Spotify Waves (February 2017)

For the first playlist of 2017 we’ve ventured into the world of Spotify, which, fairly or unfairly, has attracted controversy in the streaming world. Despite the fact that this month’s playlist is platform-dependent, we adore some of the coincidental thematic resonances across the featured works: particularly the focus on birds and birdsong alongside human vocals, overt or otherwise. We also dare you to spot the Whitney Houston references in there somewhere!

A little more about our streaming platform this month. Most of our playlists to date have been curated from content on Soundcloud, which enables composers and ensembles to freely upload both live and studio recordings, meaning we can feature recordings that are not yet commercially available. Spotify, on the other hand, has some barriers to entry, usually requiring the music to be submitted by an aggregator service, which composers and labels would normally use for a commercial digital release.  For us here at Making Waves, this means we inevitably receive less submissions of Spotify content, and that the ones we do receive tend to arrive from composers who are some way along their career journey.  What is also nice about Spotify is that royalties are payable, unlike Soundcloud, so please listen multiple times and explore the albums that the tracks are from, and hopefully all this month’s composers will see a little spike on their APRA statement!

We hope you enjoy this wonderful collection of diversely beautiful music by some of our finest Australian composers!

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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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