Playlist 11: Saxophone Waves

Australia is lucky to play host to an extremely active and exciting saxophone scene,  known for its championing of new Australian music. As a team, we have been delighted by the strong presence of saxophone in compositions previously submitted to and featured by Making Waves and this month we decided to highlight the wonderful work of composers and musicians working in this domain.  This month we played detectives and combined our submissions with a hunt for all things saxophone and have been delighted to gather the work of some fresh young local saxophone ensembles who are commissioning, recording and programming much newly composed music. This playlist is in no way exhaustive and we encourage you to post your own favourite new works for saxophone in the comments below.

From one solo line to 17 overdubs, saxophone quartet to saxophone orchestra, to concerto for jazz quartet and orchestra – we love the warm reedy sound bringing all these works together, as well as all the other colours combined. The saxophone is a slightly elusive instrument for a composer grounded in the “classical” tradition, and we’re digging the jazz and riff-based flavours of this month’s playlist.  Special thanks to composer-saxophonist Andrew Ball, who put us on the right track for some awesome audio finds and a special mention to Diana Tolmie and the QLD Saxophone Orchestra who have just put out a brand new CD of Australian compositions in the last few days. We encourage you to check out both of these artists, along with all of the amazing talent included in Playlist 11 below. Enjoy!

Composers, Submit your recordings for consideration, and keep us up-to-date about your best or latest work!

Hear something that catches your attention? To find out more about a musical work, click on the track name in the playlist and then again on ‘view track’. To find out more about a particular composer, click on their name in the ‘Details’ section below.


  1. Andrew Ball, Jengu
    Performed and recorded by the composer.
  2. Sean O’Boyle, Under The Southern Skies
    Performed and recorded by the Queensland Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra.
  3. Sarah Myerson, Genie in a Cup
    Performed and recorded by Nexas Saxophone Quartet. Sound Engineer: Jayson McBride.
  4. Martin Kay, As They Howled at the Bloodstained Groove
    Overdubbed 17 times by the composer.
  5. Nadia Burgess, “Black” from Blue, Black and White
    Performed by the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Steven Hillinger, with Loretta Palmeiro – Alto Saxophone, Andrew Scott – Piano, Dave Groves – Double Bass, Jamie Castrisos – Drums. Recordings by Greg Ghavalas.
  6. Samantha Wolf, Fireflies
    Performed and recorded by Emma Di Marco.
  7. Robert Burrell, Robinson Gorge
    Performed and recorded by the Queensland Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra for their Australian Made 2012 CD: available from Amazon or iTunes.
  8. Michael Bakrnčev, Rush
    Performed and recorded by Barega Saxophone Quartet for the album Three Serpents.
  9. Thomas Green, Dubophone
    Performed and recorded by the Queensland Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra.
  10. Mathew Klotz, The ATCG of Paramecium
    Performed by Stitched Saxophone Quartet – Jazmin Ealden (soprano), Candice Showers (alto), Matilda Grieve (tenor), Pierce Hurne (baritone), as well as Molly Collier-O’Boyle (violin) and Camilla Tafra (cello). Recorded on 26/08/15 in the Ian Hanger Recital Hall, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
  11. Louise Denson, Pondside
    Performed and recorded by Barega Saxophone Quartet for the album Three Serpents.

We’d love to hear about your listening experience! Share your thoughts or send messages of support to our featured composers and performers in the comment box below. We also encourage you to click through to Soundcloud to like, comment and subscribe to Making Waves as well as the composers, performers, and presenters featured.

The Saxophone Waves playlist will be featured until 31 December, 2015. All previous playlists will be available in our blog archives for the life of the project, so please do explore the website for previously featured sounds.

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