We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Peggy and Lisa of Making Waves. Their work is as inspiring as it is practical. Young composers, we encourage you to get involved with their work. Contact us with any questions, and we will pass them on! - RM
In the past 10 years, the internet has created a dramatic change in the way we approach music making. It has revolutionised the way we work, build scores and record performances, the way we publicise ourselves and our work, and perhaps most dramatically the way we listen. At the beginning of 2015, Peggy Polias and Lisa Cheney, both experienced composers in their own right, joined forces to create the new music website Making Waves - to play upon the potential for expansive listening that the internet offers us. Seeing the importance of getting new compositions heard, but without a platform to do so, Polias and Cheney set about creating a way to expose developing and established composers’ work, in a way that removes the stuffiness of a concert hall and prioritises the ease of listening and availability of music. Therefore, Making Waves functions to support both sides of the musical equation - the composer and the performer, and the listener: each now with a new place to discover or contribute.
The internet, according to the duo, is an invaluable resource for young composers in particular - in part due to the strong and active presence held by the Australian classical music community on social media platforms and forums. After university, with the absence of enforced masterclasses and time for workshopping, the internet becomes a hub for idea sharing and creativity. Having your music listened to and commented on online offers some of the camaraderie left behind at the conclusion of a degree - giving composers a space to trial ideas and share new work. Listening and “curating” online also creates a well needed space away from the constraints of a concert hall. Rather than fitting ideas into a particular set of requirements - type of performance space, instruments available, etc. - online listening platforms like Making Waves work to fit individual composers, with no boundary to creativity. If the sound can be created, it can be heard. They do all the heavy lifting that usually surrounds a traditional concert - promotion, curation and publication, fitting each composers’ unique voice into a playlist full of contrasting and complimentary sounds - perfect for composers looking to explore their peers’ work, and an accessible platform of discovery for interested listeners.
Making Waves is advocating for Australian composers and listeners, choosing composers young or old, experienced or developing, all of whom can submit one or two of their songs to be included in an appropriate playlist. Listeners can expect a curated mix of music, specifically arranged by thematic material or instrumentation. Engagement of listeners and composers is extremely important for Polias and Cheney, who believe that the best way to develop ideas and explore new sounds as a composer is to receive feedback from the listeners. This system is advantageous as it offers composers the opportunity to watch their listeners interact with the music.
To listen to the most recent Making Waves playlist - a mammoth collection of all music from 2015, or find out more about their work, check out www.makingwavesnewmusic.com. If you’re interested in submitting a recording of your composition, fill out the simple submission form at www.makingwavesnewmusic.com/submit.