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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International Women’s Day 2019

The theme for International Women’s Day in 2019 is #BalanceforBetter.

Happy International Women’s Day! The team would like to acknowledge that lists such as these invariably exclude more composers than they promote. However, we embrace the opportunity to reflect on the striking music featured by female-identifying composer in Making Waves playlists and the Making Conversation Podcast since our inception in 2015.  We continue to welcome all composers, but in particular encourage women and gender diverse composers to submit your recordings to the Making Waves curation pool at any time and as often as you like.

We’ve collected a few examples of some ways composers and musicians are working towards a “Balance for Better” in our musical communities. This list is something we’re going to be building on over time in a special  dedicated resource page on our website to commend the work of inclusive and forward thinking creatives (coming soon). If you have suggestions of continuing initiatives or forward thinking ensembles and organisations to add, please comment below or email us at makingwavesnewmusic@gmail.com.

And now, over 20 hours of musical works and podcast audio for you to discover and enjoy! Listen through in order today while you work, bookmark to return, click shuffle to be surprised or all of the above!

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String Quartet Waves (March 2019)

Making Waves is delighted to share this month’s playlist, String Quartet Waves!

As an ensemble, the string quartet has been codified such that is a genre unto itself. Perhaps this is due to its typical designation for the most intimate and considered of thoughts, from Beethoven to Shostakovich, and Schoenberg to Crumb. Yet despite its age, it is a genre that is ever contemporary. Championed by quartets such as Kronos Quartet and JACK Quartet, the genre is filled with brilliant new compositions.

In Australia, the string quartet has found another home, in the creations of Sculthorpe and Westlake, and in the work of ensembles such as the Australian String Quartet, Flinders Quartet and Acacia Quartet. As such we are excited to share a collection of contemporary Australian string quartets, filled with contrasting moods, energies and complexities. We hope you can sit back and enjoy this months playlist.

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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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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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Polish Waves (Special Edition August 2018)

Interacting with composers across the globe fosters supportive relationships and collaboration throughout the international new music community. This is why we’re excited to presented our guest curator, Polish composer Andrzej Karałow and our August playlist, Polish Waves. As you listen to the 6 pieces in this month’s playlist, we are sure that you will be drawn-in and captivated (as we were) by the work of colleagues from across the globe in Poland! We’ll be putting the spotlight on these composers and their works on our social media throughout August, so stay tuned (or click on the composer profiles below) to learn more about the talent emerging from Poland. Our thanks warmest to Andrzej for introducing our audiences to these incredible works and composers originating from Poland.

A note from our guest curator, Andrzej Karałow:

I would like to thank Lisa for giving me the opportunity to contribute and develop the composers’ community by creating a playlist which includes works written by Polish composers. Polish Waves is focused on Warsaw-based composers and reveals young, emerging artists as well as already recognized professional creators, who are present on the local and international contemporary music scene. While trying to show as much musical diversity as possible, I wanted to introduce different inspirations and streams which Polish music is going through. The contemporary music scene is very diverse here: not only in modern composition but also through different musical streams which are infiltrating and connecting to each other. In the playlist we can discover works written for unusual setups (“Concert for electric guitar and string orchestra” by Wojciech Błażejczyk), works based on contemporary thought (“Hilathi” by Aleksander Kościów performed by world-renowned Kronos Quartet, “Morpheus” for saxophone quartet by Dariusz Przybylski or “Luxe, Calme Et Volupté” for orchestra by Aleksandra Chmielewska) as well as an electroacoustic piece (“Torrent” for alto saxophone, viola, accordion and live electronics by Żaneta Rydzewska) and improvisation-based electroacoustic work (“Fading towards the Sun” for piano, written by me).

P.S. from Making Waves: For the sake of transparency, we insisted that Andrzej include one of his own works in the playlist, and goodness are we glad we did! Check it out below as you enjoy the full playlist!

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New Zealand Waves (Special Edition 2018)

We believe in fostering supportive relationships and collaboration throughout our small international new music community. This is why we’re delighted to hand over to our guest curator, New Zealand composer Simon Eastwood for this Special Edition Playlist. It’s our very second international one! We offer our thanks to Simon for taking the time to put together an outstanding hour of music from our amazing colleagues ‘across the ditch’. We’re sure that as you listen to this fantastic playlist you’ll agree that this quality playlist highlights ten extremely talented composers, all of whom we encourage you to note, follow, support, program and collaborate with in ways that might be most meaningful to you. We’ll be putting the spotlight on these composers and their works on our social media over the next week, so stay tuned (or click on the composer profiles below) to learn more about the talent emerging from New Zealand.

A note from our guest curator, Simon Eastwood:

“I was fortunate to meet Lisa last year at the Melbourne Recital Centre. I’d come over for a rehearsal with Rubiks Collective and was telling her how impressed I was with the diversity and vitality of the Melbourne scene. Eventually during the conversation, however, I had to confess that I didn’t really know very many Australian composers beyond perhaps Peter Sculthorpe and Liza Lim, and, I suspected, nor did many of my colleagues in New Zealand. We remarked on that fact that, despite the close relationships between our countries, neither of us seemed to have much awareness of the music being made by out contemporaries across the ditch, and that when it came to discovering new music we both had a tendency to look towards Europe or the United States before we considered the music of our neighbours.
“Even though we live at the edge of the world, New Zealand nonetheless has a small but extremely enthusiastic New Music community in which almost everybody knows each other, and are generally on good terms, enjoying a strong sense of camaraderie. Much of this can be attributed to the work of SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music and CANZ, the Composers Association of New Zealand, who run the annual Nelson Composers Workshop.
“During my own time overseas, in between trying to explain 1) where New Zealand was and 2) that there was more to the country than the Lord of the Rings, Ruby, and Lorde, I began to notice a few of the strange quirks that define New Zealanders as a people. As I noticed these I began to wonder whether some similar attributes could be found in New Zealand music. So far the only thing which seems to be consistent in New Zealand music this music is its diversity. The composers in this collection come from a wide range of backgrounds and reflect a variety of interests. Many are currently living abroad and are making their way in the world at large. Others originate from other places but have nonetheless made important contributions to the local music scene. Naomi Weinroth, for instance, comes from the United States but has made New Zealand her home for the last four years.
“There are of course many more composers whom I would like to have included in this list, but I have tried to give as wide a representation as possible of the voices currently active in New Zealand music. I also decided that for this playlist I would focus on younger emerging voices for this playlist, even thought there are are of course many established New Zealand composers who have written incredible music. For an informative and humorous overview of the history of New Zealand composition take a look at Alex Taylor and Celeste Oram’s talk at Darmstadt in 2016 https://vimeo.com/179380397. My thanks to Lisa and Peggy for this opportunity bridge the divide between our nations, I look forward to hearing more Australian music in future playlists.”

P.S For sake of transparency, we insisted that Simon include one of his own works in the playlist, and goodness are we glad we did! Check it out below. Enjoy!

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International Women’s Day 2018

The theme for International Women’s Day in 2018 is #PressforProgress.  Here at Making Waves, we think 13+ hours of music by mostly unpublished Australian composers who happen to be women is relatively progressive.  We hope you enjoy this collection, whether you stream intensively or bookmark it to savour in stages.

However, this is ongoing work: the more composers whose music we get to know, the wider our networks reach and the more new faces we discover.  We see you out there who haven’t gotten around to sending us a track or two! Today we especially encourage women and gender diverse composers to get in touch and submit your recordings to the Making Waves curation pool.  We have tried to make the criteria as open as possible with no restrictions on gender or age, and as wide a definition of “Australian” as possible, plus occasional special editions from off-shore locations (hint: there’s another international playlist coming soon!!).

What are some ways composers and musicians “pressing for progress” in terms of gender?

The Women in Sound Women on Sound reading list is a great starting point for wider reading on and by women working in sound with some useful data-driven search tools.  We are excited to watch how this evolves as more sources are added.

Music Theory Examples By Women is an excellent resource for music educators looking to diversify their notated teaching materials.  The website also links to some sizeable playlists on Spotify, YouTube, etc.

Throwback to GRID (Gender Research in Darmstart), Feminist Activism during the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, 2016, and especially Ashley Fure’s reflections.

If you want to crunch the numbers closer to home on Australian content programmed by the Major Performing Arts Organisations, including attention to gender representation, catch Ian Whitney’s Australian Content in 2018, now an annual blogging tradition.

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