Drama Waves (June 2019)

In this month’s listening adventures we explore the theme of drama, bringing together five works that have strong narrative or theatrical resonance. From the naive to the ancient, to the personal, to the meta, each composer’s perspective is unique, and we hear active or evolving arcs alongside interior, reflective sonic journeys. Similarly, the instrumentation called upon by the five composers featured (who incidentally are all new faces to the Making Waves ecosystem, welcome!) range from solo through to orchestral forces.

As always, we encourage you to listen, share and enjoy this hour of music, and warmly invite all composers to submit your works to the Making Waves curation pool for possible inclusion in a future playlist.

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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.

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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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