Samantha Wolf (b. 1990) is an Australian composer and sound artist. She completed a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2011, winning the Silver Harris and Jeff Peck Composition Prize. In 2015, she commenced her Honours degree in Composition at the University of Melbourne, studying with Stuart Greenbaum and Brenton Broadstock. The recipient of numerous awards, Samantha’s practice encompasses solo, chamber and orchestral works, collaborations, noise and speech-based works, and music for live performance, digital media and tape. She takes inspiration from diverse sources, including philosophy, scientific and physical phenomena, natural and manmade worlds, sociology, politics and feminism. She is fascinated with giving voice to the intangible, finding the beauty in chaos, and making sense of the illogical or contradictory. Samantha’s music has been performed and broadcast around Australia, the United States and Europe. Current projects include new works for MSO violinist Sarah Curro, the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Heroes series, and the 2016 Soundscape Festival in Maccagno, Italy.
Composer website: https://soundcloud.com/samanthawolf
Fireflies, for Solo Saxophone.
Featured in Playlist 11: Saxophone Waves 30/11/15
Shiver, for orchestra.
Featured in Playlist 2: Other-Worldly Waves 28/02/15
The Binds That Tie Us, for small keyboard instruments and tape.
‘The Binds That Tie Us’ was a collaborative work between Alex Raineri, Gemma Dawkins and myself, commissioned for Kupka’s Piano for ‘The Human Detained’. The work aims to explore the human detained by the trivial, self-inflicted, or the intangible. Our starting point was the metaphor of walking on eggshells – this had interesting physical, sonic and narrative possibilities, which formed the basis of the first section of the piece. This proved to be a useful catalyst, as we soon began considering related but broader concepts, including inner conflict, solitude, introversion, agoraphobia, rationalising the irrational, and fighting one’s own instincts. These ideas lead to the second and third sections of the work, which explore escaping constraints, resigning oneself to them, and eventually destroying them altogether. This work does not attempt to convey all these concepts within a narrative framework; rather, it uses them as a springboard for an abstract exploration of the tension and complexity of the human self-detained.
Featured in Moving Waves – June 2016
The More I Think About it the Bigger it Gets, for audio and chamber ensemble.
This piece is my first foray into the world of sound art. This piece takes after the soundwalks of Hildegard Westerkamp, but adds a psychological and socio-cultural element by juxtaposing statements from a variety of sources (e.g news reports, interviews, panel discussions) against environmental sounds. The result is a soundwalk of both the environment and of the mind; specifically, the internal and external sounds a woman hears when she is walking home alone at night. In doing so, this piece seeks to expose the inherent flaws in the mainstream discussion around women’s freedom of movement.
This version was adapted for live performance with an amplified chamber ensemble.
Featured in Spoken Waves September 2016
Samantha Wolf was interviewed for the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast, Episode 25, 23/10/16.