Marcus Whale


Sydney-based composer Marcus Whale produces music most commonly under the name Scissor Lock, a laptop-based experimental music project. Other ventures have included instrumental concert composition for a number of Australian new music groups and ongoing performance and recording collaborations with Oscar Vincente Slorach-Thorn (Whale & Thorn), Grant Hunter (Whale Hunter), Laura Altman and Aspen Michael Taylor.

Elsewhere, he has acted in an artistic advisory capacity for new music group Volta, as well as releasing CD-R editions and staging performances for his Curt Recordings label.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Waiting, for saxophone quartet.

Waiting is based around ideas presented in semiotician Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse. This book maps the fractured, random language that lovers speak – including the very archetypal and musically relevant act of Waiting. This is expressed on the surface through the length and slow progression of the music, but relates more to the ensemble dynamic required to perform the piece. The piece is written in time-space – the performers to progress through different events in the music by co-operative, spontaneous decision-making.

For the individual, this means waiting for cues and signs drawn and stretched out over the full breath of each instrumentalist. The ensemble here is held together by the tension of waiting – throwing their own ropes out to each other in lieu of more artificial, regular and regulated subdivisions of time.

Featured in Playlist 10 – Existential Waves (31/10/2015)