Percussive Waves (April 2017)

Percussion. Composers love it for its diversity, its flexibility and the timbral options for striking, plucking, rubbing, scraping or otherwise interacting with a musical or found object. This month we’re thrilled to offer a wonderful hour of percussive and rhythm-centred works. From marimba solos evoking animals, Tuscan sunsets, or Greek mythology, to improvisation, polyrhythms or prepared harpsichord, this playlist is as diverse as ever and the resulting sounds are wide-ranging, always with the particularly heightened quality brought by percussive gestures and physicality.  This month’s playlist image was photographed by Making Waves Intern and composer Mark Wolf: we see the corrugations in a metal fence, undulating like waves, shadows cast by the sunlight.  We also, like many composers, see an instrument!

Did you know that we’re about to release our very first podcast series? It’s called the Making Conversation: Australian Podcast and it drops on iTunes and everywhere else on Friday April 21, 2017, with one episode released weekly. The team can not wait to share these amazing conversations with Making Waves listeners and podcast fans!  We encourage you to subscribe to our iTunes channel, via RSS or other podcast apps, or to the Making Waves e-bulletins so that you don’t miss a thing. Here’s a little preview!

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Playlist 11: Saxophone Waves

Australia is lucky to play host to an extremely active and exciting saxophone scene,  known for its championing of new Australian music. As a team, we have been delighted by the strong presence of saxophone in compositions previously submitted to and featured by Making Waves and this month we decided to highlight the wonderful work of composers and musicians working in this domain.  This month we played detectives and combined our submissions with a hunt for all things saxophone and have been delighted to gather the work of some fresh young local saxophone ensembles who are commissioning, recording and programming much newly composed music. This playlist is in no way exhaustive and we encourage you to post your own favourite new works for saxophone in the comments below.

From one solo line to 17 overdubs, saxophone quartet to saxophone orchestra, to concerto for jazz quartet and orchestra – we love the warm reedy sound bringing all these works together, as well as all the other colours combined. The saxophone is a slightly elusive instrument for a composer grounded in the “classical” tradition, and we’re digging the jazz and riff-based flavours of this month’s playlist.  Special thanks to composer-saxophonist Andrew Ball, who put us on the right track for some awesome audio finds and a special mention to Diana Tolmie and the QLD Saxophone Orchestra who have just put out a brand new CD of Australian compositions in the last few days. We encourage you to check out both of these artists, along with all of the amazing talent included in Playlist 11 below. Enjoy!

Composers, Submit your recordings for consideration, and keep us up-to-date about your best or latest work!

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