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…

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Stillness Waves (September 2018)

This month we hand over the curatorship to our graduating intern Ethan Connor McAlister. After mulling over various concepts for a playlist, he landed on a prominent influence in his own music, stillness.

In what seems to be a common thread for many composers, stillness appears in many guises. Typically associated with composers such as the Japanese Toru Takemitsu, Estonian Arvo Pärt or the British Max Richter, this playlist will instead feature five contemporary Australian pieces.

In this playlist you can find stillness in the study of space, both sonic and physical; in the structured silences of Kezia Yap, the improvisations of Josten Myburgh’s The waves which have kept me from reaching you, and in the use prepared piano, double bass and bus engine sound recordings in Millie Watsons’ Pools of Fir. You may also find stillness in the stretching of time in Alice Chance’s D I L A T E and finally, in the analysis of light in the first piece of our playlist, Kirsten Milenko’s stunning Ex Aere.

Making Waves hopes you can find a time to sit back with a cuppa* and, for just a moment, (hopefully) find stillness.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Fragile Waves (July 2018)

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!

Continue reading

Concerto Waves (June 2018)

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.

Continue reading

Place Waves (May 2018)

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Radiophonic Waves (March 2018)

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.

Enjoy!

Continue reading

Landscape Waves (February 2018)

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.

Continue reading

Dream Waves (December 2017)

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!

Continue reading