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The Sound Barrier: Sunday, 7 January 2018

Artist | Track/Song Name | Album Title | Label/Distributor | Comments

Composers are, as usual, listed first on tonight's playlist and then followed by the name of the piece. The performers are listed next, and then the details of the album, including its label. The duration of the piece is last.

Peter Sculthorpe | Earth Cry | William Barton (didgeridoo); The Queensland Orchestra; Michael Christie (conductor) | Songs of Sea and Sky | ABC Classics | 11:06

Sean O'Boyle | Concerto for Didgeridoo | William Barton (didgeridoo); The Queensland Orchestra; Sean O'Boyle (conductor) | River Symphony/Concerto for Didgeridoo | ABC Classics | 18:53

Philip Glass | Voices for Didgeridoo and Organ | Mark Atkins (didgeridoo); Michael Riesman (organ) | Philip Glass: Voices for Digeridoo and Organ/Organ Suite | Omm Records | 25:11

Ron Nagorcka | Sanctus | Ralph Nicholls (didgeridoo); Douglas Lawrence (organ); Tim Robinson (electronics); Ernie Althoff, Andrew Bernard, Ann Blare, Mars McMillan, Ron Nagorcka, Susan Nagorcka, Jane O'Brien, Tim Tyler, Andrew Uren (voices) | Reverberations | Move Records | 20:25

Karlheinz Stockhausen | SPIRAL | Cathy Milliken (oboe, voice, didgeridoo, and short-wave receiver) | Stockhausen Complete Edition Volume 45 | Stockhausen online CD store | 20:20

You can check out the blog if you would like more thoughts and information about the music played on tonight's show!

The didgeridoo resounding The Sound Barrier!

This weekend on The Sound Barrier, the first show for 2018, I will be bringing you new music from one of the oldest instruments. The didgeridoo is at least 1500 years old and, while its origins and still many of its current associations are with traditional indigenous Australian music, its powerful and distinctive sound have, over recent years, brought it more and more into the works of other composers, and other contexts, too.

This is what I will be exploring on this week's show, with four very different works giving prominence to the didgeridoo: the Concerto for Didgeridoo by Sean O'Boyle and William Barton, with its commanding depiction of the elements of the Australian landscape: earth, wind, water and fire; Philip Glass's Voices for Didgeridoo and Organ in which the instantly-recognisable rhythmic and harmonic figures of Philip Glass's music are given an invigorated new life in the didgeridoo of Mark Atkins; the droning swell of Sanctus for organ, didgeridoo, voices and electronics by Ron Nagorcka; and, yes, some Stockhausen, his Spiral for one soloist, a work that responds to and transforms radio sounds, in a version realised for oboe, voice, didgeridoo, and short-wave receiver by Cathy Milliken.

I hope you can join me this Sunday night at 10 PM (AEDT) to explore the astonishing diversity of this amazing instrument that has tended to be so narrowly perceived in terms of its musical possibilities, with four very different works that bring its amazing musicality and versatility to the fore.

You can tune in on your radio (106.7 on Melbourne's FM band, or on PBS digital radio) or log on live anywhere in the world via the website or the PBS app. The show is also available to listen back to, along with its full playlist, here on the website, shortly after it has gone live to air.

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