Harmonic Waves (May 2019)

We’re delighted to feature ten wonderful composers and works in this month’s playlist Harmonic Waves. The connecting thread between these stylistically divergent works is harmony: some preoccupation with the sonorities arising from pitch relationships – intervals, chords, chord progressions, ostinati – whether across the familiar diatonic grid or in the granular spaces between. These collected works offer quite evocative explorations of themes of motion, emotion and/or communication across the musical spectrum from jazz to concert art music. We hope you enjoy and savour these sounds from some familiar and some new featured composers.

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Electronic Waves (April 2019)

This month’s playlist, curated by graduating intern Aidan Maizels, is a collection of works that involve prominent electronic elements in their realisation.

With technological advances in musical hardware and software over the past decade, we have seen a surge in the interest of electronics in just about every genre and style. Whilst this has mainly culminated in an explosion of EDM producers of varying levels of talent, this has also resulted in many art music composers acquainting themselves with use of technology in their works.

As well as having a whole world of new sounds becoming regular fixtures in the art music world, the improvement in computer technology allows a lot of works to be realised that may not have been previously. Whether it be because of physical impracticalities in performance, such as temperamental synths going out of tune, certain effects being unreplicatable in real-time, or plainly just too many notes to be performed by a human. Now, effectively with the power of a complete recording studio in the size of a lunchbox, it has opened up many sonic avenues for composers to explore, unhindered by the constraints of yesteryear.

This playlist includes seven works by Australian composers that use electronics in unique ways to create a variety of different moods.

We begin with Zoltan Fecso’s ‘Pont’, which combines the acoustic sounds of piano and percussion with processed guitar and electronics to create a relaxing near-futuristic hybrid environment. Fiona Hill explores the beautiful sounds hidden within pink noise in the apparently titled ‘RhythmicPinkNoise’. Cameron Lam’s ‘Golden Bird’ is a beautifully written piece in a more traditional romantic style for Electronic Wind Instrument accompanied by piano. Alexis Weaver’s heavily manipulated sounds of a children’s toy create a brilliantly dark and sinister atmosphere in ‘Submarine’. Carolyn Schofield (Fia Fiell)’s semi-improvised ‘At The First Clear Word’ begins by exploring the technique of ‘beating’ waves created by sounds close in pitch played simultaneously, before developing into a mysterious, yet comforting atmosphere (my favourite part is the feel change and echoed synths from 4:10). The penultimate piece is Amber Hansen’s epic sound collage ‘The Last Veil’, created from recordings of Arabic music recitals, based on Ishtar’s journey through the seven gates of the underworld. The playlist concludes with Neil Maizels’ sound collage ‘The World Is Calmer Than You Would Think’, created by layering flute, harp, cor anglais and treated strings in a unique soundscape that documents the phenomenon of conflicting emotions occurring in one space simultaneously.

Soundcloud

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.

Details

  1. Zoltan Fecso, Pont
    for Guitar, Piano, Percussion and Electronics. Performed by Zoltan Fecso.
  2. Fiona Hill, RhythmicPinkNoise
    Electro-acoustic. Performed by Fiona Hill.
  3. Cameron Lam, Golden Bird
    for Solo EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and Piano. Performed by Peter Smith (EWI) and Alison Cameron (piano).
  4. Alexis Weaver, Submarine
    Electro-acoustic (Wind-up Mermaid Toy, Drink Bottle and Generated Tones). Performed by Alexis Weaver.
  5. Carolyn Schofield, At The First Clear Word
    for Synthesizer and Electronics. Performed by Carolyn Schofield.
  6. Amber Hansen, The Last Veil
    Electro-acoustic. Performed by Amber Hansen.
  7. Neil Maizels, The World is Calmer Than You Would Think
    for Modified Flute, Harp, Cor Anglais and Treated Strings. Performed by Neil Maizels.

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 or YouTube to like, comment and subscribe to Making Waves as well as the composers, performers, and presenters featured.

The Electronic Waves playlist will be featured until 1st of May 2019. 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.

International Women’s Day 2019

The theme for International Women’s Day in 2019 is #BalanceforBetter.

Happy International Women’s Day! The team would like to acknowledge that lists such as these invariably exclude more composers than they promote. However, we embrace the opportunity to reflect on the striking music featured by female-identifying composer in Making Waves playlists and the Making Conversation Podcast since our inception in 2015.  We continue to welcome all composers, but in particular encourage women and gender diverse composers to submit your recordings to the Making Waves curation pool at any time and as often as you like.

We’ve collected a few examples of some ways composers and musicians are working towards a “Balance for Better” in our musical communities. This list is something we’re going to be building on over time in a special  dedicated resource page on our website to commend the work of inclusive and forward thinking creatives (coming soon). If you have suggestions of continuing initiatives or forward thinking ensembles and organisations to add, please comment below or email us at makingwavesnewmusic@gmail.com.

And now, over 20 hours of musical works and podcast audio for you to discover and enjoy! Listen through in order today while you work, bookmark to return, click shuffle to be surprised or all of the above!

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String Quartet Waves (March 2019)

Making Waves is delighted to share this month’s playlist, String Quartet Waves!

As an ensemble, the string quartet has been codified such that is a genre unto itself. Perhaps this is due to its typical designation for the most intimate and considered of thoughts, from Beethoven to Shostakovich, and Schoenberg to Crumb. Yet despite its age, it is a genre that is ever contemporary. Championed by quartets such as Kronos Quartet and JACK Quartet, the genre is filled with brilliant new compositions.

In Australia, the string quartet has found another home, in the creations of Sculthorpe and Westlake, and in the work of ensembles such as the Australian String Quartet, Flinders Quartet and Acacia Quartet. As such we are excited to share a collection of contemporary Australian string quartets, filled with contrasting moods, energies and complexities. We hope you can sit back and enjoy this months playlist.

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Waves of Consciousness (February 2019)

Happy New Year, listeners!

We’re delighted to welcome 2019 (our 5th year!) with this immersive playlist of audiovisual recordings titled Waves of Consciousness.  These seven amazing works are deeply contemplative, thematically and aesthetically. When we titled the playlist, we contemplated the individual reflecting on various broader contexts, noting their consciousness of things beyond their immediate self, e.g. the environment, humanity and mortality.   The works feature small chamber music instrumentation that we felt reinforces a closeness and level of detail across the various themes explored. We love the opportunity to release video playlists that feature performance footage of the work, adding another layer of immersion and celebration of musical talent to this month’s listening experience. We hope you find this as enjoyable and thought-provoking as our growing Making Waves team has. Don’t forget to leave your words of support for these talented composers and musicians by visiting their profiles, following their sites, sharing their work and leaving a comment below.

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2018 Waves

As we draw to the end of a busy and bright 2018, we celebrate that this has been our fourth (!) year of listening out for exciting, beautiful, challenging, experimental, moving and/or thoughtful sounds from composers far and wide. We’re deeply grateful for our supporters and your company on this journey and hope that you have been as enriched and humbled as we have to discover the talented and hard-working composers that make our small but productive industry.

2018 for Making Waves was all about rest and recovery after a huge 2017 and very successful foray into crowdfunding and podcasting. We’re pleased to report that some exciting special projects await us in 2019 and we can’t wait to share more with you soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this recap on all of the music we’ve featured throughout 2018! We have your holiday listening well and truly sorted.

Team
Making Waves is a voluntary project, and we’ve been delighted to welcome new faces to our team throughout the year. Each valued member brought with them a beautiful breath of fresh air and creative curating ideas. We’re always looking for interested music lovers to join us for our 6-month internship pathway to becoming a full MW team member. You can find out more about each composer-musician on the Team page here on our website. We owe enormous gratitude to these champions, working together online from across NSW, ACT, VIC, who listen to and file composer-submitted recordings, coordinate social content and playlists on the website, and sound out thoughts and ideas.

Our top picks of 2018:

We are very excited to catch up on the latest from the Ngarra-Burria First People’s Composers program. Listen to this segment from ABC RN’s The Music Show, with host Andrew Ford speaking with mentor Chris Sainsbury and some of the participants, Tim Gray and Troy Russell.

The 2018 Art Music Awards celebrated amazing Australian new music and performances. We were particularly excited to witness an emergence of a new generation of musical voices with special mentions to the many Making Waves featured composers who made the finalist and winner lists, including our very own co-founder, Lisa Cheney for Instrumental Work of the Year.

Farewelling Richard Gill. Conductor and music educator Richard Gill passed away peacefully at this home in Sydney on the 28th of October. The industry continues to mourn our loss and celebrate the Richards immense contribution to Australian music and education. We were very proud to dedicate our Orchestral Waves (November 2018) playlist in his memory.

An action plan towards gender equality in music at the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address. Read Cat Hope’s address in full here, and afterwards why not listen to her interview as part of our Making Conversation Podcast here.

We were delighted that 9 of our regularly featured composers were recipients of the 2018 Art Music Fund. Composers take note, the 2019 round of the Art Music Fund closes at 5pm on February 20, 2019.

It’s also been great to welcome two international guest curators this year resulting in the very special edition playlists, ‘New Zealand Waves‘ and ‘Polish Waves‘. These playlists were a huge hit with our Australian listeners and we thank Simon Eastwood and Andrzej Karałow for their efforts in highlighting incredible talent from their home countries.

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 and a fresh new tote bag design, showcasing the composers featured throughout 2018. These plush bags fit A3 scores and can be chosen as your goody bag design, or on their own are $35 including postage within Australia for a limited time. No GST charged. You might like to show off your new music savvy around town by purchasing one of these:

NEW 2018 Featured Composers Tote Bag

A$35.00

Listening

In 2018 we featured 70 home-grown tracks on Soundcloud (totalling 10hrs 35min), and 1 track on YouTube (13 min). We’ve collected all of these here for your summer holiday listening until we release the first playlist for 2019 on 1 February at 9am AEST. 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, Ethan, Marlene & Aidan
The Making Waves team

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Guitar Waves (December 2018)

In our final playlist for 2018, Making Waves celebrates the expansive and engaging exploration of the guitar in Australian new music!

The guitar, in its various guises and combinations, offers composers a smorgasbord of sounds and techniques. Whether it is the quirky and emotive combination of guitar, trumpet and trombone in Andrew Batterham’s or the raw power of the electric guitar when it meets it maker – a set of pliers in Sam Harvey’s Bloodlines – you might just have your curiosity ‘plucked.’

We hope you enjoy this month’s playlist, and maybe even consider giving your local guitar teacher a call afterward…

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Orchestral Waves (November 2018)

Welcome to our special hour of Australian music for orchestral forces. We’re enjoyed listening through to our growing music submissions pool to bring you a stylistically diverse playlist featuring works that explore themes ranging from textural exploration, programmatic narratives, educating young students to serial tone rows.

This month we join the Australian arts community in mourning the passing of Richard Gill. Richard leaves behind an immeasurable legacy as conductor and educator. His passion, education and support, directly and indirectly, influenced the careers of countless Australian composers and musicians featured here on Making Waves. We humbly dedicate this playlist in his memory.  Vale Richard Gill (1941-2018).

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Human Waves (October 2018)

The concept for this playlist came from the idea of the human relationships that underpin all creative practices. How we interact with one another is the foundation of live performance and inherent to the process of creating new music. This month’s playlist was curated by Making Waves team member Marlēné Claudine Radice.

The pieces featured in this month’s playlist explicitly highlight what it means to relate to ones humanity through music. Whether it be through the physical body such as Caerwen Martin’s exploration of the relationship between mother and child or Mark Holdsworth’s musical depictions of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits.

A fundamental part of human relationships and identity stems from our ability to act and think autonomously. The notion of what it means to be an autonomous individual is examined by Rishin Singh and Sophie Van Dijk. Both pieces by these composers explore how individuals react to one another in various situations, how the human and an individual can shape and mould their performance. Individual and collective responses to ritual are explored in James Hazel’s work, in which performers are encouraged to consider ritualised performance practices. These works encourage individual thought and require performers to decide for themselves how they will respond to each score.

Aaron Pelle and Antonia Zappia’s works depict a subtler aspect of the humanity inherent to music composition, the ideas expressed though emotion and how these ideas form, reform and collapse into each other. These ideas are extended further in Joseph Tabua’s work as he depicts our relationship between what it means to be human and how we as humans relate to the idea of consciousness within our creations.

Take some time to delve into adventure, art, the self and robots.

Enjoy!

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Stillness Waves (September 2018)

This month we hand over the curatorship to our graduating intern Ethan Connor McAlister. After mulling over various concepts for a playlist, he landed on a prominent influence in his own music, stillness.

In what seems to be a common thread for many composers, stillness appears in many guises. Typically associated with composers such as the Japanese Toru Takemitsu, Estonian Arvo Pärt or the British Max Richter, this playlist will instead feature five contemporary Australian pieces.

In this playlist you can find stillness in the study of space, both sonic and physical; in the structured silences of Kezia Yap, the improvisations of Josten Myburgh’s The waves which have kept me from reaching you, and in the use prepared piano, double bass and bus engine sound recordings in Millie Watsons’ Pools of Fir. You may also find stillness in the stretching of time in Alice Chance’s D I L A T E and finally, in the analysis of light in the first piece of our playlist, Kirsten Milenko’s stunning Ex Aere.

Making Waves hopes you can find a time to sit back with a cuppa* and, for just a moment, (hopefully) find stillness.

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Polish Waves (Special Edition August 2018)

Interacting with composers across the globe fosters supportive relationships and collaboration throughout the international new music community. This is why we’re excited to presented our guest curator, Polish composer Andrzej Karałow and our August playlist, Polish Waves. As you listen to the 6 pieces in this month’s playlist, we are sure that you will be drawn-in and captivated (as we were) by the work of colleagues from across the globe in Poland! We’ll be putting the spotlight on these composers and their works on our social media throughout August, so stay tuned (or click on the composer profiles below) to learn more about the talent emerging from Poland. Our thanks warmest to Andrzej for introducing our audiences to these incredible works and composers originating from Poland.

A note from our guest curator, Andrzej Karałow:

I would like to thank Lisa for giving me the opportunity to contribute and develop the composers’ community by creating a playlist which includes works written by Polish composers. Polish Waves is focused on Warsaw-based composers and reveals young, emerging artists as well as already recognized professional creators, who are present on the local and international contemporary music scene. While trying to show as much musical diversity as possible, I wanted to introduce different inspirations and streams which Polish music is going through. The contemporary music scene is very diverse here: not only in modern composition but also through different musical streams which are infiltrating and connecting to each other. In the playlist we can discover works written for unusual setups (“Concert for electric guitar and string orchestra” by Wojciech Błażejczyk), works based on contemporary thought (“Hilathi” by Aleksander Kościów performed by world-renowned Kronos Quartet, “Morpheus” for saxophone quartet by Dariusz Przybylski or “Luxe, Calme Et Volupté” for orchestra by Aleksandra Chmielewska) as well as an electroacoustic piece (“Torrent” for alto saxophone, viola, accordion and live electronics by Żaneta Rydzewska) and improvisation-based electroacoustic work (“Fading towards the Sun” for piano, written by me).

P.S. from Making Waves: For the sake of transparency, we insisted that Andrzej include one of his own works in the playlist, and goodness are we glad we did! Check it out below as you enjoy the full playlist!

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Fragile Waves (July 2018)

This month’s playlist theme explores the notion of fragility.  We have especially collected works into this playlist that could be described as sonically evolving towards and/or devolving away from something.  We loved savouring the beauty and experimentalism represented in the sounds and concepts behind them, in this months playlist. From ‘the protest and ode to the unique aesthetics and idiosyncrasies of the virtualised, digital hyperreality’ (what a description!) in the opening track by Kevin Atkins, to a work for 13 prepared ‘dollar store’ toy recorders by Pony Horseman and a game theory work for clarinet and dog by Solomon Frank, this playlist most certainly has it all and something more. We hope you enjoy!

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