Sound and space illuminate presence.

When was the last time you stopped and noticed yourself? How often do you reflect on where you are, and how your body exists in time and space? What does it mean to be truly present?

Many of this month’s works paint exquisite sound into space and silence. Whether through electronics or acoustic means, whether drawing from classical, jazz or other musical languages you can hear the space and contemplation in their work.

I think my favorite juxtaposition on this topic is the progression from Compassion (Adam Simmons) to Salt (Alice Humphries) to Lumen (Richard Meale) – a similar feel despite differing practices. Each of these soundworlds centre us in an endless expanse as music drifts to sonic horizons.

Repetition is another element that grounds this playlist – the ever-evolving nature of Soluble Sun by Rae Howell and Erik Griswold’s Time Crystals ground us in a different way. Each repeat (slightly altered) focuses our ear on what exactly changes, and what remains. James Ledger’s The Spirit Among Us and Matthew Hindson’s Speed Re-Orchestral Mix do similarly with heavy influence from electronic genres.

Kangaroo by Marigold Bartlett Kangaroo by Marigold Bartlett 

The final thread for November’s Aussie Art Music playlist is solo repertoire – these solo voices draw us in as they duet with silence. Among others, the decay and reverb of Leah Blankendaal’s Alongside, Nick Russoniello’s The New South, and Kirsten Milenko’s De-Voir, showcase this range of space from intimate to isolated.

As we head towards the end of the year, hopefully this playlist gives you some time to stop and contemplate. To be present, or more simply just be.

Immerse yourself into the full playlist (or the full Australian Art Music Archive) to consider what our wealth of artists are thinking, making, and saying, as the world around us shifts.

Until next month,

Cameron Lam


The Full Track List: Australian Art Music, November 2020

Alongside by Leah Blankendaal
Sleep in my Arms by Jenna Cave | performed by Paul Cutlan String Project
Dimensions of a Strange Land 异境 by Mindy Meng Wang 王萌
The New South by Nick Russoniello
Saturday Night Tuberculosis by Thomas Misson | performed by Jack Barnes
Bean by Helen Svoboda
Avant-Garden by Jeremy Rose
Ripple by Rafael Karlen | performed by Kristin Berardi, Sean Foran, Rafael Karlen, Pascal Schumacher
The Spirits Among Us by James Ledger
Speed (Re-Orchestral Mix) by Matthew Hindson | performed by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Porcelijn
De-Voir by Kirsten Milenko
3 Sketches for a Nocturne: No. 1, Risoluto by Ben Hoadley | performed by Luca Manghi, David Kelly
Like Snowdrops You Will Shine by Katia Beaugeais | performed by ACO Collective
Dark Angels by Luke Howard, Tilman Robinson
Ganba by Anne Boyd | performed by HD Duo
Compassion by Adam Simmons | performed by Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble
Salt by Alice Humphries | performed by Syzygy Ensemble
Lumen by Richard Meale | performed by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Mills
Melody by Cyrus Meurant | performed by Matthew Kneale
Rock Us by Barry Cockcroft | performed by Jeffrey Loeffert, Jonathan Nichol
Soluble Sun by Rae Howell | performed by Sunwrae
X-Ray Baby (Live) by Caerwen Martin | performed by Arcko Symphonic Ensemble
Et Lacrimatus Est Jesus by Margaret Tesch-Muller | performed by Lumen Chamber Choir, conducted by Benjamin Thiele-Long
Glacier from Coming Down for Air by Alon Ilsar, Tim Motzer, Jane Sheldon
Time Crystals by Erik Griswold | performed by Clocked Out
Solo Toccata by Michal Rosiak | performed by Janet McKay
Oikeios Topos by Liam Flenady | performed by Alex Raineri


Want to recommend music for future playlists? Tag #AussieArtMusic on Twitter or contact Cameron Lam on Facebook or Twitter.

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