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!
The concerto has a long and ingrained tradition in the world of classical music. We’re excited to see how composers explore or depart from this tradition. In this playlist we’ve given the past a nod, see especially Scott McIntyre’s work referencing Beethoven, but also included a work for jazz orchestra by Nadia Burgess, as a nod to the jazz convention of giving players solos, their moment in the spotlight. In another vein, Kirsten Milenkos’ work addresses environmental themes. We hope you enjoy this selection of “duels” or “conversations” between one and many.
This month we’re delighted to hand over the curatorial reins to MW Intern Michelle Nguyen. The playlist theme centres on the idea of our relationship and place within external environments, both ecological and social, and also our internal selves, looking at identity and memory. In this playlist, place is explored in its physical manifestations, as well as its changing and ephemeral nature.
The interactions we have with the natural environments we inhabit are explored through pieces by David Burraston, May Lyon, and Elissa Goodrich, while Josten Myburgh, Aviva Endean, and Gabrielle Cadenhead’s pieces inquire into our relationship with place in urban, social, and controlled environments. Electro Fractal Gamelan and Connect Four by two amazing members of the Making Waves team, Peggy Polias and Alexis Weaver, take a look inwards to nostalgia, memory, and places in time.
With an overarching soundscape of electronics, field recordings, extended techniques, and musique concrete, these pieces all explore an element of noise and uncertainty, which exposes a lot of our human qualities. In looking for perfection, the glitches, unintended sounds, and accidents have all contributed to our musical culture and the wide variety of sounds we enjoy.
This playlist includes a video of Hapnophobia by Aviva Endean, which is a site-specific work that encompasses the audio, visual, and tactile realms. The video functions as a score for the audience as they move throughout a specific location at the arts centre, and would ideally be watched or performed in location.
This month we embark on an exploration of music centred around folklore, fairytales and mythology. To our delight many of the works in this playlist focus on the vibrant female heroines central to many mythological tales. Alice Chance’s Infernal Women and Evan Lawson’s Sirens, highlight the dark mysticism of the women of classical mythology who were both beautiful and a force to be feared.
Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and War is explored by Aristea Mellos while Chris Williams describes the depth of the goddess Polyhymnia, a daughter of Zeus. Both goddesses are associated with sacred poetry and song and they inherent mysticism of music when entwined with wisdom and knowledge.
Ostara, the germanic Goddess of Spring and fertility is the central figure in Cassie To’s Ostara’s Equinox. The notions of rebirth in nature, equality and fertility that came with the coming of spring are explored through pagan mythology that has been subsequently lost as it has been absorbed by other practices.
Annie Pirotta and Holly Harrison explore the exciting nature of folk tales and how seemingly innocent tales associated with childhood harbour dark truths. Both composers focus on the writings of Lewis Carroll, building upon the evocative imagery evoked by this work.
To our opening track, Peter McNamara’s The Styx, a journey into the under world. A discussion of the end of life, the journey’s we take and an opportunity to reflect on the nature of life and the ways in which mysticism might answer the unanswerable questions.
This month we decided to tackle the spectrum of compositions that inhabit and explore radiophonic composition. Radiophonic music developed as an artistic practice focusing on the use of electronics, abstracting and manipulating sounds to create unique pieces often designed specifically for radio. This medium places you, the listener, at the centre of the experience, how you interpret the sounds as they are divorced from a traditional concert context.
The works in this playlist are designed to immerse you in the spectrum of radiophonic sounds. Sounds from what we know are abstracted in each of these tracks, from the raw, digitally manipulated samples of organic everyday household sounds utilised by Andrew Ball and Michelle Nguyen, to the visually evocative soundscapes evoked by Fiona Hill and Jessica Wells. Electronics are used throughout this playlist to abstract how voices and conversations are heard. These range from the use of intimate recordings of family conversations by Martin K. Koszolko to Amber Hansen’s ambient mix of samples recorded in the island of Capri.
This playlist also features works by Amber Hansen and Marlene Radice which were specifically commissioned for radio play and as such have been composed the be heard via this medium, the live component of the composition being the listening act in and of itself.
All of these works are designed to be interpreted by the listener a multitude of different ways, they challenge how we listen to sounds and re-evaluate how we perceive music.
Many composers find inspiration in their environment and surroundings, and we have hinted at this in several past playlists (Nature Waves, Sonic Environment Waves). This month’s playlist, Landscape Waves, brings together a selection of works for varied forces, all reflecting on aspects of the outdoor or natural world and sound: the sounds of people, animals and places, and especially the sounds of climate. This progression from drought through to deluge is your soundtrack to another month of southern hemisphere summer.
It’s been a huge year for the Making Waves community: the extended team, composers and listeners. Thank you so much for joining us in 2017 as we venture through monthly playlists and our first foray into podcasting.
We’ve been delighted to continue to put the spotlight on new faces this year. Having featured over 150 composers in 3 years worth of playlists (time flies!), it sometimes feels like the more composers we get to know, the more there are to discover. And that’s a good thing! The new music community is so active, vibrant and dedicated, and it’s fantastic to see so much creativity taking place in sound around Australia, and continue to be introduced to new work.
Along with the playlists the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast was released. We are super proud to have brought this project to fruition, along with 10 interviewers, audio and podcast enthusiasts. Massive thanks to the Making Conversation team and to the composers interviewed for a total of 29 episodes in this season. We hope to continue the series in the future, and we encourage you to check out the series if you haven’t already, with audio and video episodes available here on the website for streaming or via your favourite podcast services or YouTube.
We must give a massive Thank You also to the new faces who have joined the Making Waves team. Project founders Lisa Cheney (VIC) and Peggy Polias (NSW) are so grateful to be joined on this voluntary project by Mark Wolf (QLD) and Marlene Radice (VIC), who have each completed 6 month internships in 2017 and are staying on to continue promoting composers and their music. Meanwhile, in November 2017 we are delighted to welcome Alexis Weaver (NSW) and Michelle Nguyen (VIC) who have both commenced internships. We look forward to showing them the ropes, culminating with a playlist each in 2018.
It’s also been great to extend the collaborative spirit into new ventures. This year we invited David Chisholm to guest-curate the BIFEM Waves playlist in August, to coincide with the 2017 festival in Bendigo. We were also commissioned to produce 4 special episodes for ABC Classic FM: New Waves Podcast, using excerpts from the Making Conversation Podcast series and putting the spotlight on 16 composers and a full work each.
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. We’ve updated the Featured Composer tote bag for 2015-17 and have also introduced a Making Conversation podcast logo tote bag. You might like to show off your new music savvy around town by purchasing one of these:
New 2017 Making Conversation Logo Tote Bag
2015-17 Featured Composers Tote Bag (White)
Black text on white bag.
2015-17 Featured composer tote bag (Black)
White text on black bag.
If tote bags aren’t your thing, we’ve added t-shirts, coffee mugs, notebooks and more to the mix over at our new RedBubble shop. We also recently updated the Favourite Things collection with some audio/tech picks. A portion of all sales supports the running costs of the Making Waves project. You can also leave a one-off or regular donation and read more about supporting the project here.
Now, for the end of year playlist. In 2017 we featured 75 tracks on Soundcloud (totalling 8hrs 27min), 10 tracks on Spotify (1hr) and 6 tracks on YouTube (41min). We’ve collected all of these here for your summer holiday listening until we release the first playlist for 2018 on 1 February at 9amAEST. 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.
Lisa & Peggy
Plug in, press play and relax into a dream-like hour of contemporary compositions from our featured Australian composers. In this month’s Dream Waves playlist listen out for some common characteristics between these 10 stunning works, in the use of melodic lines, resonance, atmospheric effects, diatonic languages, ambience, repetition and an innate sense of reflection and stillness. Predominantly featuring works for acoustic instruments, we were delighted to find that the electronic works and sound art from Marlene Radice and David Newnes contributed to and expanded on the theme. Join us as we float away over the next sixty minutes with a final playlist for 2017. We’re thrilled to end the year on such a beautiful note!