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Spotify Waves (February 2017)

For the first playlist of 2017 we’ve ventured into the world of Spotify, which, fairly or unfairly, has attracted controversy in the streaming world. Despite the fact that this month’s playlist is platform-dependent, we adore some of the coincidental thematic resonances across the featured works: particularly the focus on birds and birdsong alongside human vocals, overt or otherwise. We also dare you to spot the Whitney Houston references in there somewhere!

A little more about our streaming platform this month. Most of our playlists to date have been curated from content on Soundcloud, which enables composers and ensembles to freely upload both live and studio recordings, meaning we can feature recordings that are not yet commercially available. Spotify, on the other hand, has some barriers to entry, usually requiring the music to be submitted by an aggregator service, which composers and labels would normally use for a commercial digital release.  For us here at Making Waves, this means we inevitably receive less submissions of Spotify content, and that the ones we do receive tend to arrive from composers who are some way along their career journey.  What is also nice about Spotify is that royalties are payable, unlike Soundcloud, so please listen multiple times and explore the albums that the tracks are from, and hopefully all this month’s composers will see a little spike on their APRA statement!

We hope you enjoy this wonderful collection of diversely beautiful music by some of our finest Australian composers!

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2016 Waves

2016 Waves

Thank you for joining us on a second amazing year of Making Waves: listening, enjoying and sharing the newest music of Australian composers and performers.  It’s been such a wonderful journey of discovery each month! This is a credit to the amazing quality and breadth of composing and music-making occurring in the Australian new-music scene, from the undergraduate study level, to some of our most loved mentors.

This year, we’ve been very excited to build on the core Making Waves playlist offering, making a foray into podcast production. A successful Pozible crowdfunding campaign in May 2016, with support from Creative Partnerships Australia,  has led to the Making Conversation: Australian Composers Podcast. Currently in production, we’ve sent a fabulous team of emerging music journalists out to record interviews with composers all over Australia, and some overseas, and the finished series will be launched in the first half of 2017.

Later in the year we released a small line of merchandise – with the plush Making Waves tote bags now for sale in 5 designs. Our most popular bag is also the one dearest to our hearts, featuring the entire list of Australian composers featured in our playlists through 2015-2016.

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We also released the first instalment of our Favourite Things collection: essential resources for serious composers and musicians. By checking out the collection you can also lend your support to our endeavours, and in  particular support the excellent work of our local colleagues at CutCommon and Rehearsal Magazine in releasing some beautiful manuscript and music business resource. Use our promo code: MAKENEWMUSIC to receive your special Making Waves community discount.

We’re really proud of all the new collaborations and conversations we’ve this year in order to share new and hard-to-find compositions and interviews on radio and into podcasts. We hope listeners will find them just as inspiring  as we have! In June we released our first international special edition playlist, Canadian Waves, curated by Elizabeth Knudson, and are thrilled to discover the work of some northern hemisphere counterparts.  Not long after, we invited another guest curator, Leah Barclay, to assemble a playlist based on the Sonic Environments conference in Brisbane in July.  Hats off to you, Leah, this playlist saw the most website traffic out of any during 2016…!

Lisa & Peggy could not have managed all of this without the support of some wonderful Interns:  many, many thanks to Angus Baxter and his successor Marlene Radice for joining us for part of the Making Waves journey.  We absolutely appreciate all your input, ideas and instinct and all the Skype chats!

Now, back to the music: again in 2016, we’re delighted to bring the year’s music together in one marathon playlist for the holiday season, 2016 Waves. This year we share 8 Vimeo videos (c. 1.25 hours), 12 YouTube videos (c. 1.5 hours), and 71 tracks from Soundcloud (c. 9.5 hours), for over 12 hours of music!  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!

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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Duo Waves (December 2016)

In past playlists we’ve had the pleasure of highlighting some of our favourite works for chamber forces, like Solo Waves and Small Ensemble Waves.  In this month’s playlist we’re focusing on the Duo – compositions for two instruments.  This playlist is an hour of intimate “dialogues” between viola & piano, saxophone & percussion, violin & electronics, voice & piano and saxophone & piano. The piano is a notable, trusty accompanist here, a kind of sequel to last month’s Keyboard Waves and we’re excited to see a degree of improvisation in some of the works also. As you listen we hope that you too notice the special character of these musical explorations, as compared to the “conversations” that arise from ensembles of more than two players. Lastly, we took special pleasure in noting that a duet can take place with electronics – check out Giles’ End to Reattain to see what we’re talking about.

We hope you enjoy our final playlist for 2016! If you are loving these playlists and works, don’t forget to let us and our featured composers know. One of our greatest assets is, that our composer family are very much present in this space and appreciate your support. What a great time to be making, performing and listening to new music!

Not sure what to get that special musical person in your life for the festive season? No problem, we’ve got you covered! We encourage you to check out the special new way to support our work here at Making Waves via our These are a few of our Favourite Things page. Not to mention our brand new tote bags and discounts on fabulous manuscript and business e-books!

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Keyboard Waves Nov 2016

Keyboard Waves (November 2016)

Here at Making Waves, we’ve been wanting to collate a “Piano Waves” playlist for over a year now.  This staple instrument attracts so much solo repertoire that it can be hard for performers and listeners to know where to start.  There is of course the burden of tradition, of a solid canon of classical piano repertoire, but also the instrument’s versatility in playing a huge role in jazz and popular musics.  In this month’s playlist we broadened our definition to “Keyboard” to include not only acoustic works, but some amazing tracks in which the piano meets technology: via live electronic manipulation, the use of electric instruments and MIDI, input via audience mobile phones, and even a robotic piano named RHEA.  We’ve also split the playlist into a Soundcloud segment (c.50min) and a YouTube segment (c.20min) in order to include a wide array of works. Listen, enjoy and share!

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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

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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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