In this book Schafer explains his extensive cycle of music dramas under the generic title of Patria, a project on which he has been engaged for 30 years. Although the Patria cycle is integrated thematically and many of the same characters reappear in different works, the panorama over which the events occur is vast, unfolding across many cultures and drawing extensively from numerous world mythologies. While some works are intended for traditional theatrical performance, others are conceived for unique environments, or for performance at special times of the day, night or year.
In Patria: The Complete Cycle, Schafer discusses his evolving ideas of music and theatre in their relationship to mythology, ecology, ritual and religion. There are chapters on each of the completed Patria works and notes on those in progress. The book also contains production photographs, pages from the scores, and two essays on 'The Theatre of Confluence.'