to mark the opening of a new refinery and petrochemical complex in northern Alberta.
• Read the information about Forsyth and this project in the text asset: Malcolm Forsyth, Atayoskewin.
• Ask students to share what they know about the Alberta oil sands and how they are processed.
• (Optional) Have students do some online research about the oil sands if they are not familiar with the refining process.

II. First Impressions
• Listen to the following three excerpts thinking of:
     o Excerpt I - the oil sands land before development;
     o Excerpt II – the oil sands during development; and
     o Excerpt III – the oil sands during the processing of the raw materials.
• Ask: How might the landscape be changing throughout these different sections? Is Forsyth’s depiction of this change positive or negative? Why?
• Share: The three excerpts above are from three movements entitled “The Spirits,” “The Dream,” and “The Dance.”

III. Reflect
• Listen to the excerpts again. Does knowledge of the titles change your initial reactions?

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

Malcolm Forsyth (b. 1938) was born in South Africa. He studied in his home country before moving to Canada in 1968. Soon after he became a teacher at the University of Alberta. In 1984 Shell Canada commissioned him to compose a piece to mark the opening of a new refinery northwest of Edmonton. Forsyth visited the oil sands to research for composing Atayoskewin. He found the area forbidding, majestic, and, like the people who inhabited it, quiet. This description of the land and people is also an accurate one for this composition.
Malcolm Forsyth (b. 1938) was born in South Africa. He studied in his home country before moving to Canada in 1968. Soon after he became a teacher at the University of Alberta. In 1984 Shell Canada commissioned him to compose a piece to mark the opening of a new refinery northwest of Edmonton. Forsyth visited the oil sands to research for composing Atayoskewin. He found the area forbidding, majestic, and, like the people who inhabited it, quiet. This description of the land and people is also an accurate one for this composition.

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

An excerpt from Atayoskewin by Malcolm Forsyth (8:38-10:33).

Malcolm Forsyth

© 1984, Malcolm Forsyth.


An excerpt from Atayoskewin by Malcolm Forsyth (8:38-10:33).

Malcolm Forsyth

© 1984, Malcolm Forsyth.


An excerpt from Atayoskewin by Malcolm Forsyth (17:19-19:46).

Malcolm Forsyth

© 1984, Malcolm Forsyth.


Learning Objectives

Landscape and Soundscape is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives.
  • Learn about how the landscape of Canada influences our identity
  • Understand how musical composition can make use of environmental sounds.
  • Make a personal connection to the landscape and/or soundscape through listening to the music of these five composers and also make a connection through composing music inspired by immediate surroundings.

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