This month we’ve brought together a number of compositions that relate to jazz or world music in varying degrees, sometimes not in the most direct or obvious way. Where are the boundaries between contemporary classical and jazz styles? What are different ways composers look to wider folk and world musics for inspiration? Many composers featured this month effortlessly weave in and out of jazz/improvisatory and classical practice, creating fascinating and eclectic bodies of work. We hear in some of the works a focus on melody and harmony, with folk tunes or a chart-based approach. Several works for sax ensembles or big band are of the toe-tapping variety while others have an adventurous contemporary flavour. Yet other works are scored for small colouristic bands or chamber ensembles. We hope you enjoy this ride through a diverse collection of sounds.
Brian Eno was quoted to have once said:
“Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”
This month we bring you a beautiful mix of atmospheric, electronic and instrumental works that are hardly ignorable and strikingly ambient. Each composition bravely explores few musical ideas, spaces and concepts, often influenced by landscape and the universe. They invite us as listeners to sit and really listen, to savour, to challenge, to entrance, to entice for as little as 6 minutes to 18 minutes. We encourage you to listen for slow unfolding patterns and harmony, repetition, explorations of colour and fluctuations of texture and density we float away with this stimulating hour of ambience.
In this episode you’ll hear:
Composer: Jakub Jankowski
This conversation was recorded on the 29th of November, 2016, in the composer’s home studio, South Australia.
For some time we’ve been taking note when composers submit works to the Making Waves curation pool that feature the voice, text, singing, speech. In September 2016 we compiled the Spoken Waves playlist; we’re delighted to revisit a similar theme exactly 1 year later with the present playlist, Vocal Waves. As always, we try to find works that fit the theme as well as challenge it, so the works range from children’s choir to rhythmic use of speech in the context of a percussion ensemble, showcasing the breadth of possibilities for the human voice. With several multi-part works, we also really enjoy the gravitation to song-form, both through shorter-form and multi-movement works here.
August has been a hugely busy month for the Making Waves team! In between team members travelling internationally, the Making Conversation podcast, attending and hosting a panel at the Women in the Creative Arts Conference at Australian National University, we had to take a break from the playlist at the beginning of the month. Instead, we’re delighted to bring you a bonus guest-curated playlist in the lead-up to BIFEM, that’s Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, taking place September 1-4, 2017. We hand over the reins to Artistic Director David Chisholm, who’s handpicked some of the composers performed at the upcoming festival for this playlist. You can find out more about David here.
“Making a choice of works by composers from within a festival in which you have already curated them, presents a peculiar curatorial challenge insofar as they are clearly integral to current crop of composers one finds oneself focussed on. Conveniently for me, the specific championing of Australian music that defines Making Waves, a geographical filter automatically knocked out a lot of 2017 BIFEM contenders. When I looked at what connects me to all these composers,I feel that they all share a habit for turning over rocks and looking under. Each of them has the sort of inquiry-led work that I find so enriching as a listener. Each is idiomatic in their musical life and that is really all i look for: a point of view, and more importantly, a point of difference in the music itself, not the discourse around it. Each of these composers understands the ritual nature of music, and knows how to plug in the listen to that sense of ritual. Each of them are stars in my eyes.”
About BIFEM: Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music strutted onto the international music scene in September 2013, winning critical praise from around the world and delivering festival and broadcast audiences a visceral experience. With an emphasis on premiere or rarely performed long form works, BIFEM platforms virtuosity in musicianship and innovation in composition. BIFEM’s resident ensemble Argonaut is drawn from a flexible roster of virtuosi from across Australia and from visiting international guests, playing together exclusively in Bendigo.
Bendigo is culturally alive, and its audiences are savvy and brave. While this great Central Victorian city is widely recognised for its visual and plastic arts culture, Bendigo is also a deeply musical city. The Bendigo Symphony Orchestra, City of Greater Bendigo Brass Band, Bendigo Chorale, Undue Noise, Bendigo Chamber Choir and many of the high school music streams all present dynamic annual programmes. In recent years, the Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival and Bendigo Writers Festival have flourished. BIFEM belongs in Bendigo.