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Soundscapes: A Musician's Journey through Life and Death

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In 2008 Paul Robertson, the renowned violinist and leader of the Medici Quartet, suffered a ruptured aorta. After dying for a lengthy period on the operating table, he remained in a coma for many weeks. During this time, he experienced visions which afforded him profound insights and when he awoke, he found his understanding of the world fundamentally altered. This surpris ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 5th 2017 by Faber Faber
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  26 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Philippe
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, art, music
Soundscapes is a quirky and insightful memoir by Paul Robertson, co-founder and longtime leader of the Medici String Quartet. In 2008, Robertson was faced with a very critical medical emergency, which left him clinically death for about half an hour and in a long coma afterwards. In his book, Robertson interrogates and studies his life through the prism of a Near Death Experience that steeped him in a sequence of phantasmagoric visions. Clearly, he chose to understand this episode as some sort o ...more
Mentai
Jul 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Could have been an interesting exploration of consciousness, death and recovery in conjunction with music performance. but Robertson makes so many generalisations and inflated appeals to God and the"great men" of western composition in his 'journey through life' that I found this did not contribute much to the study of creativity or subjectivity.
Janet Gogerty
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first books I reviewed on joining Goodreads, was 'An Equal Music' by Vikram Seth; I was looking back probably ten years. I really enjoyed it and have been intending to read it again with the advantage of looking up on the internet the pieces played in the story. Though I love music I still know very little about chamber music, but Paul Robertson gives us a fascinating, very deep insight into the intense world of a string quartet. Music is a language that needs no words and musicians a ...more
Stephen Hope-Hall
A sublime read! This story was told in a way that I suppose only a musician could tell it.
There were many rewarding insights into the world of the violin and the string quartet. What is perhaps most valuable here is the author's experience of death and coma, which he relates in some detail.
I am so grateful that I stumbled upon this book when I did.
Gloria Cangahuala
Mar 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Well, this book was disappointing, to say the least. After I heard it billed as "When Breath Becomes Air" for musicians, I was incredibly excited to read it. I'd read Paul Kalanithi's luminous memoir and loved it. Just the thought of reading something like that but geared toward musicians (and I am a musician) had me so excited I couldn't sit still.

Alas, this book wasn't anything like "When Breath Becomes Air" (and few books are). Whereas Kalanithi's book was a gorgeously written book about life
...more
Mary
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but it sounded so intriguing that I had to request it from the Early Reviewers.

Soundscapes: A Musician's Journey Through Life and Death was a fascinating story of Paul Robertson, a musician who has a near-death experience but it's so much more than life after death. It's the story of one man's journey, its about his growth and experiences in music and the development of his faith.

The book reads like a piece of music - you can hear the flow of the musi
...more
Purple
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gem... thoughtful and thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the discussions of ensemble playing.
Eva V
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting exploration and connections between music, spirituality and near-death-experiences.
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