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.

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2017 Waves

It’s been a huge year for the Making Waves community: the extended team, composers and listeners.  Thank you so much for joining us in 2017 as we venture through monthly playlists and our first foray into podcasting.

We’ve been delighted to continue to put the spotlight on new faces this year.  Having featured over 150 composers in 3 years worth of playlists (time flies!), it sometimes feels like the more composers we get to know, the more there are to discover.  And that’s a good thing!  The new music community is so active, vibrant and dedicated, and it’s fantastic to see so much creativity taking place in sound around Australia, and continue to be introduced to new work.

Along with the playlists the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast was released.  We are super proud to have brought this project to fruition, along with 10 interviewers, audio and podcast enthusiasts.  Massive thanks to the Making Conversation team and to the  composers interviewed for a total of 29 episodes in this season.  We hope to continue the series in the future, and we encourage you to check out the series if you haven’t already, with audio and video episodes available here on the website for streaming or via your favourite podcast services or YouTube.

We must give a massive Thank You also to the new faces who have joined the Making Waves team.  Project founders Lisa Cheney (VIC) and Peggy Polias (NSW) are so grateful to be joined on this voluntary project by Mark Wolf (QLD) and Marlene Radice (VIC), who have each completed 6 month internships in 2017 and are staying on to continue promoting composers and their music.  Meanwhile, in November 2017 we are delighted to welcome Alexis Weaver (NSW) and Michelle Nguyen (VIC) who have both commenced internships.  We look forward to showing them the ropes, culminating with a playlist each in 2018.

It’s also been great to extend the collaborative spirit into new ventures.  This year we invited David Chisholm to guest-curate the BIFEM Waves playlist in August, to coincide with the 2017 festival in Bendigo.  We were also commissioned to produce 4 special episodes for ABC Classic FM: New Waves Podcast, using excerpts from the Making Conversation Podcast series and putting the spotlight on 16 composers and a full work each.

If you like what Making Waves are doing, you can show your support by: liking, following and leaving comments and feedback at all our social channels and liking, following and leaving feedback at all the social channels of featured composers when you see new or familiar faces pop up in your feed.

We also have a growing line of merchandise.  We’ve updated the Featured Composer tote bag for 2015-17 and have also introduced a Making Conversation podcast logo tote bag.  You might like to show off your new music savvy around town by purchasing one of these:

New 2017 Making Conversation Logo Tote Bag

A$35.00

2015-17 Featured Composers Tote Bag (White)

Black text on white bag.

A$35.00

2015-17 Featured composer tote bag (Black)

White text on black bag.

A$35.00

If tote bags aren’t your thing, we’ve added t-shirts, coffee mugs, notebooks and more to the mix over at our new RedBubble shop. We also recently updated the Favourite Things collection with some audio/tech picks.  A portion of all sales supports the running costs of the Making Waves project.  You can also leave a one-off or regular donation and read more about supporting the project here.

Now, for the end of year playlist.  In 2017 we featured 75 tracks on Soundcloud (totalling 8hrs 27min), 10 tracks on Spotify (1hr) and 6 tracks on YouTube (41min).  We’ve collected all of these here for your summer holiday listening until we release the first playlist for 2018 on 1 February at 9amAEST.  Whether you pick through your favourites, catch up on the year of composers, performers and works, or have a binge-listen on shuffle, we hope that you enjoy looking back on this year!

We encourage you to leave your thoughts, most-enjoyed playlists, listening experiences and listening suggestions for others in the comment section below. And if you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our email list, submit your own work, and share the project across your favourite social media channels with anyone you know who might like to open their ears to the new.

Seasons greetings,
Lisa & Peggy
Making Waves

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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!

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Jazz-World Waves (November 2017)

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.

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Ambient Waves (October 2017)

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.

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Space Waves (June 2017)

We’re delighted to hand over the reins this month to composer and current Making Waves Intern Marlene Radice, who has curated this Space-themed playlist.  About the works chosen and the over-arching theme, Marlene writes:

This playlist centres around compositions with a relationship to space. Space as a tangible area of existence, space as a gestural device, spacialisation of music and the idea of space in relation to places outside of our immediate consciousness.

Listening to this playlist and exploring how composers address these themes made me think of concepts such as wabi-sabi and the importance of the spaces between elements, and accepting sounds for their imperfections. What we don’t hear is just as important as the sounds we observe. These pieces all somehow explore what lies between what we hear and what we see.

We love discovering the resonances among these works: instrumental – several string quartets, various uses of electronics including Peter Anthony Smith on the Akai Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI); thematic – auras, aliens and nature; and stylistic – there is an expansiveness and dimension evoked by each work in its own way.  Many thanks to Marlene for her care in compiling this playlist.  You can find out more about Marlene here.

Also, dear listeners, thank you for your patience with us as we took last month off from playlists to focus on the launch of the Making Conversation: Australian Podcast. As at 1 June, we’ve released 6 shows from this 30-episode series, conversations between talented emerging music journalists and composers Anne Cawrse (SA), Michael Sollis (ACT), Annie Hsieh (USA), May Lyon (VIC), Alex Turley (WA) & Jenna Cave (NSW).  If you’re already a subscriber, we thank you for joining us over at iTunes, via RSS or other podcast apps at this link, or via Making Waves e-bulletins.  If you’re not, do join us at your preferred platform so that you don’t miss a thing!

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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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International Women’s Day 2017

We are delighted to celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 with this special edition playlist! Clear your listening schedules and settle in to explore a mammoth archive of music from many of the Australian composers (and some Canadians too) featured in monthly playlists spanning January 2015 through to March 2017.

Whether composing as one who just happens to be female, through to exploring gender, femininity and feminism through their works, the archive below attests to the diversity of women working in the compositional spectrum.

Keep kicking your goals, fellow women! The arts wouldn’t be half the diverse, unique, story-telling, mind-blowing, challenging and beautiful space it is without you. We’re behind you and encourage you to take an active role in a connected, supportive community. There is room for everyone here: ears are open. We can’t wait to listen to all the music you’re going to submit to us in 2017! Happy International Women’s Day!
– Lisa & Peggy

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2016 Waves

Thank you for joining us on a second amazing year of Making Waves: listening, enjoying and sharing the newest music of Australian composers and performers.  It’s been such a wonderful journey of discovery each month! This is a credit to the amazing quality and breadth of composing and music-making occurring in the Australian new-music scene, from the undergraduate study level, to some of our most loved mentors.

This year, we’ve been very excited to build on the core Making Waves playlist offering, making a foray into podcast production. A successful Pozible crowdfunding campaign in May 2016, with support from Creative Partnerships Australia,  has led to the Making Conversation: Australian Composers Podcast. Currently in production, we’ve sent a fabulous team of emerging music journalists out to record interviews with composers all over Australia, and some overseas, and the finished series will be launched in the first half of 2017.

Later in the year we released a small line of merchandise – with the plush Making Waves tote bags now for sale in 5 designs. Our most popular bag is also the one dearest to our hearts, featuring the entire list of Australian composers featured in our playlists through 2015-2016.

featured-composers-dec-10th

We also released the first instalment of our Favourite Things collection: essential resources for serious composers and musicians. By checking out the collection you can also lend your support to our endeavours, and in  particular support the excellent work of our local colleagues at CutCommon and Rehearsal Magazine in releasing some beautiful manuscript and music business resource. Use our promo code: MAKENEWMUSIC to receive your special Making Waves community discount.

We’re really proud of all the new collaborations and conversations we’ve this year in order to share new and hard-to-find compositions and interviews on radio and into podcasts. We hope listeners will find them just as inspiring  as we have! In June we released our first international special edition playlist, Canadian Waves, curated by Elizabeth Knudson, and are thrilled to discover the work of some northern hemisphere counterparts.  Not long after, we invited another guest curator, Leah Barclay, to assemble a playlist based on the Sonic Environments conference in Brisbane in July.  Hats off to you, Leah, this playlist saw the most website traffic out of any during 2016…!

Lisa & Peggy could not have managed all of this without the support of some wonderful Interns:  many, many thanks to Angus Baxter and his successor Marlene Radice for joining us for part of the Making Waves journey.  We absolutely appreciate all your input, ideas and instinct and all the Skype chats!

Now, back to the music: again in 2016, we’re delighted to bring the year’s music together in one marathon playlist for the holiday season, 2016 Waves. This year we share 8 Vimeo videos (c. 1.25 hours), 12 YouTube videos (c. 1.5 hours), and 71 tracks from Soundcloud (c. 9.5 hours), for over 12 hours of music!  Whether you pick through your favourites, catch up on the year of composers, performers and works, or have a binge-listen on shuffle, we hope that you enjoy!

We encourage you to leave your thoughts, most-enjoyed playlists, listening experiences and listening suggestions for others in the comment section below. And if you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our email list, submit your own work, and share the project across your favourite social media channels with anyone you know who might like to open their ears to the new.

Seasons greetings,
Lisa & Peggy
Making Waves

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Spoken Waves (September 2016)

This month we’ve brought together a number of compositions revolving around text, especially spoken word.  The composers have employed a range of approaches, including word play, sampled recordings, or the setting of hypothetical speeches. As a result, this playlist ranges from whimsical to contemplative to highly political.

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Long Waves (August 2016)

This month we decided to program a playlist theme that had been brewing behind the scenes for quite a while. Long Waves gives the listener a chance to savour some of the broader, single-movement works that composers have put forward to Making Waves.  We really enjoy how this set of works visit contemplative or evocative themes, some via solo instrument, others for ensemble, with or without voice.  With thanks to Making Waves Intern, Angus Baxter, for his thoughtful curatorial input on the playlist.

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Sonic Environment Waves (July 2016)

This month we’re delighted to have Dr. Leah Barclay, Co-Chair of Sonic Environments, and President of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology , guest-curate this playlist: Sonic Environment Waves.  About the playlist, Leah writes:

This playlist features composers who are working in innovative ways with place, environmental sound and new technologies. It has been curated to coincide with the Sonic Environments conference, hosted by the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, July 10-11 2016.

Drawing inspiration from contemporary acoustic ecology, Sonic Environments invites composers, performers, academics, field recordists, acoustic ecologists and technologists to present research and creative works exploring the ecological, social and cultural contexts of our sonic environments. This conference aims to expand our current understandings of acoustic ecology and the role of sound and technology in understanding rapidly changing environments across the world.

This collection of compositions showcases composers experimenting with found sounds, environmental field recordings, mixed media and immersive performance. This playlist traverses the inherently interdisciplinary nature of sound and aims to explore aural awareness in a diversity of sonic environments across the world with composers who are all connected to Australia.

We hope you enjoy this rich and thoughtful selection of works and we thank Leah Barclay for agreeing to curate this playlist.

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