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!
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.
Here at Making Waves, we’ve been wanting to collate a “Piano Waves” playlist for over a year now. This staple instrument attracts so much solo repertoire that it can be hard for performers and listeners to know where to start. There is of course the burden of tradition, of a solid canon of classical piano repertoire, but also the instrument’s versatility in playing a huge role in jazz and popular musics. In this month’s playlist we broadened our definition to “Keyboard” to include not only acoustic works, but some amazing tracks in which the piano meets technology: via live electronic manipulation, the use of electric instruments and MIDI, input via audience mobile phones, and even a robotic piano named RHEA. We’ve also split the playlist into a Soundcloud segment (c.50min) and a YouTube segment (c.20min) in order to include a wide array of works. Listen, enjoy and share!