Radiophonic Waves (March 2018)

This month we decided to tackle the spectrum of compositions that inhabit and explore radiophonic composition. Radiophonic music developed as an artistic practice focusing on the use of electronics, abstracting and manipulating sounds to create unique pieces often designed specifically for radio. This medium places you, the listener, at the centre of the experience, how you interpret the sounds as they are divorced from a traditional concert context.

The works in this playlist are designed to immerse you in the spectrum of radiophonic sounds. Sounds from what we know are abstracted in each of these tracks, from the raw, digitally manipulated samples of organic everyday household sounds utilised by Andrew Ball and Michelle Nguyen, to the visually evocative soundscapes evoked by Fiona Hill and  Jessica Wells. Electronics are used throughout this playlist to abstract how voices and conversations are heard. These range from the use of intimate recordings of family conversations by Martin K. Koszolko to Amber Hansen’s ambient mix of samples recorded in the island of Capri.

This playlist also features works by Amber Hansen and Marlene Radice which were specifically commissioned for radio play and as such have been composed the be heard via this medium, the live component of the composition being the listening act in and of itself.

All of these works are designed to be interpreted by the listener a multitude of different ways, they challenge how we listen to sounds and re-evaluate how we perceive music.


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International Women’s Day 2018

The theme for International Women’s Day in 2018 is #PressforProgress.  Here at Making Waves, we think 13+ hours of music by mostly unpublished Australian composers who happen to be women is relatively progressive.  We hope you enjoy this collection, whether you stream intensively or bookmark it to savour in stages.

However, this is ongoing work: the more composers whose music we get to know, the wider our networks reach and the more new faces we discover.  We see you out there who haven’t gotten around to sending us a track or two! Today we especially encourage women and gender diverse composers to get in touch and submit your recordings to the Making Waves curation pool.  We have tried to make the criteria as open as possible with no restrictions on gender or age, and as wide a definition of “Australian” as possible, plus occasional special editions from off-shore locations (hint: there’s another international playlist coming soon!!).

What are some ways composers and musicians “pressing for progress” in terms of gender?

The Women in Sound Women on Sound reading list is a great starting point for wider reading on and by women working in sound with some useful data-driven search tools.  We are excited to watch how this evolves as more sources are added.

Music Theory Examples By Women is an excellent resource for music educators looking to diversify their notated teaching materials.  The website also links to some sizeable playlists on Spotify, YouTube, etc.

Throwback to GRID (Gender Research in Darmstart), Feminist Activism during the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, 2016, and especially Ashley Fure’s reflections.

If you want to crunch the numbers closer to home on Australian content programmed by the Major Performing Arts Organisations, including attention to gender representation, catch Ian Whitney’s Australian Content in 2018, now an annual blogging tradition.

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Landscape Waves (February 2018)

Many composers find inspiration in their environment and surroundings, and we have hinted at this in several past playlists (Nature Waves, Sonic Environment Waves). This month’s playlist, Landscape Waves, brings together a selection of works for varied forces, all reflecting on aspects of the outdoor or natural world and sound: the sounds of people, animals and places, and especially the sounds of climate.  This progression from drought through to deluge is your soundtrack to another month of southern hemisphere summer.

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2017 Waves

It’s been a huge year for the Making Waves community: the extended team, composers and listeners.  Thank you so much for joining us in 2017 as we venture through monthly playlists and our first foray into podcasting.

We’ve been delighted to continue to put the spotlight on new faces this year.  Having featured over 150 composers in 3 years worth of playlists (time flies!), it sometimes feels like the more composers we get to know, the more there are to discover.  And that’s a good thing!  The new music community is so active, vibrant and dedicated, and it’s fantastic to see so much creativity taking place in sound around Australia, and continue to be introduced to new work.

Along with the playlists the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast was released.  We are super proud to have brought this project to fruition, along with 10 interviewers, audio and podcast enthusiasts.  Massive thanks to the Making Conversation team and to the  composers interviewed for a total of 29 episodes in this season.  We hope to continue the series in the future, and we encourage you to check out the series if you haven’t already, with audio and video episodes available here on the website for streaming or via your favourite podcast services or YouTube.

We must give a massive Thank You also to the new faces who have joined the Making Waves team.  Project founders Lisa Cheney (VIC) and Peggy Polias (NSW) are so grateful to be joined on this voluntary project by Mark Wolf (QLD) and Marlene Radice (VIC), who have each completed 6 month internships in 2017 and are staying on to continue promoting composers and their music.  Meanwhile, in November 2017 we are delighted to welcome Alexis Weaver (NSW) and Michelle Nguyen (VIC) who have both commenced internships.  We look forward to showing them the ropes, culminating with a playlist each in 2018.

It’s also been great to extend the collaborative spirit into new ventures.  This year we invited David Chisholm to guest-curate the BIFEM Waves playlist in August, to coincide with the 2017 festival in Bendigo.  We were also commissioned to produce 4 special episodes for ABC Classic FM: New Waves Podcast, using excerpts from the Making Conversation Podcast series and putting the spotlight on 16 composers and a full work each.

If you like what Making Waves are doing, you can show your support by: liking, following and leaving comments and feedback at all our social channels and liking, following and leaving feedback at all the social channels of featured composers when you see new or familiar faces pop up in your feed.

We also have a growing line of merchandise.  We’ve updated the Featured Composer tote bag for 2015-17 and have also introduced a Making Conversation podcast logo tote bag.  You might like to show off your new music savvy around town by purchasing one of these:

New 2017 Making Conversation Logo Tote Bag


2015-17 Featured Composers Tote Bag (White)

Black text on white bag.


2015-17 Featured composer tote bag (Black)

White text on black bag.


If tote bags aren’t your thing, we’ve added t-shirts, coffee mugs, notebooks and more to the mix over at our new RedBubble shop. We also recently updated the Favourite Things collection with some audio/tech picks.  A portion of all sales supports the running costs of the Making Waves project.  You can also leave a one-off or regular donation and read more about supporting the project here.

Now, for the end of year playlist.  In 2017 we featured 75 tracks on Soundcloud (totalling 8hrs 27min), 10 tracks on Spotify (1hr) and 6 tracks on YouTube (41min).  We’ve collected all of these here for your summer holiday listening until we release the first playlist for 2018 on 1 February at 9amAEST.  Whether you pick through your favourites, catch up on the year of composers, performers and works, or have a binge-listen on shuffle, we hope that you enjoy looking back on this year!

We encourage you to leave your thoughts, most-enjoyed playlists, listening experiences and listening suggestions for others in the comment section below. And if you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our email list, submit your own work, and share the project across your favourite social media channels with anyone you know who might like to open their ears to the new.

Seasons greetings,
Lisa & Peggy
Making Waves

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Dream Waves (December 2017)

Plug in, press play and relax into a dream-like hour of contemporary compositions from our featured Australian composers. In this month’s Dream Waves playlist listen out for some common characteristics between these 10 stunning works, in the use of melodic lines, resonance, atmospheric effects, diatonic languages, ambience, repetition and an innate sense of reflection and stillness.  Predominantly featuring works for acoustic instruments, we were delighted to find that the electronic works and sound art from Marlene Radice and David Newnes contributed to and expanded on the theme. Join us as we float away over the next sixty minutes with a final playlist for 2017. We’re thrilled to end the year on such a beautiful note!

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Making Conversation, Episode 26: David John Lang interviews Rachel Bruerville

In this episode you’ll hear

Composer: Rachel Bruerville

interviewed by: David John Lang

This conversation was recorded in 2016 in a practice room at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide.

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Jazz-World Waves (November 2017)

This month we’ve brought together a number of compositions that relate to jazz or world music in varying degrees, sometimes not in the most direct or obvious way.  Where are the boundaries between contemporary classical and jazz styles?  What are different ways composers look to wider folk and world musics for inspiration?  Many composers featured this month effortlessly weave in and out of jazz/improvisatory and classical practice, creating fascinating and eclectic bodies of work.  We hear in some of the works a focus on melody and harmony, with folk tunes or a chart-based approach. Several works for sax ensembles or big band are of the toe-tapping variety while others have an adventurous contemporary flavour.  Yet other works are scored for small colouristic bands or chamber ensembles.  We hope you enjoy this ride through a diverse collection of sounds.

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