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The Sound Barrier

Ian Parsons
Presented by Ian Parsons
next on air Sunday, 11 December 2016 - 10:00pm to 12:00am

The Sound Barrier is all about showcasing and celebrating new music. Music of the avant-garde. Art music. Music that breaks barriers. Music that makes you question and explore.

The Sound Barrier pays tribute to what's happening now, locally, in Melbourne and nearby as well as to the great innovators of the avant-garde from both the 20th and 21st centuries. The big known world names, like Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Edgard Varèse, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Feldman, are all part of the staple diet of The Sound Barrier, along with the huge stack of equally big named composers from our own shores, such as Anthony Pateras, Liza Lim, Felix Werder, Larry Sitsky.

The avant-garde's new and the established are presented each week on The Sound Barrier, with music and interviews.

The first half of most shows will focus on interviews and music from people currently active in the new music scene, especially locally to Melbourne, or nearby. The second half will bring major and important works, especially long-form works that rarely get played on radio, that have helped shape, and continue to shape, the story of 20th and 21st century music.

A show that breaks all the barriers and opens up a whole universe of musical possibilities and ideas, I am proud to be able to bring The Sound Barrier into Melbourne’s home of little heard music.


Drones from now and then, from here and beyond 3 days 5 hours ago Drones are one of the more primal aspects of music. The sounds of long, sustained notes, which might underpin other sounds or even just be heard in...

Recent episodes

Sunday 4 December 2016

The Sound Barrier for Sunday, 4 December 2016 Program Audio Story
Drones - the deep, the sacred and the octophonic Playlist
Primal sludge - the power of the drone in music Program Promo

Sunday 27 November 2016

The Sound Barrier for Sunday, 27 November 2016 Program Audio Story
Overtones and deep listening: music of Tim Catlin and Pauline Oliveros Playlist
Deep listening and Overtones: a tribute to Pauline Oliveros, and a chat with Tim Catlin this weekend on The Sound Barrier. Program Promo

Sunday 20 November 2016

The Sound Barrier for Sunday, 20 November 2016 Program Audio Story
What's new on the other side of the Sound Barrier? Playlist
New sounds enter The Sound Barrier - music from Siphonophore, Cem Güney and more, this weekend! Program Promo

Sunday 13 November 2016

The Sound Barrier for Sunday, 13 November 2016 Program Audio Story
Synths and Sounds Unheard Playlist
Sounds Unheard and Synthposium - this weekend on The Sound Barrier! Program Promo

Sunday 6 November 2016

The Sound Barrier for Sunday, 6 November 2016 Program Audio Story
The Book of Daughters: James Hullick and Carolyn Connors on The Sound Barrier! Playlist
A Book of Daughters - tonight on The Sound Barrier! Program Promo

Sunday 30 October 2016

The Sound Barrier for Sunday, 30 October 2016 Program Audio Story

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