Our playlist for July features music from Tasmania and from composers with strong ties to the island state. I was quite excited to dig into Tasmania’s music scene, which I’m less familiar with, and uncover some new favourite artists. I think I’ve succeeded, and hopefully am bringing some new music to your ears as well. Huge thanks to Music Tasmania and Australian Music Centre for great jumping off points for my research.

Australian Art Music
Image credits: Maria Grenfell © Anthony McKee. Australian Art Music artwork © Marigold Bartlett. Michael Kieran Harvey.

While streaming is a great way to discover new music – purchasing albums or merch is an even better way to support the artists you love. Visit the Merch Table for this month’s playlist.

Maria Grenfell is familiar face to followers of this playlist, and her Foxtrot for Horn and Piano is a fun and upbeat romp, and especially welcome in this month’s selection. For a direct contrast, the Hobart band Philomath brings subtle layers of sound to create an immersive ambient sound world in their track, Levent. And, Ron Nagorcka’s Artamidae: Australian Magpie grounds us in the natural world before broaden to all manner of sound, instrumental and electronic.

We have a number piano works this month including Michael Kieran Harvey’s delicate and rhythmic Black Bowl, and Simon Barber’s crystalline and expressive Interpolationen (both performed with precision by Kieran Harvey), as well Thomas Misson’s slowly unfurling Nocturne performed by Jack Barnes.

One of the joys of this month’s playlist was rich variety of the styles present in Tasmania’s music scene. Beneath the Surface is an improvised work by Emily Sheppard (recent recipient of ABC Fresh Start Fund), Anja Tait and Anne Norman. Recorded in tunnel, the recording gives a unique sense of space and depth – I’d highly recommend the full album.

Another ABC Fresh Start Recipient is Jabra Latham whose work The Bright floats on an exquisite rhythmic foundation lending momentum and allowing for some beautiful melodic interplay. Mia Palencia eschews the momentum for a more gestural expressionism in her crooning jazz work, Nightingale.

And I can’t finish talking about the playlist without tipping my hat to one of the most influential works for me as a young composer, Russell Gilmour’s Seven Things I’ll Do Tomorrow – an album I had on repeat for most of my Bachelor degree. The Gilmour Ensemble’s instrumentation lends itself to beautiful textures and colours, which lets Gilmour’s minimalism truly shine.

I hope you enjoy some of the new faces and sounds on the Aussie Art Music playlist this month – It’s been an exciting one to research and construct. If you’re looking for more to listen to, the full Australian Art Music Archive has also been updated on Spotify (now over 70 hours of music!).

Join me next month when we look at the shiny and new.

– Cam

Australian Art Music Playlist

Curated by Cameron Lam


Locksmith by Damien Kingston | performed by Damien Kingston Quartet
Beneath the Surface (Live) by Emily Sheppard, Anja Tait & Anne Norman
Fly Away Home by Ron Nagorcka | performed by Sten Ivar Frydenlund & David Scott Hamnes
Prelude, Fugue & Foxtrot by Maria Grenfell | performed by Lin Foulk Baird & Martha Fischer
Levent by Philomath
The Bright by Jabra Latham | performed by Douglas Coghill, Ivan James, James Menzies, Amanda Hodder & Meriel Owen
8 Etudes for Solo Piano: No 2, Nocturne by Thomas Misson | performed by Jack Barnes
Seven Things I’ll Do Tomorrow by Russell Gilmour | performed by Gilmour Ensemble
Through the Looking Glass by Urshula Leung
Black Bowl by Michael Kieran Harvey
Soar – For Cello And Piano by Douglas Knehans | performed by Arabella Teniswood & Christian Wojtowicz
Boom Doggy Strutt by Tom Vincent | performed by Tom Vincent Septet
Watchtower by Katy Raucher & Mark Schmalfuss
Blues for Asimov by Matt Boden | performed by Matt Boden Quartet
Songs for Clarinet and Piano: No 1, In Edinburgh by Simon Reade | performed by Joze Kotar & Luca Ferrini
Artamidae: Australian Magpie by Ron Nagorcka | performed by Larry Polansky, Joe Cook, Jennie MacDonald, Karlin Love & Monte Mumford
Nightingale by Mia Palencia | performed by Mia Palencia & In Good Company
Interpolationen by Simon Barber | performed by Michael Kieran Harvey
Three Days of Rain by Jabra Latham | performed by Xyris Quartet
Dance Rondo II by Don Kay | performed by Diego Campagna
Life Support by Adam Ouston | performed by Costume
Cyclone Radiation by Matthew Fargher | performed by Marrugeku
Rock Hopping by Maria Grenfell | performed by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Want to recommend music for future playlists? Tag #AussieArtMusic on Twitter or Cameron Lam on Facebook or TwitterFor previously featured music and merch visit the Australian Art Music archive and archive Merch Table.

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