Matt has always been interested in music but was a relatively late starter when it came to learning an instrument. He didn’t begin formal lessons until he was 15. He learnt classical guitar with various private teachers then began studying that instrument seriously a little later at the Sydney School of Guitar. At the same time he began studying composition with Anne Car-Boyd and Moya Henderson and enrolled in the composition course at Wollongong University. He was also fortunate to have studied both creative writing and music composition under Rodney Hall, who was an extraordinary teacher and mentor. Many years later Matt learned the flamenco guitar and played professionally with a dance troupe for a couple of years. In recent years he has concentrated his musical activity on writing music, mostly small ensemble works, such as string quintets.
Since 2014 Matt has been setting music to the words and images from some of his picture books – an initiative known as The Sound of Picture Books.
Matt works in a very inter-modal way, which simply means that he translates visual elements in a drawing or painting directly into music, and vice-versa, the work as a whole (music, words and images) evolves concurrently.
In 2016 Matt began work on a large scale orchestral piece for what was to become The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness. He was fortunate to have the 50-minute orchestral piece (97 musicians) with a 40-voice choir recorded in the Czech Republic in 2019 with The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, conducted by Mikel Toms. It includes guest composition by Alf Demasi and features the voice of solo Tenor Ben Reynolds. Released in February 2022, you can find a sample of the music on the free downloads page as well as extensive resource notes.
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