In this section you will find a selection of both positive and negative reviews of my music. Some of them are amusing, some vindictive, some thought-provoking.

note: arranged alphabetically in order of composition title.

A Symphony of Modern Objects (Symphony No. 1)

CALL it the year's most innovative concert: two world premieres came from the splendid Australian Youth Orchestra and the first-rate Sydney Philharmonia Choir under the excellent conductor Thomas Woods in the Opera House last week.

Matthew Hindson's A Symphony Of Modern Objects was more like four tone poems (Silicon Revolution; Mind Body Spirit Wallet; Twisted Ladders, Vietnam War Memorial) captivating music, sometimes brittle, dramatic, syncopated, ironic. - Fred Blanks, North Shore Times, 6 August 2003, page 19.

In contrast to Tavener's mystical timelessness [in Lament for Jerusalem], Matthew Hindson's Symphony of Modern Objects is firmly rooted in the contemporary world. The frenetic and episodic first movement and the quirky, skittish, string-laden third movement (Copland's Appalachian Spring meets Steve Reich) are colourful depictions of the computer and biotech revolutions respectively, while the lyrical second movement is a delightfully ironic take on New Age music. Only the final movement is a disappointment, being unwieldy and superficial with empty rhetoric displacing genuine emotion.

Nonetheless, Hindson displays virtuosity in his orchestration, making imaginative use of the orchestral palette. The Australian Youth Orchestra was equal to the demands the composer unleashed on them, playing the challenging and complex score with panache and assurance. We are fortunate to have a youth orchestra of such a high calibre. Murray Black, The Australian, 28 July 2003, page 7.


This program by Sydney Philharmonia with the Australian Youth Orchestra under Thomas Woods brought together two premieres, a Symphony of Modern Objects by a young composer, and a Lament for eternal objects by an older one.

The Lament spoke of discord but was more symphonious: the symphony, though it used a unifying form, was the more fractured.

The symphony was Matthew Hindson's first (whether this was actually the premiere was disputed by some). Its first movement, Silicon Revolution, began with bold juxtapositions of opposites: big brass chords and flutes babbling like satellite signals, justifying the evocation of "objects" in the title, though perhaps the sense of just being about to get going lasted a little long.

The second movement, an affectionate churning of cliches, was called Mind Body Spirit Wallet. I kept waiting for the entrance of the wallet - Hindson's heart didn't seem to be in the New Age. The Twisted Ladder of the third movement referred to DNA and the movement was a spiralling scherzo of modern popular rhythmic shifts.

The last movement, Vietnam War Memorial, was deliberately and unavoidably naive; Hindson would have been about seven when Saigon fell. After a plangent wailing oboe solo, Hindson mixed a Vietnamese fiddle tune with pictorial war music, returning emphatically to the Vietnamese tune in G string unison. Though simple, even simplistic, it seemed born of sound expressive instincts. Peter MacCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 July 2003.



"The brave new world of pianism was invaded with all guns blazing by a brilliant Simon Docking on Sunday before his imminent flight (as in fleeing as well as flying) to America to advance his career... my favourite among the five premieres he expounded was AK-47 (1994) by Matthew Hindson, a piece (with optional electronic bass drum, an option accepted here) that sounds as if Khachaturian may have thought of it while primed with vodka and facing a Russian firing squad. This had wit." - Fred Blanks, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 August 1994.

PROGRAMS of contemporary music concerts often have nothing in common except the fact that most of the pieces are new or newish. Not this time.
More silence - to be brutally dismissed by a furious, quadruple fortissimo full-keyboard glissando announcing Matthew Hindson's AK47, wielded perhaps by children spraying death and damnation with total lack of discrimination. ...
Gray's penetrating intelligence lifted the fog just enough to let light shine through, ending the most satisfying contemporary concert this critic has known. Elizabeth Silsbury, The Advertiser, 18 July 2003, page 70.



Rebel's Sonata was an unexpected gem, but most interest, not to say controversy, surrounded Matthew Hindson's commissioned work, Baroquerie. The emphasis was more on rock than baroque, featuring most of Hindson's, by now, well-known trademarks of lead-guitar style solo lines, syncopated rhythms and abrupt harmonic shifts.

The material is not ideally suited to baroque instruments, and might just as well (or better) have been played on modern violin and piano. All the more credit therefore to Manze and Egarr for playing it as well as they did. Stephen Whittington, The Advertiser, 7 September 2002, page 80.

COMPOSER Matthew Hindson says of Baroquerie, his sonata for violin and harpsichord, that it should be listened to not as a piece of baroque music, but rather as a contemporary piece "that may or may not contain some derivations''.

If anyone was going to be able to make the most of those derivations, Andrew Manze (violin) and Richard Egarr (harpsichord), on tour for Musica Viva with fellow baroque specialist Jaap ter Linden (viola da gamba), were the people to do so.

But while at last Friday's Brisbane performance there may not, indeed, have been so very much of a baroque feel to the work, there was plenty of other stuff flashing past. The first movement, especially, was packed with exuberant allusions to just about every nook and cranny of violin and keyboard repertoire since the 17th century, from Kreisler to Bartok to country & western.

The second movement appeared to be exploring a more serious mood, but what sounded suspiciously like a direct Erik Satie quote gave the game away. By the end of the third movement the whole thing seemed not so much a musical joke as a shaggy-dog story -- the final extended scalar repetitions certainly made for an anticlimactic punchline. James Harper, The Courier-Mail, 26 August 2002, page 13.


Chrissietina's Magic Fantasy and Little Chrissietina's Magic Fantasy

"Young Australian composer Matthew Hindson's curiously titled Chrissietina's Magic Fantasy (inspired by death metal and rockabilly music) was another delight, a worthy piece to be added to the wretchedly tiny repertoire of music for two violins. Here, Zac Rowntree and Cary Koh maintained a blistering pace, with spot-on synchronisation, as they nimbly and energetically negotiated the more extrovert measures of Hindson's musical minefield; they were no less persuasive in the work's more introspective, soulful moments." - Neville Cohn, The West Australian, 16 November 1999.


"...Australia's Matthew Hindson likes to present himself as a bad-boy, too, aligning his work with death-metal, punk and techno music. But on the purely musical evidence of his Yandarra (1998) and Chrissietina's Magic Fantasy (1993) one could be forgiven for thinking his real loves were actually Andrew Lloyd Webber and Celtic folk-fiddling. Hindson's pieces could have used some amplification to make their pastiche of styles, twisted scales and bow-shredding effects sound genuinely iconoclastic and contemporary, instead of resembling a Mother's Day easy-listening selection with wrong notes added." - Martin Buzacott, The Courier-Mail, 22 June 2000.


"Ten for presentation and preparation. Duo sol (pianist, Carolyn Almonte and violinist, Miki Tsunoda) play the violin and piano repertoire with loving concentration and intimate ensemble...

"Matthew Hindson arrangement of his violin duo, Little Chrissietina' Magic Fantasy, for violin and piano, made, I thought, a better piece than the original. Played here on amplified instruments, the rhythmic exuberance was slick, cheeky and impressive." - Peter MacCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 April 2002.



"Two (of four) movements from Matthew Hindson's Elvis are by far the most outrageous music on the CD. It is a complex score requiring an abandoned versatility to which the choir rise with zest... it's a grim but somehow mighty piece in which marvellously poor taste is transformed by the fascinated composer into an art form by means of a skilfully fulfilled structure." - Sounds Australian Vol 15 (1997), no. 49, p.49.


Homage to Metallica

"Entertainment, of the colour and movement variety, was the essence of Matthew Hindson's hopefully tongue-in-cheek Homage to Metallica, which had the whole orchestra playing like the clappers to produce a white-nose accompaniment to Brian Porter's portrayal of a quarter-size violinist from hell." - The Adelaide Advertiser, 11 September 1993.


"Simone Young is not one to do things by halves. Her programme for last weeks' "Meet the Music" concert made great demands on herself and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra: No less important, it was a refreshing and stimulating occasion for the responsive, young audience.

She began and closed that evening with modern music... In her very concise remarks to the audience, Ms. Young offered two challenging suggestions.

The first was that, in drawing upon the "heavy metal" fashion, Hindson is following a long tradition of classical composers using folk material...

The tough, confronting, repetitive chords of Metallica, its more sentimental (and palling) middle section and its dancing, concluding pages with the, well, "folkish", if you insist, rasping, amplified "Kit-fiddle" (eighth-sized violin) all held the attention. The piece definitely warrants repeating. " - John Carmody , The Sun-Herald - Timeout, 24 August, 1997.


"AS ITS title proclaims, Matthew Hindson's Homage to Metallica has been prompted by a well-known group working in the genre usually called heavy metal rock.

Most people associate heavy metal with, among other things, loudness. Was Homage to Metallica unusually loud in its first performance in the Opera House by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra? No. Other attributes commonly assigned to heavy metal are an exceptionally aggressive beat and dark or actively provocative words. There were no words in this wholly orchestral piece and no rock-type beat, not even in the clanging opening chords.

So what is the point of the title? Hindson seems to be paying tribute to the ability of Metallica to invent variations on stereotyped heavy metal formulas and its capacity for stepping outside the implications of its generic label. His own score abandons the aggression of its initial gestures quite quickly. We hear chord sliding into chord in a surprisingly conventional sequence - and then the solo viola, beautifully played by Caroline Henbest (on loan from the Australian Chamber Orchestra) sings a reflective and beautiful modal melody that might have come from a meditative idyll by Vaughan Williams or Koda'ly.

The most sustained resumption of forceful and strident music occurs when the orchestra reinforces the blistering attack achieved by Martin Lass in playing a one-eighth-size violin with a contact mike attached. The actual sound of the instrument, played and amplified in this way, is like a magnification of the effect produced by some pre-electric 78 rpm records when activated with a heavy steel stylus (heavy metal again). It is an interesting and memorable timbre, especially when activated with the skill and commitment that Lass brought to it and helped ensure a welcome for Hindson's deliberately inconsistent work, with its alternations of the roles of tiger and lamb.

Homage to Metallica was the opening gesture in one of the most inviting and enjoyable programs ever assembled for the SSO's 6.30 pm series. " - Roger Covell, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Aug 1997


Industrial Night Music (String Quartet No. 1)

The transcendental mood [of Ravel's String Quartet in F] contrasted well with the gritty realism of Industrial Night Music by Matthew Hindson, which had its world premiere at this concert.

This was a very evocative piece conjuring the sounds of heavy industry in its dissonance, glissandos and syncopated rhythms. The middle section had an eerie stillness which was followed by an ending of high-octane energy of relentless intensity. Lynette Smith, The Mercury, 22 August 2003, page 14.


At evening end and having its premiere season was Industrial Night Music, privately commissioned from Matthew Hindson, arguably today's most distinctive Australian compositional voice, and in danger of being labelled as a bovver-boy.

He is much more, as this piece attests. Wisely rearranging the order of service to conserve some elbow grease for Hindson's self-styled "meccanico machismo'', the players were able to expose the muscular, often memorable rhythmic patterns that clarify his texture and distinguish his pieces.

The cello was his instrument of choice to establish and maintain the momentum, and Julian Smiles lost quite a hunk of his bow hair depicting the dark and dirty sides of steelworks in Port Kembla and Whyalla. Elizabeth Silsbury, The Advertiser, 23 August 2003, page 87.


In Memoriam:

Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra

"The world premiere of Matthew Hindson's Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra: In Memoriam... cast in two movements, Lament and Celebration, was an imaginative and vividly energetic work and one of the best large-scale scores of Hindson's that I have heard to date, even if, in its current form, it is a bit long.

Hindson's music at the moment seems to be testing extremes of expression and, dare one say it, of taste - a hard thing to do since it is so easy to overdo.

The first movement, perhaps the stronger of the two, began with an assertive angry section, full of grating and grunge before leading to a quieter music introduced by an effective cor anglais solo, "Sculthorpe" bird sounds and a slightly over-extended chant-like meditation.

The second movement celebrated with the euphoria of rave repetitions and maintained an involving momentum...

Sleeveless and tattooed, cellist Nathan Waks was in his element in this piece, relishing the play-anything-frantically textures and grasping the energy and conception with a virtuoso's sense of theatre.

One couldn't imagine a better advocate. I was encouraged by Hindson's compositional development in this piece." - Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald - Timeout, 9 April, 2001.


"The world premiere of Matthew Hindson's Concerto For Amplified Cello And Orchestra, subtitled In Memoriam, was a prime instance of how an enfant terrible (born 1968) can turn music into sensationalism by inventing or inciting effects, from quasi-hysterical to vapid, demanding attention for a deliberate shocker lasting 34 unrelenting minutes.

Nathan Waks was the compliant, indeed brilliant, solo accomplice with adrenaline-rich conducting by Richard Gill and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra." - Fred Blanks, The North Shore Times, 18 April 2001.


"Gill saw it [i.e. the last movement of the preceding piece, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms] as a transfiguring inspiration: ... a masterly performance of a glowing masterpiece.

What had come between - Matthew Hindson's In Memoriam - was nothing of the kind. The composer told his audience that it is a posthumous dedication to two memories of his family so, in theory, it might have been a fitting match to its two companion pieces. Regrettably, it is prolix and happy to slide across a sonic surface, even when it glibly draws upon Gregorian chant. Its strident electronic effects, especially scraped strings - intentionally rebarbative - seem utterly false anger or regret." - John Carmody , The Sun-Herald - Timeout, 15 August, 2001.


"One of the most interestingly devised and impressively executed concerts to have come my way in a very long time took place at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, April 4. ...

By far the longest work on the agenda was the world premiere of In Memoriam - a consistently interesting, intermittently impressive, and occasionally astonishing piece that bespoke a depth and maturity in the work of this young composer that I had not experienced before. Perhaps it went on a bit long for its creative content, but In Memoriam was overflowing with ideas and well equipped with surprises. Much of it was very loud - too loud for many an ageing ear such as those which proliferate in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's flagship adult series - but there was no doubt it spoke meaningfully to the much more versatile ears of the twilight Meet the Music audience, with its eclectic mix of young blades and adventurous oldies.

Not only did the Hindson draw far and away the most enthusiastic applause of any work on the night's agenda, but its response eclipsed by a long road that afforded to any other world premiere I have ever attended. Possibly noise level coupled with audience affinity for the personable Hindson, who introduced the piece briefly before it was played, had much to do with the response; nevertheless, it was an achievement of significant enough size to turn many composers of the younger generation green with envy.

Though there is no vocal content in In Memoriam, it is aptly framed as a concerto for amplified cello, and the eloquent instrumental voice of Nathan Waks almost seemed to be about to launch into articulate song at times during this premiere performance. Given the technological boost afforded by amplification, of course, there was never the slightest danger Waks' highly committed and eloquent music-making would be engulfed by a mere symphony orchestra, and the interplay of forces was often innovative and exhilarating.- David Gyger, Opera-Opera, May 2001, Page 281.9



...It bore many resemblances to young Australian composer Matthew Hindson's Lament for cello and piano, a memorial to the victims of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. Both opened gradually from poignant themes which soon were punctuated by wilder, more anguished stabs, finally returning to the quiet calm with which they began.
After Liebermann's theme from his opera The Picture of Dorian Gray was announced, Isserlis moved into the central lyrical section, an outpouring of full-bodied resonance from his Stradivarius. The program notes stated Hindson chose The Lord is My Shepherd for his motto, but it sounded more like a medieval Kyrie chant, beautifully shaped by the players at every manifestation. - Patricia Kelly, Courier Mail, 9 May 2002.


This year, Musica Viva's featured composer is Matthew Hindson, best known for his fusions of serious and popular, minimalist and techno. On this night, we were given his Lament, a short piece written in the shadow of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre: as the composer himself has pointed out, certainly a change of pace.

...Hindson's simply constructed elegy was juxtaposed with the massive Rachmaninov G minor Sonata, given a reading of great power and passion...

Hindson's short piece moves a little to the left of Peter Sculthorpe's Requiem for cello and, like that work, finds it hard to avoid reminiscences of Bloch's Schelomo.

Like the Liebermann sonata, the Australian composer's Lament uses a recurring motive, but employs the device with less self-regard and an attractive, touching naivete of utterance. - Clive O'Connell, The Age, 15 May 2002.

Concert of the year, if not century...

Matthew Hindson's Lament for cello and piano (1996) was totally different, replacing that composer's inclination towards sharply driven rhythmic activity with effective chant-like simplicity, perhaps slightly overused towards the end. - Peter MacCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 2002.



Moments of Plastic Jubilation

"In customary Kieran Harvey fashion, Part 2 took us to the here and now... The premiere of Matthew Hindson's Moments of Plastic Jubilation, scored for an electronic piano and CD playback, was disappointing. It is a vapid appropriation of techno-jazz without the sophistication of this genre. The work begins in pseudo-ambient mode and proceeds to stab at Philip Glass, techno-pop and piano-bar. It is indulgent twaddle and Kieran Harvey's role is akin to a club DJ." - Xenia Hanusiak, Herald-Sun, 28 November 2000.


"EXHILARATION motivated piano duo Michael Kieran Harvey and his sister Bernadette Harvey-Balkus... Moments Of Plastic Jubilation by enfant terrible Matthew Hindson was deliberately provocative, musical leftovers seasoned with wit." - Fred Blanks, North Shore Times, 11 April 2001.


"One of the important developments of music since the 1970s has been the rediscovery of simple repetition... The Australian Virtuosi's programme on Saturday explored a series of pieces in this style - you might call it post-minimalist, since the rhythmic complexity of these works is far from minimal, as was evident from the two premieres of the evening.

The first was Matthew Hindson's Moments of Plastic Jubilation for piano solo (Michael Kieran Harvey), on of the expanding group of recent Australian pieces drawing their titles from the words of bad reviews (I hasten to add that your present correspondent has never been immortalised in this way). In this case, Hindson was inspired to a particularly graphic representation of a view once put in this newspaper that techno music grinding its heel on the old idea of music as a nobly, expressive humane activity.

After a few token bars of humane activity, Hindson's heel-grinding became at times a slightly predictable thrash. There was more here, however, than the simple relishing of bad manners, and despite its excess, effectively realised by Harvey, I didn't find the style gratuitous. As in many modernist pieces, subjectivity can be effectively expressed by its absence.

Rather, there was the impression that Hindson, a serious and original musical thinker, has not quite found his voice yet" - Peter McCallum , The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 April 2001.


"My next musical outing an up-to-the-minute recital by Michael Kieran Harvey and Bernadette Harvey-Balkus at the Opera House Studio showed how much Australia has changed since Darcy's time. The oldest work on their program was an over-long two-piano Suite by Rachmaninov; the rest was skating-on-extremely-thin-ice post-modernism.

... the techno-junk of Matthew Hindson's solo, Moments Of Plastic Jubilation (all plastic, little jubilation), added nothing to its composer's reputation ...

We have to hear this stuff to be reminded of what substantial and significant piano repertoire really is, but even such brilliant playing left me unconvinced by its modishness. " - John Carmody, Sun-Herald - Metro, 8 April 2001.


"Thank God for the critic whose complaint about an orchestral piece by young Australian composer Matthew Hindson goaded him into writing Moments of Plastic Jubilation 1, a pastiche of musical snippets creating brilliant flashes of music, with an inspired contemporaneity that Kieran Harvey brought off with a fiery blast of playing. This is the exciting stuff great musical moments are made of." - Patricia Kelly, The Courier-Mail, 26 July 2001.


Does humour belong in music? Frank Zappa's famous question applies also to Matthew Hindson's Moments of Plastic Jubilation 1, an unevenly comic pastiche of pop/rock styles, riffs and grooves.

The basis of effective musical humour is there, but the structure and timing need tightening. Nonetheless it was a good vehicle for Harvey's dazzling technique, pianistic energy and musical theatricality, and a fitting end to his engaging program. - Michael Hannan, The Courier-Mail, 28 July 2001.


Matthew Hindson's Moments of Plastic Jubilation takes its title from a phrase used in a Herald review of another of his pieces.

The music, invented with vigour, fits the title exceptionally well.- Roger Covell, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 2001.


In a quickfire conclusion to a breathtaking concert, Matthew Hindson’s Moments of Plastic Jubilation 1, Kieran Harvey launches into this mocking retort to a review of a work by the young Sydney composer (the title taking up the critic's words). It’s a jokey Victor Borge-Liberace-Little Richard-Richard Fleyderman romp requiring sudden changes in style and intensity–a refreshing dessert after so much rich and curiously romantic repast. - Keith Gallasch, RealTimeArts.



"Pi, the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter, was the inspiration for two poems which Matthew Hindson has set to music... Peter Goldsworthy's In the Sky There is a Heaven [sic] is full of reverence for this number, which, the poet writes, is "finer than us, more durable than matter". Here, wowing tam-tams, a loud flourish from the brass, and drum rolls greeted the 150-strong WA Symphony Youth Choir. Meticulously prepared by Prue Ashurst, this ensemble passed the acid test - almost every word was audible in a serenely pastoral setting that makes a graceful obeisance to the English choral tradition in general and the music of Vaughan Williams in particular. In the more robustly empathic setting of Sarah Hindson's Logic Without Definition [sic], diction was less clear against an often overly-strident backing which, however, quietened down to a much calmer close." - Neville Cohn, The West Australian, 26 June 2000.


Pulse Magnet

"....The previous night, the Australian Virtuosi (pianists Michael Kieran Harvey and Bernadette Harvey-Balkus with percussionists Timothy Phillips, Philip South and Richard Miller) combined new Australian works with forgotten curios and treasures with equal aplomb.

... Matthew Hindson's Pulse Magnet for two pianos and percussion harnessed the best of his characteristic energy to some of the sense of humour and gestures of Satie and Les Six (whistles and siren gags), although the slow middle section was a little predictable." - Peter MacCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2002.

IS the piano a percussion instrument? It is all of that, and much more. Pianists spend - or used to spend - a great deal of time learning how to create the illusion on the piano of sustained legato lines like the voice or violin, the very anithesis of percussion.
But in teaming pianos and percussion, the inevitable tendancy of composers and performers is to focus on the percussive aspects of the instrument...

...Matthew Hindson's Pulse Magnet was no less impressive as a feat of memory and ensemble playing. Short of a Vulcan mind-meld, it's hard to imagine how they do it. Hindson's new piece is typical, in-your-face heavy-metal music informed by a generous amount of youthful iconoclasm. It features the most bizarre coda in musical memory, with performers fleeing the stage to the sound of an air-raid siren. - Stephen Whittington, The Adelaide Advertiser, 24 July 2002.


The Rage Within

"They say it's the quiet ones you have to watch. The young Sydney composer Matthew Hindson looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, but he writes music with such bellicose titles as Death Stench and AK-47. Last weekend the admirably versatile Song Company premiered Hindson's The Rage Within, which deals with the psyche of serial killers. It's built of yells, screams and fast staccato sounds and its almost manic, driven character put me in mind of moments in Prokoviev's opera, The Fiery Angel" - The Sun-Herald, 29 June 1997.


"...By contrast, Matthew Hindson's task in The Rage Within was to create the poetry, or at least some form of aesthetic web, in an apparently inauspicious site for the purpose, the mind of a serial killer. I sometimes think that Hindson's originality as a composer lies in his penchant to delve, in his polite girls' private school manner, into psychological areas that were not quite what his parents had in mind when shelling out for all those music lessons. Each piece seems to capture the quietly suppressed alarm in the exclamation, 'Really? A serial killer! Well, that's lovely, dear.'

Needless to say, the piece didn't achieve [a] positive view of homo sapiens. Nor was it the cry of an angry young man trying to shake us from a state of denial. What it did achieve was cold, unsettling, unpleasant, and there." - Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 March 1999.


The Rave and the Nightingale

"Musing on what a "DJ Franz writing techno-inspired electronica'' might sound like, Matthew Hindson provides in his latest orchestral work, Rave and the Nightingale a light-hearted parody of Schubert's last string quartet. It brought to mind those masters of spoof, PDQ Bach and Gerard Hoffnung." - Robert Curry, The Australian, 30 July 2001

(composer's note on this review: this review *so totally* misses the mark of the piece that I wonder whether Mr. Curry was actually at the concert)



"Matthew Hindson's Rave-Elation, a homage to the 'rave' dance scene, was full of funky beats and catchy riffs pounded out with fairly relentless energy. One couldn't call it subtle, but it was a hugely enjoyable celebration of the essentially hedonistic physicality of contemporary youth culture. It was greeted with a degree of enthusiasm from the audience which is relatively rare, alas, for contemporary music" - Stephen Whittington, Adelaide Advertiser, 22 July, 1997.


"Hindson's Rave-Elation continues his interest in popular styles, exploring techniques of techno styles and the spirit of physical enjoyment characteristic of rave parties. I find Hindson's work in this area immensely interesting. He confronts the eternal problem of harnessing the energy of popular styles - how to handle their essential banality - in a variety of imaginative ways, and here the stop-start rhetoric went some way to doing this.

However this work seemed only half successful. There were inventive moments (such as the opening) but many more were needed and I didn't find the techno techniques developed the material in very interesting ways. And it's hard to abandon oneself utterly to hedonism when you're sitting up straight in the concert hall.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed hearing both these young composers hugely [David Horne's Flicker was the other piece]. Youth-orchestra programmes can sometimes get a little predictable and how better to liven them up than with some young people's music " - Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July, 1997.



"I was particularly interested to hear RPM by Matthew Hindson, Sydney's self-appointed chronicler of recent popular musical styles in a symphonic setting... What I think Hindson does rather well is to adopt a tone of naive homage, without irony, slickness, or sarcasm. In a post-modern age of quotation, double-coding and sarcasm, that is rather refreshing and also rather original." - The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 January, 1998.

FAREWELL symphony, welcome 21st-century urbanism. Out, protracted symphonic structures. In, the raw, short and sharp replications of a contemporary urban soundscape where The Queensland Orchestra was firmly planted for Pedal to the Metal.
Hindson's RPM opened with dramatic staccato chords before expanding into a moto perpetuo intersected by some some fancy blues trumpeting. He distributed a variety of ostinato patterns around the orchestra in LiteSPEED, which quickly gained momentum and character through sharp, synchronised violin bowing and an occasional trombone raspberry. His skilfully conceived imagery added to the general metaphor of speed and movement, all of which was underpinned by virtuoso playing from TQO's percussion players, the engine drivers in this program. - Patricia Kelly, The Courier-Mail, 20 June 2002.


Just pause for a moment and think about your favourite restaurant and what it is that you like about it. More often than not, when you have an eating house that appeal’s to you, the inclination is to go back time and time again.

Why? Well, you know what is on offer is of a good standard, and when something different appears on the menu, the temptation is there to give it a go, as you are comfortable with the surroundings and quality from times gone by. Even if you don't like the new cuisine you eat, it doesn't stop you going back. In short, that is how you could be describing this new CD by the Leyland Band...

'RPM' stands for 'revolutions per minute' and depicts the thrill and excitement of driving a car at an exceptionally high speed. The players certainly stand up to the challenge and cope admirably with the tempo. There is no greater contrast than to listen to "Headbanger" by Matthew Hindson. Matthew is a new name to brass bands and his writing is certainly an eye opener and definitely a name to look out for in the future. As the title suggests, it is music associated with those connected who follow Heavy Metal music. It is aggressive in nature and on first hearing, may be off-putting, but it does have sensitive sections that are easier on the ear. In another arrangement by Phillip Littlemore, the band certainly takes to this new musical idiom, and you get plenty of bass, and bass drum. 4 bars, review of The Alchymist's Journal, performed by the Leyland Band.




"Matthew Hindson's Rush is a Musica Viva commission, and it certainly doesn't hang about - its nine or so minutes contain a very large number of high-speed notes, mostly scored as an ensemble but with solos for everyone. The influences of popular music are clear, but Hindson is developing a very personal approach." - Tristram Cary, The Australian, 20 August 1999.


"... And the obligatory knees-up after interval produced from Australia's classical techno-head, Matthew Hindson, one of his most effective explorations of romantic agony and dance-floor ecstasy [, Rush]." - Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 1999.


"The final Rush by Matthew Hindson is a thoroughly modern piece that mirrors the Boccherini [D Major Quintet] with a compelling rhythmic drive. Its chief element is a an amalgam - pop-cum-rock-cum-jazz. There is a minimum of melody, replaced by a whipped-up propulsion which leaves you wondering if the piece is simple huff-and-puff." - The Age, 23 August 1999.



"...Referring specifically to Matthew Hindson's SPEED, funky was probably not the right word but the band were certainly pumping. SPEED is a raging 18 minutes of explosive techno for orchestra.

Powered by a synthetic drum kit, the orchestra pulses along at 130-plus beats per minute, with subtle shifts mimicking a DJ's spin doctoring. The work begins in a quintessential techno style, with triads and minor seconds. It closes with another classic trope of the genre, brashly heroic fourths and fifths. The double reeds didn't handle their solos too well but the live strings brought a dramatic edge and presence to the sound - who needs a digital sampler when you have a symphony orchestra?

Part of the fun in this piece is realising how silly you feel sitting in a concert hall at 9.30 PM when the music conjures a warehouse at 3am. Laugh? I nearly wet myself." - Martin Ball, The Australian, 29 July 1997.


"TSO goes techno," said the flier. With a repeat of Matthew Hindson's popular techno spoof Speed to bring in the punters, the TSO relocated its Music of the 20th Century series from the conservatorium to the larger Stanley Burbury Theatre...

And so to Hindson's Speed. It had me in stitches again, with its brilliant evocation of techno tropes. The strings work overtime in reproducing lines usually reserved for a sequenced synthesiser, and the trombones are just perfect as wailing sirens. Hindson has cut a few minutes of the score since the first performance, bringing the work closer to 15 minutes. One of the effects of this is to highlight the central slow section, where Hindson appears to be saying, "I can write a romantic film score too". Shameless!." - Martin Ball, The Australian, 1 May 1998.


"More musical drivel from Matthew Hindson... how does that seem as a way of leading into a word or two on his orchestral piece, Speed? A bit sweeping and dismissive perhaps? Yes, but it is one of the legitimate reactions to Speed, which self-confessedly takes its musical cue from one of the lesser genres of our time. Techno music, nominated by Hindson as his stylistic starting point, is the sort of music you make when you want to grind your heel - ever so nonchalantly - on the old idea of music as a nobly expressive, humane activity.

Its mechanical repetitiveness of figuration and beat is a finger sign to musical as tradition - and, in case you feel like raising a red flag in sympathy, it means the same for the idea of music as revolution. This is music which goes with the spurious sense of immunity a hoon might feel while revving-up a wreck on the way to a fast-food joint; its moments of plastic jubilation, faithfully echoed by Hindson, at best fit the closing shots of the latest action picture schlock.

Of course, there is nothing of the hoon about Hindson. He seems a pleasant young man, undoubtedly talented, who is working at the moment as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's resident (or, as they say, attached) composer. They wouldn't let a hoon in there, would they?

In fact, Speed is the soft of pseudo-pop score very much in favour with the musical establishment at the moment. Conductors like a shortish piece which gets under the guard of younger listeners - a majority, as it happens, at this 6.30 PM concert - and makes a lot of people feel they are up with the times without letting its stainless steel finish impinge seriously on their attention. You can jig with the beat - the SSO's guest conductor, Muhai Tang, shook out a few rumba swivels as he left us in no doubt that he was attuned to the mood of the moment - and there are no indignant exits by members of the audience. If that was new music, that wasn't so bad, was it? You could be high safely on this Speed." - Roger Covell, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 1999.


"Something a bit different this week, with a single release making my picks of the week. But this is no ordinary single release.

Speed is a new work by young Australian composer Matthew Hindson, who at 32 years of age has already made his mark in the orchestral world, both as a composer, and in the hands-on areas of Director of Composition at MLC School, and in presidential and directorial roles within fellowships of composers and performers.

In its original format, Speed is a work for orchestra, which takes its lead from the urban club scene. Though its mid-section does break down into a gentle eddy of melody highlighted by harp and strings, this, like the beatless breaks which exist within trance and techno music, merely highlights the pace and intensity of opening and closing sequencs where the orchestra powers along at upwards of 130 bpm. Here a synthesised drum beat drives repeated textural motives, within which brass and strings swell and vie for pole position.

Speed is not only thoroughly enjoyable, but also reflective of the innovative works currently being composed for the symphony. Works which make exciting recordings, but which also have the power to draw younger audiences into the fabulous experience of live symphonic performance."- Review of SPEED [Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn, conductor (ABC Under Capricorn) ] - Paul Turner , Capital Q Weekly, 13 April 2000.



"SOME very wild sounds greet you at the start of this disc of frenetic music by Matthew Hindson, recognised as a leading figure among Australia`s younger generation of composers. He studied with some of this country`s leading composer-teachers, but the energy would be pure Hindson, perhaps with some Leonard Bernstein inspiration. It is exciting and explores a new facet of symphonic sound. A great voice who does not have to use gimmicks or quirks. Just skill and imagination." - Review of SPEED [Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn, conductor (ABC Under Capricorn) ] - Patricia Kelly, The Courier-Mail, 3 June 2000.


"Matthew Hindson is one of the younger generation of Australian composers who have come to the fore over the past decade, and he brings a fresh and somewhat unusual, and a refreshing non-seriousness, to much of his music.

Speed is in many ways a fun piece, effectively crafted, yet not taking itself too seriously. It is just what the title implies - an orchestra fantasy aiming to create a feeling of "velocity, rapidly executed activity, driving in a hurry". Certainly the outer two movements have this effect, using minimalist techniques and a strong rhythmic impulse. There is a quieter central section, lyrical in feeling and attractive, probably saying more about the composer than the assertive outer movements.

It is relatively short, only 17 minutes, and I imagine the orchestra had great fun playing it. Certainly, the playing is vital and lively...

I have hesitated to review this disc earlier, wondering for whom it could be intended. But the piece itself... I have found more attractive each time I play it, so perhaps someone reading this who is musically adventurous will gain some fun and enjoyment from it. It costs $14.95 from ABC Shops - Review of SPEED [Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn, conductor (ABC Under Capricorn) ] - W. L. Hoffman, The Canberra Times, 6 November 2000.


FAREWELL symphony, welcome 21st-century urbanism. Out, protracted symphonic structures. In, the raw, short and sharp replications of a contemporary urban soundscape where The Queensland Orchestra was firmly planted for Pedal to the Metal.
Hindson's RPM opened with dramatic staccato chords before expanding into a moto perpetuo intersected by some some fancy blues trumpeting. He distributed a variety of ostinato patterns around the orchestra in LiteSPEED, which quickly gained momentum and character through sharp, synchronised violin bowing and an occasional trombone raspberry. His skilfully conceived imagery added to the general metaphor of speed and movement, all of which was underpinned by virtuoso playing from TQO's percussion players, the engine drivers in this program. - Patricia Kelly, The Courier-Mail, 20 June 2002.

The 2003 Vale of Glamorgan Festival made a feature of the music of controversial Australian composer Matthew Hindson (born 1968), and it was a concert of six of Hindson's pieces that took place at Cardiff Airport a couple of days earlier, to a rather mixed reception by the press. SPEED (1996) is mesmeric, fast, and gave me a slightly giddy car-sick feeling. It's a kind of brash Aussie minimalism, a reflection of modern life, mainly loud and brassy, using a MIDI drum kit, repeated sliding trombone notes, and heavily influenced by hard-core techno music. You would never describe this music as subtle, but it certainly takes the symphony orchestra somewhere new! Keith Bramich, Music and Vision, 29 September 2003.


Techno Logic and its variants: technologic 1-2, technologic 145, technologic 135

"In music... we are inclined to talk about motor rhythms, hypnotic moods, trance-like states and pseudo-aesthetic euphemisms of the fact that the mind has given up on the stimulus provided and found something more interesting to do. Of course, coming from a respectable family, one in inclined to blame it all on music's dangerous liaisons with dance, which has always encouraged the visceral side and insisted that music thump out the pulse lest people forget they have two feet. But it's time music took responsibility for its own fate and admitted that among all the minutes, waltzes and fox-trots churned out over the centuries there is an unacceptably high percentage of the sort of unsophisticated doggerel that we should be ashamed to own.

Which brings us to our own age, to raves, to techno, and, in particular, to Matthew Hindson's new piece Techno Logic. Hindson is a composer who explores relationships between contemporary popular and classical music traditions in a highly interesting and original way. In his recent piece based on the patterns of techno music and the mind states of raves, I feel he is yet to find the right edge and originality to make these patterns worth sitting still and listening to for the duration of a concert piece, whatever their efficacy in guiding the limbs through a night of non-stop dancing. Techno Logic seemed to me an improvement on his last essay in this genre, Rave-Elation. The challenge here is what to do with essentially banal aspects of this music: whether to exclude it, transform it or celebrate it. Hindson tends to the last of these but at the moment it doesn't rise above a personal memory of a good night out." - Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 1997.


Sheik Yerbouti at the MPO (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra)

...But with the third item, Matthew Hindson's Technologic 145, our conductor' s unintrusive time-counting managed to move the ambitious score from a sombre heroic opening to chariot-racing pace and back again. With horns immitating sirens, trumpets whooping in loops, and Field himself contributing a hand-clapped tripplet during a pause, the music sounded like an episode of Donald Duck's misadventure. Hindson cited the libidinous influences of techno and death metal music. But our good government need not fear; the richly melodic work conveyed more bluegrass frenzy than demonic orgies. Traces of repetitive bars were given such colourful variations and embellishment that you can hardly recognise them as disco sonics.

In an email to me, Hindson explained, "The extent of the repetition is going to be different in an acoustic concert piece because people are sitting down in seats actively listening to the music, rather than using it as a conduit to pronounced physical movement." But it certainly is one of the most kinetic music ever written for a bunch of seated folks. If we weren't too breathless by the end of it, we would have certainly gotten up and danced a jig.

Pang Khee Teik The Edge, August 2001.

A boisterous romp through Matthew Hindson's Techno logic 125 followed, wringing out every ounce of manic passion. The piece is exceptionally well scored for the medium, beginning with a gritty cello monologue offset by subtle shape-shifting manoeuvres.

There is a relentless momentum behind much of the writing. The sonorities are full-blooded and vibrant and the excitement never wanes. Johanna Selleck, The Herald-Sun, 6 August 2002, page 57.

The Electra String Quartet played Techno-Logic 1 3 5 by Matthew Hindson, a work which treats the cello as a chain-saw but also slides in some melodic ideas. Fred Blanks, North Shore Times, 2 April 2003, page 14.


Violin Concerto (Australian Postcards)

"...Both of the other two items on the agenda of the SYO farewell concert - and its tour agenda - were rewarding musical experiences too...

Hindson's Violin Concerto afforded Naoko Miyamoto, who premiered the work in March, a wealth of opportunities to display her virtuosity and lyrical skill. While not abrogating the more turbulent segments of his muse in this piece, Hindson also exposes his soothing side - particularly in the rather gentle second movement, entitled Westaway. The open, entitled Wind Turbine at Kooragang Island, admirably reflects the turbulence implicit in its title, and the finale, Grand Final Day, also gives us the sort of the energetic persona I have come to think of as the trademark of this young composer. "

David Gyger, Opera-Opera, August 2001, page 284.17


more to come soon...