The playful nature of the music can also be considered as a reflection of the hedonistic nature of modern society, where a large emphasis is placed on the pursuit of pleasure and enjoyment.
MATTHEW HINDSON AM
Contemporary Australian composers have the opportunity to learn from and be influenced by a wealth of musical styles that have passed before them. Matthew Hindson’s Rush is one such piece that, while containing a mixture of these musical characteristics, in turn displays its own style unique to the composer.
Although it may not be apparent upon its first hearing, Hindson has used as a starting point for Rush the music of Felix Mendelssohn. The fast and technically challenging passages found in the final movement of the Mendelssohn String Octet influenced Hindson’s decision to compose a work that is highly virtuosic in nature. The composer remarks, “it is much more the spirit of Mendelssohn’s string writing that was influential, particularly the last movements of his string quartets and the String Octet, rather than any sort of harmony or melodic invention.”
In addition to the influence of Mendelssohn, Matthew Hindson has also found inspiration in the popular music idiom. Popular and, in particular, ‘techno’ music and culture have played a large role in the development of Hindson’s musical style (with his other works displaying such titles as SPEED and Homage to Metallica), and Rush is no exception. The playful, up-beat and repetitive rhythms found in popular music are a prominent feature of this work. The fast and mostly accelerating tempo of Rush reinforces both the title of the piece and the influence of ‘techno’ music. Rush also features a series of catchy and vibrant melodies, making the work accessible to a wide audience. The playful nature of the music can also be considered as a reflection of the hedonistic nature of modern society, where a large emphasis is placed on the pursuit of pleasure and enjoyment.
Hindson is one of a number of composers who are attempting to establish and express their place within today’s world. Hindson’s now distinctive style incorporates, and is heavily based on, the music pervading contemporary popular culture. The composer, however, is not unwilling to accept the influences of more established art-music traditions, and adopts these where he feels necessary. Combined, these influences provide the listener with a fresh, accessible and culturally up-to-date musical experience.
© Michelle Kennedy
Matthew Hindson AM (b. 1968, Wollongong) is one of the most-performed and most-commissioned composers in the world, and a leading Australian composer of his generation. As well as being performed by every Australian orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic among many others, Matthew’s music has been set by dance companies such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Japan and the Sydney Dance Company.
Matthew is the Deputy Dean and Associate Dean (Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. From 2004-2010 he was the artistic director of the Aurora Festival which is dedicated to the work of living composers. In 2006 Matthew was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contributions to music education and composition. From 2009-2013 Matthew was the Chair of the Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and from 2013-2015, a board member of the same organisation.
Matthew was the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural Australian Series curator, from 2017 to 2020.