Evolving Waves (November 2019)

The hour of music in this month’s playlist ranges from compositions for Balinese gamelan instruments, to saxophone quartet, a site-specific clarinet performance, to the trusty pianoforte. Common to each of these striking works is a sense of gradual movement, of sonic evolution; we invite you to savour these journeys as the soundtrack to your day, or drop everything and enjoy a mindful sitting with these nine wonderful composers and their works.

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Piano Waves (October 2019)

This month we are excited to present a playlist exclusively focused on piano works. In curating ‘Piano Waves’, we wanted to showcase the expressive power and tonal colour of the piano. The eight Australian composers featured this month have created works that range from sprightly and sweetly melodic miniatures (such as Anne Cawrse’s piece ‘The Red Buoy’), energetic improvised-like music (Yitzhak Yedid’s ‘Angels’ Revolt’) to atmospheric fixed media soundscapes influenced by nature (Miriama Young’s ‘Grey Ghost’) and/or extended techniques (Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh’s piece ‘Chamber of Glistening Whispers’).   

If you would like to continue down the listening path of newly-composed piano-based works, we invite you to take a trip into our archives and explore our ‘Keyboard Waves’ playlist from November 2016.

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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Vocal Waves II (August 2019)

Returning to our familiar haunt of Soundcloud this month, we are delighted to focus on the voice again this month, in a “part 2” continuation of the earlier Vocal Waves playlist (September 2017) and also the Spoken Waves playlist (September 2016). There is something centering about voice and language when it is present in music, whether for solo voices, small or large groups of singers, with or without instruments. We hope the various songs of celebration, contemplation and/or wonder from these 7 composers lead you on your own journey of reflection.

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Circumnavigating Waves (July 2019)

A journey through the Making Waves archives will reveal that most of our listening activity takes place via Soundcloud. It’s free (or relatively affordable), and it’s a user-generated-content platform with less barriers to entry and more consistent content than some online destinations. For this month’s playlist we wanted to journey further afield and highlight some of the works received via a few services. Composers and performers, we always encourage you to submit your work for possible inclusion in a Making Waves playlist no matter where it may be hosted. It may take longer to build up enough of a submission pool for a playlist, but we are listening and noting all incoming tracks.

Without further ado, here are four immersive longer-form tracks hosted at various websites ( Vimeo, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and YouTube). Listeners, we ask you to take a slightly more active role in clicking on this webpage to hear each featured track, circumnavigating the geographical world via electrons signalling various URLs. But in return, we promise evocative and intriguing listening, right through the spectrum of sonic media from acoustic to soundscape.†

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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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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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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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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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