Cyclic Selects: Madeleine Cocolas


Madeleine Cocolas is an Australian composer and producer who creates predominantly post classical and ambient instrumental music. She has released music through various international labels including Thesis Project, Salmon Universe, Futuresequence, Bigo & Twigetti, 1631 Recordings and Self Center Records.

We’ve been quite taken with her third album, Ithaca, released on Room40 sub label Someone Good. In our review, (which you can read here), we spoke of her control over her emotion laden music, and sonic waves that felt like living entities. We even referenced Vangelis, which is kind’ve cool because she’s given the iconic Greek a nod below. Regardless Ithaca really is something special. So we reached out and asked Cocolas about the music that moves her.

Jon Hassell – “Dreaming”
I absolutely love this track from Jon Hassell’s album “Listening To Pictures”. It has different layers playing against each other with subtle differences and variations and I find it endlessly interesting to listen to.

Tim Hecker – “Virginal I”
From the percussive use of piano mixed with electronics weaving in and out of distortion to its use of dynamic range, I think this piece is absolute perfection.

Colin Stetson – “Among The Sef (Righteous II)”
I stumbled across Colin Stetson when I went to one of his gigs in Portland, and all I knew was there was an “experimental saxophonist” playing. I was completely mesmerized. He is such a physical performer and defies so many expectations of what a saxophonist does. From his circular breathing (which results in lengthy and seamless passages of music without any breaks) to strapping a microphone to his throat to enable him to sing whilst playing the saxophone, he is truly an awe inspiring musician and composer.

Christina Vantzou – “Vancouver Island Quartet”
I loved Christina Vantzou’s “No. 2” album when it came out and this piece really stood out for me. It is a hauntingly beautiful blend of vocals and strings and when the vocals soar above the strings it gives me goosebumps.

Dirty Three – “I Offered It Up To The Stars & The Night Sky”
Dirty Three have been a long time favourite band of mine, and “Whatever You Love, You Are” was the first CD of theirs I owned. I have spent many hours getting lost in this track. I saw Dirty Three play in Seattle two weeks after I had moved there, and seeing them play made me feel like everything was going to be ok.

Enya – “Storms In Africa”
I am completely and unapologetically an Enya fan. Perhaps her accessibility makes her a bit easy to dismiss, but I think Enya’s pieces are gorgeous slices of melodic driven goodness!

Arvo Pärt – “Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten”
One of my all time favorite composers. This canon seems simple on the surface but is a process driven piece based on the Tintinnabuli method created by Pärt, as well as rhythmic phasing between the different instruments. I find it to be such a beautiful and hypnotic piece of music that has a truly satisfying sense of completion by the end.

Jean Michel Jarre – “Oxygene Part 2”
If my early childhood had an official soundtrack, this would have been on very high rotation along with Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and basically anything by Vangelis.

Brian Eno & David Byrne – “Mea Culpa”
Brilliant paring of Eno & Byrne on My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts and this track grabbed me straight away and became a favorite. It’s a perfect combination of sampling, drums and electronics.

Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”
I always liked this song but it was never one of my absolute favorites until my 2.5 year old daughter discovered it about a year ago and has been completely OBSESSED with it since.

You can find Ithaca here.


About Author

Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.