I’m not quite queer yet, but I can catch a glimpse of a queer world — that is, a world designed for queers instead of against us — with radically reconfigured politics, ways of knowing and feeling, ways of existing with each other. – Dan Thorpe
This month’s playlist, Social Activism Waves, is a collection of works that interrogate or reflect on many different aspects of society, culture, identity or politics. The compositions include personal narratives or commentaries on subjects as wide-ranging as: mental health, terrorism, the environment, AIDs activism in the 80s-90s, refugees, queer and gender identity. By using the term “activism” it is not our intention to define or narrow/box in the output or stance of the ten composers featured below. Rather, it acknowledges that in this particular work they have publicly offered a strong position; something deeply stirring, confessional, reflective or all of the above. Many of the composers featured have been kind enough to offer some additional words about their motivations in writing their work. We encourage you to read these comments by clicking on their name below.
I can honestly say I was torn while writing this piece. I am motivated to write for injustice and to give a musical voice to inequality. At the same time, I felt uncomfortable to be composing “as a woman”. I don’t see my music as gendered. My ovaries do not compose. – May Lyon
The timing of this playlist is not random. At this current moment in time, national and international politics are careening hard right – further than some of us thought possible. Funding climates continue to create tension for all artists, adding to our growing concerns over the treatment of our planet and our fellow human beings. For many, an inward retreat to the purely musical is one way of coping. Others ask, “What can I do? How can I as a musician express this or inspire change?” No one way is more worthy. We encourage you to listen, read, explore, support the composers, discuss, share and contribute to this playlist in any form. We also welcome your comments below. Our immense thanks to our talented composers for this touching playlist that has offered us much food for thought and inspiration.
Between a quarter and a third of the Great Barrier Reef has died due to coral bleaching by pollution and climate change. Despite the severity and publicity of this catastrophe, politicians refuse to address the issue, and my current part time job constantly forces me to witness the wasteful and apathetic attitude of the general public regularly. – Aidan Maizels
This month’s playlist brings together a number of tracks that recall aspects of minimalism and post-minimalism: repetitive grooves, a degree of space, restraint, economy of musical material, long lines, drones and monolithic gestures, self-similarity and fractals. We love the breadth of approaches stylistically and thematically within this hour of works. Note the familiar inspiration sources of nature and landscapes in some of these compositions – snow, cities, outdoor scenes – alongside works referencing ideas about communication and thought – dreams, rhetoric, monologue.
We, the Making Waves team, continue to be excited and inspired by the quality and diversity of Australia’s new music scene and hope our enthusiasm is infectious! To learn more about each featured work and composer in this listening-journey we recommend that you click through to each of the featured profile below. Enjoy!
This month we put the focus on variety, and brought together quite a wide selection of sounds. From solo piano to electronics to sinfonietta, ancient to contemporary themes, animals to computers, delicate to heavy metal sounds. We hope you enjoy the wonderful work of this Eclectic bunch of composers, all featured by Making Waves for the first time.
Composers, Submit your recordings for consideration, and keep us up-to-date about your best or latest work!