RPM (1996/1998/1999)

for orchestra (2222 4221 Hp 2Pc Strings),

also available in a version for amateur orchestra, also available in a version for wind band, also available in a version for brass band.

duration: 4 minutes

Faber Music publishing details

Audio Excerpt

Programme Notes

    RPM stands for Revolutions per Minute. This piece seeks to capture the feeling of unrelenting speed, acceleration and momentum. The composer was influenced by heavy metal music, and describes the overall effect as similar to that of driving in a car at a very high speed.

(prog.note from Symphony Under the Stars programme guide, 1998)


“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.

“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 appeals 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 rest.com, review of The Alchymist’s Journal, performed by the Leyland Band.

CD Recording Available?

Yes, contact the education officer of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  A limited number of CDs were produced with accompanying educational resources on the piece.

The brass band version of RPM is available on a disc entitled The Alchymist’s Journal, performed by the Leyland Band.

Other Information

Also available: the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Education Section has produced an educational resource kit on this piece.

This work featured in Veitstanz: Shake Rattle and Roll, a ballet choreographed by Berndt Schindowski, performed by Ballet Schindowski in Gelsenkirchen, Germany (January – March 2004).

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