Minimalist Waves (October 2016)

This month’s playlist brings together a number of tracks that recall aspects of minimalism and post-minimalism: repetitive grooves, a degree of space, restraint, economy of musical material, long lines, drones and monolithic gestures,  self-similarity and fractals. We love the breadth of  approaches stylistically and thematically within this hour of works. Note the familiar inspiration sources of nature and landscapes in some of these compositions – snow, cities, outdoor scenes – alongside works referencing ideas about communication and thought – dreams, rhetoric, monologue.

We, the Making Waves team, continue to be excited and inspired by the quality and diversity of Australia’s new music scene and hope our enthusiasm is infectious! To learn more about each featured work and composer in this listening-journey we recommend that you click through to each of the featured profile below. Enjoy!

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Long Waves (August 2016)

This month we decided to program a playlist theme that had been brewing behind the scenes for quite a while. Long Waves gives the listener a chance to savour some of the broader, single-movement works that composers have put forward to Making Waves.  We really enjoy how this set of works visit contemplative or evocative themes, some via solo instrument, others for ensemble, with or without voice.  With thanks to Making Waves Intern, Angus Baxter, for his thoughtful curatorial input on the playlist.

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Sonic Environment Waves (July 2016)

This month we’re delighted to have Dr. Leah Barclay, Co-Chair of Sonic Environments, and President of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology , guest-curate this playlist: Sonic Environment Waves.  About the playlist, Leah writes:

This playlist features composers who are working in innovative ways with place, environmental sound and new technologies. It has been curated to coincide with the Sonic Environments conference, hosted by the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, July 10-11 2016.

Drawing inspiration from contemporary acoustic ecology, Sonic Environments invites composers, performers, academics, field recordists, acoustic ecologists and technologists to present research and creative works exploring the ecological, social and cultural contexts of our sonic environments. This conference aims to expand our current understandings of acoustic ecology and the role of sound and technology in understanding rapidly changing environments across the world.

This collection of compositions showcases composers experimenting with found sounds, environmental field recordings, mixed media and immersive performance. This playlist traverses the inherently interdisciplinary nature of sound and aims to explore aural awareness in a diversity of sonic environments across the world with composers who are all connected to Australia.

We hope you enjoy this rich and thoughtful selection of works and we thank Leah Barclay for agreeing to curate this playlist.

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Canadian Waves (Special Edition June 2016)

We’re delighted to hand over to guest curator Elizabeth Knudson for a Special Edition Playlist, our very first international one! Many thanks Elizabeth, for taking the time to bring together these wonderful composers and their works. We’ll be putting the spotlight on these composers and their works over the next week, in the lead-up to July 1st, which happens to be Canada Day.

I’d like to thank Lisa and Peggy for asking me to be guest curator of the first all-Canadian edition of “Making Waves”. I’ve done my best to include some composers I really respect, and whose music I enjoy listening to. The common thread here – which I think is representative of Canadian society and culture – is the fact that its beauty lies in its diversity. In the next hour, you will hear everything from a work for solo electric guitar, to a chamber choir with solo cello, to an orchestral piece inspired by traditional Balkan music. Each composer’s work offers something unique to explore. I hope this serves as an enticing introduction to some of the wonderful contemporary music being created here in Canada. In addition to the composers’ website links (which are definitely worth checking out), another excellent resource to learn more about Canadian composers and their music is the Canadian Music Centre. Best wishes from Vancouver, Canada – and enjoy the music! – Elizabeth Knudson

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Moving Waves (June 2016)

Welcome to our June Playlist, Moving Waves!  In this month’s audiovisual playlist we explore various physical, musical and visual forms of movement as well as ‘moving’ in a more emotional sense. From mesmerising dance-like percussion, to the moving parts of a prepared piano, to dance, to soundtrack for silent film, to Nathalie Latham’s emotive footage of local women in Tamil Nadu in South India accompanied by the music of Iain Grandage, we promise you that this is a musical journey worth exploration. Join us as we showcase exciting, innovative and moving works by seven wonderful Australian composers. Continue reading

experimental waves May 2016

Experimental Waves (May 2016)

Cello and answering machine, ukulele miniatures related to a picture book, sampling, remixing and processing, an orchestral soundscape, an ‘oral score’ transmitted verbally from composer to performers in the way that the work’s epic poetry theme would have been;  this month’s playlist is dominated by acoustic and electronic musical interactions with an experimental and highly conceptual spirit.  Some of these works are literary, historical or political, and all of them are highly evocative of the extra-musical world. Let this amazing playlist challenge your preconceived notions of what it means to compose ‘contemporary’ music.

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Solo Waves April 2016

Solo Waves (April 2016)

This month we’re following on from March’s Small Ensemble Waves and zooming in even closer to the qualities particular to music for one instrument or performer. In solo works sometimes it is possible to perceive a heightened level of detail and purity of tone colour, as well as an increased closeness between performer and listener. The Solo Waves playlist invites you to savour the varying complexity and freedom that can result from one performer leading the music entirely rather than working as part of an ensemble.

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International Womens Day bonus playlist

International Women’s Day 2016

Welcome to a special playlist celebrating International Women’s Day, 2016! In this bonus playlist we’ve gathered together the works by our amazingly talented, previously featured, Australian female composers since our beginnings in January 2015, through to our most recently released playlist in March 2016.

According to author Rosalind Appleby (2012) in Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers, Australia has been leading the way in gender balance in composition. “The figures continue to grow: in 2011 the AMC recorded women making up 25 per cent of composers or in real terms 146 of 585 composers are women.” Here at Making Waves we’re so excited about the thoughtful and high-quality work we’re seeing from so many Australian colleagues, regardless of gender, and we’ve made it our mission from the beginning of the project to strive not for the “75-25” benchmark, but for gender parity in our curation.  We’re thrilled to note that the campaign theme of International Women’s Day in 2016 is #PledgeForParity.

What do you think music-lovers, listeners, composers, performers, ensembles, arts organisations: is gender parity in music/the arts something on your radar? Have you got any general thoughts about gender and music, or the intricate ways other aspects of identity intersect with gender, in the fabric of music? In the industry? Leave a comment; we’d love to hear your thoughts. To read more on this topic we suggest starting with Rosalind Appleby’s recent article Women Composers – there always have been and there always will be, here.

Lastly, we feel it is important to mention that this playlist is in no way exhaustive of the number of amazing women creating music in Australia. In fact, we feel we’ve barely even scratched the surface! With this in mind we ask that you take the time to get to know the work of a composer below and share this playlist with your friends, students and colleagues.  If you enjoy our playlists you may like to sign up via our Making Waves E-Bulletins at the bottom of the page.

Composers, as  always, we encourage you to Submit your latest work to us at any time.

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Small Ensemble Waves (March 2016)

Welcome to ‘Small Ensemble Waves’, our celebration of new Australian music being written for small forces in abundance. In some ways we’re going back to where it all started (Playlist 1: Chamber Waves January 2015), with another chamber music playlist.  This time we’ve kept to quite small ensembles, of 3-6 acoustic instruments.  When we were considering chamber music for inclusion in this playlist, we distinguished between works written for uniform or homogenous ensembles, of instruments from one family (string quartet, clarinet trio, brass quintet), and works written for mixed chamber configurations, with a wide spectrum of tone colour. The playlist here includes works from both groups. We hope that you enjoy!

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Immersive Waves (February 2016)

We’re very excited to begin a new year of the Making Waves listening journey with this selection of audiovisual works, our first playlist of works hosted over at Vimeo. Immerse yourself in an hour of music that grapples with numbers and geometry, installation art and art history, re-examining orientalism, culture and place, and ideas about medium, message and control.

We were struck by how, in many of these works, the visual element is just as ‘composed’ as the musical elements.  We also love that many of these composers are working collaboratively with other artists.  It’s not surprising that composers with a comfortable grasp of multimedia technology would work in the electroacoustic realm, which we’re seeing across this entire hour of music. We hope you enjoy this video hour!

Note: in 2016 we’ve made a slight change to release time each month, from 9am on the last day of the month, to 9am on the first day of the month.

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