Listen to the Australian Art Music playlist: November 2021

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The playlist starts with tracks from two excellent albums featuring female composers, Alicia crossley Bass instinct and Claire Edwardes Rhythms of change. I’ve limited myself to two tracks per album, but expect more in the coming months – I can’t stop listening to these releases.

The first is Jessica wells The watchmaker, for bass recorder and electronic track, which strikes the perfect balance between the two elements. Its lovingly designed ambience creates a deep space for the recorder to occupy. But Alicia’s phrasing sculpts the experience, creating the movement and dynamism that really makes the work sing.

It fits perfectly into Verve through Ella Macens, originally written for Claire in 2016, who saw several releases at concerts, house concerts and live events. We immediately understand why, while Ella manages to bring out the technical and expressive mastery of all the mastery and musicality of Claire.

We also have an interesting pair of piano works which I think make for a wonderful listening experience. Starting with Sarah Elise Thompson pink salt – a glorious exploration of color and space that reminds me of Debussy’s Préludes (one of my favorite piano works) – and leading to Satoko Fujii and Alister Spence duo Across the equator, a more vigorous work but with a similar gesture, built by repetition in occasional crashes and silences.

In Sine qua non, Ben carey makes perfect use of his electronic palette. By mixing tides of slow sonic washes with a moving and evolving minimalist loop, he creates a work that feels familiar but constantly evolving. Aaron Wyatt is also inspired by the acoustic palette of the Decibel New Music ensemble in Glisten, part of their 2 minutes from the house series, to create a sense of evolution. Aaron unifies the work with high-pitched metallic hits on the glockenspiel and rattlesnakes as the surrounding ensemble becomes increasingly dense in texture.

All three of Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ speakers receive a nod this month. Bree van reyk vibraphone work for Claire Edwardes, Slipstreams, feels distinct on the album, drawing the listener in for a more intimate experience and truly demonstrating the sonic nuances of his writing. by Zela Margossian Forecast is warm and luxurious and just a joy to listen to – I can’t stop smiling when it comes. The rhythm section ensures an excellent flow as we oscillate between melodic ideas. that of Sia Ahmad crosscheck against the corner (d), released under his interpreter name Shoeb Ahmad, constructs exquisite layers of electronic sounds and vocals creating a thick and fascinating audio fog that drifts amid a rousing percussive rhythm.

Another welcome addition to Spotify is Blackford and Collins New Australian music for brass, making a trumpet or euphonium playlist increasingly viable for 2022. The playlist is closed. Brendan’s Champion Monolith of his First Suite for Brass in Bb. Appropriate work that really captures the feel of the marching band repertoire and the duo’s mix.

Hope you enjoy all the new and recent releases from the Aussie Art Music playlist this month – it’s great to see so many new albums coming out. But, if you are looking more to listen, the entirety Australian Art Music Archives has also been updated on Spotify (now with over 800 pieces to check out!).


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