Percussive Waves (April 2017)

Percussion. Composers love it for its diversity, its flexibility and the timbral options for striking, plucking, rubbing, scraping or otherwise interacting with a musical or found object. This month we’re thrilled to offer a wonderful hour of percussive and rhythm-centred works. From marimba solos evoking animals, Tuscan sunsets, or Greek mythology, to improvisation, polyrhythms or prepared harpsichord, this playlist is as diverse as ever and the resulting sounds are wide-ranging, always with the particularly heightened quality brought by percussive gestures and physicality.  This month’s playlist image was photographed by Making Waves Intern and composer Mark Wolf: we see the corrugations in a metal fence, undulating like waves, shadows cast by the sunlight.  We also, like many composers, see an instrument!

Did you know that we’re about to release our very first podcast series? It’s called the Making Conversation: Australian Podcast and it drops on iTunes and everywhere else on Friday April 21, 2017, with one episode released weekly. The team can not wait to share these amazing conversations with Making Waves listeners and podcast fans!  We encourage you to subscribe to our iTunes channel, via RSS or other podcast apps, or to the Making Waves e-bulletins so that you don’t miss a thing. Here’s a little preview!

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. Tristan Coelho, read/write error
    for alto flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano. Performed by
  2. Peter Wilson, Canon Y
    for percussion quartet. Performed at the Australian National Academy of Music by Hugh Tidy, Brent Miller and Matt Brennan.
  3. Jessica Wells, Squirrels in Hyde Park
    for two marimbas. Performed by Kevin Man and Kerryn Joyce.
  4. Jessica Wells, Kookaburra Sits In Antwerp Zoo
    for two marimbas. Performed by Kevin Man and Kerryn Joyce.
  5. Mark Holdsworth, Hymn to Hermes
    for flute, clarinet and percussion. Performed by Jonty Coy (flute), Ben Power (Clarinet) & Adam Tan (Percussion).
  6. Stephen de Filippo, Clock-sung Lullaby
    for prepared harpsichord and percussion. Performed by Adrian Soares (harpsichord), Louise Devenish (percussion)
  7. Maria Grenfell, Di Primavera I
    for guitar and marimba. Performed by
  8. Mathew Klotz, A short guide to an improvisation
    for two flutes, clarinet, alto saxophone, three vibraphones, two pianos, viola and double bass. Performed by Queensland Conservatorium New Music Ensemble, 21st April, 2016 at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
  9. Holly Harrison, And Whether Pigs Have Wings
    for soprano and chamber orchestra. Performed by Caroline Cartens, RKST21 (joint forces of Orkest de Ereprijs and Het Gelders Orkest). Conducted by Arjan Tien.

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 Percussive Waves playlist will be featured until 1 May 2017. All previous playlists from 2015 to present are 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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