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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Solo Waves (April 2016)

This month we’re following on from March’s Small Ensemble Waves and zooming in even closer to the qualities particular to music for one instrument or performer. In solo works sometimes it is possible to perceive a heightened level of detail and purity of tone colour, as well as an increased closeness between performer and listener. The Solo Waves playlist invites you to savour the varying complexity and freedom that can result from one performer leading the music entirely rather than working as part of an ensemble.

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International Women’s Day 2016

Welcome to a special playlist celebrating International Women’s Day, 2016! In this bonus playlist we’ve gathered together the works by our amazingly talented, previously featured, Australian female composers since our beginnings in January 2015, through to our most recently released playlist in March 2016.

According to author Rosalind Appleby (2012) in Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers, Australia has been leading the way in gender balance in composition. “The figures continue to grow: in 2011 the AMC recorded women making up 25 per cent of composers or in real terms 146 of 585 composers are women.” Here at Making Waves we’re so excited about the thoughtful and high-quality work we’re seeing from so many Australian colleagues, regardless of gender, and we’ve made it our mission from the beginning of the project to strive not for the “75-25” benchmark, but for gender parity in our curation.  We’re thrilled to note that the campaign theme of International Women’s Day in 2016 is #PledgeForParity.

What do you think music-lovers, listeners, composers, performers, ensembles, arts organisations: is gender parity in music/the arts something on your radar? Have you got any general thoughts about gender and music, or the intricate ways other aspects of identity intersect with gender, in the fabric of music? In the industry? Leave a comment; we’d love to hear your thoughts. To read more on this topic we suggest starting with Rosalind Appleby’s recent article Women Composers – there always have been and there always will be, here.

Lastly, we feel it is important to mention that this playlist is in no way exhaustive of the number of amazing women creating music in Australia. In fact, we feel we’ve barely even scratched the surface! With this in mind we ask that you take the time to get to know the work of a composer below and share this playlist with your friends, students and colleagues.  If you enjoy our playlists you may like to sign up via our Making Waves E-Bulletins at the bottom of the page.

Composers, as  always, we encourage you to Submit your latest work to us at any time.

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Small Ensemble Waves (March 2016)

Welcome to ‘Small Ensemble Waves’, our celebration of new Australian music being written for small forces in abundance. In some ways we’re going back to where it all started (Playlist 1: Chamber Waves January 2015), with another chamber music playlist.  This time we’ve kept to quite small ensembles, of 3-6 acoustic instruments.  When we were considering chamber music for inclusion in this playlist, we distinguished between works written for uniform or homogenous ensembles, of instruments from one family (string quartet, clarinet trio, brass quintet), and works written for mixed chamber configurations, with a wide spectrum of tone colour. The playlist here includes works from both groups. We hope that you enjoy!

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Immersive Waves (February 2016)

We’re very excited to begin a new year of the Making Waves listening journey with this selection of audiovisual works, our first playlist of works hosted over at Vimeo. Immerse yourself in an hour of music that grapples with numbers and geometry, installation art and art history, re-examining orientalism, culture and place, and ideas about medium, message and control.

We were struck by how, in many of these works, the visual element is just as ‘composed’ as the musical elements.  We also love that many of these composers are working collaboratively with other artists.  It’s not surprising that composers with a comfortable grasp of multimedia technology would work in the electroacoustic realm, which we’re seeing across this entire hour of music. We hope you enjoy this video hour!

Note: in 2016 we’ve made a slight change to release time each month, from 9am on the last day of the month, to 9am on the first day of the month.

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Take our Listener Survey

We warmly invite you, our valued listeners and supporters, to tell us about your experience with Making Waves via our new online Listener Survey. Like what we’re doing? Have some ideas for improvement or engagement? We’re listening.

MW Listener SurveyUpdate 12/1/16: Thank you for your responses so far. Stay tuned for the announcement of our giveaway recipients! All continued feedback is most welcome.

The Listener Survey will remain a permanent feature on our site. Please leave your feedback at any time throughout the year.  Whether you are a brand new visitor or a regular listener, we would love to hear from you.  Your thoughts can and will influence the way we shape our direction and goals here at Making Waves.

2015 Waves

It has been an amazing year for Making Waves. Thank you for joining us as listeners, composers and performers on this new experiment and journey.  We have loved every moment of our first year as your helpful guides to embracing new sonic adventures and the talented faces that composed them.

In 2015 we released 11 playlists featuring 70 Australian composers and over 11 hours of contemporary music. Yes, that’s right, Lisa and Peggy lovingly listened to countless hours of submitted music to bring you the best of ‘what’ and ‘who’ is Making Waves around the country! How many of these amazing works did you discover this year? What was your favourite playlist theme? Was there a work that took your breath away?

As a special gift to you this festive season, we’ve brought together all the tracks featured this year in one marathon listing list for the holiday season. 2015 Waves offers all of our previously featured content in one place, including: 3 albums from Bandcamp, 8 1/2 hours worth of music from Soundcloud, and 1 hour of visual works on YouTube.  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.

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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!

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Playlist 10: Existential Waves

This month’s tracks are all quite worldly or universal, dealing with philosophical themes as well as aspects of existence and our world: landscape, culture, the planets beyond. We were struck by how the musical language used to explore these ideas – while distinct for each composer – overall has a kind of breadth, gravity, and also a warmth.

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

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Playlist 9: Marketplace Waves

Recent Australian music from Bandcamp.

This month we are excited to bring you something a little different. Welcome to our Bandcamp Bazaar! Below you will find a tantalising offering of full length albums (yes, we’re breaking our 1-hour “rule”!) of recent music by some of Australia’s most exciting early to mid-career composers. All of the albums featured here are available to purchase or stream from Bandcamp directly, so what are you waiting for? Feel free to seize your chance to explore and support our artists and composers directly by purchasing and sharing all of their hard work.

To put this list together we’ve delved into the Bandcamp-hosted music among our submissions, as well as the offerings of composers previously featured by Making Waves in 2015. Continue reading

Playlist 8: String Waves

Welcome to a world where anything with a ‘string’ rules. This month it is our pleasure to feature new music written for stringed instruments in solo and chamber settings. As you journey through the sounds we hope you enjoy the variety of works for string quartet, guitar and laptop, guitar and ensemble, strings and vocals, piano trio, violin bass piano and percussion, retuned violin, erhu, cello, voice and bells.

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

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