House Music (Flute Concerto) (2006)

for flute soloist and orchestra
( – 4231 – timp – perc(2) – harp – strings)

piano reduction available – contact to order

duration: 22 minutes (short version), 29 minutes (full version)

Faber Music publishing details, including online score preview


Wonderful performance of this piece by wonderful soloist and wonderful orchestra

Programme Notes

  • Mvt.1: Kitchen, Garage, Workshop
  • Mvt.2: Foyer, Swimming Pool (Interlude)
  • Mvt.3: Lounge
  • Mvt.4: Nursery, Games Room

The term “house music” is commonly used in reference to a specific genre of electronic dance music, or even to electronic dance music genre in its entirety. My particular favorite style of electronic dance music is techno, for reasons of its extroversion and relevance to a wide swathe of young music lovers. Part of my compositional research over the past 12 years has been investigating the integration of aspects of techno music, such as its rhythmic, harmonic and structural paradigms, into the genre of contemporary art music, and in doing so, bringing it from its computer-based realisations to performances by living musicians on acoustic instruments.

However as the titles of the movements suggest, this version of House Music is largely based upon features of our living quarters, as well as my own reactions to them. Each movement pictorially represents particular rooms and features of a variety of houses (or perhaps mansions). My compositional aesthetic has always been to write in response to contemporary society and culture, and while humans have been living in houses or similar structures for thousands of years, there are particular facets of contemporary living that have provided a rich source of inspiration for this work.

The first movement is a very busy and fast-paced exploration of three rooms: the kitchen, garage and a workshop (or shed, as would be found in Australia). The opening flute gestures and cadenza imply “everything but the kitchen sink”, bringing to mind a wide variety flute effects and frenetic activity. Parked in the garage is a souped-up hoonmobile that makes its presence felt from time to time, while who knows what slightly sinister creations are being created in the workshop.

The second movement is much slower in pace, with images of luxurious fountains and spacious foyer areas inviting us to relax and wallow in sensuous decadence. Perhaps you may wish to sit by the pool and watch the ripples move in the sunlight while drinking your margarita.

The lounge room is also for relaxing, or perhaps sitting back in a 1960s-style red vinyl lounge, putting on the stereo and chilling out to some muzak, sinking down into a groovy ambience as time floats by.

But there is only so much chilling out that one may imbibe before the demands of the more vigorous folk impinge upon you. Children are demanding and seem to have boundless innocent energy. Perhaps putting on a video game or two in that most McMansion of rooms, the games room, will help to calm them down, or at least provide a temporary distraction.

This work was written for soloist Marina Piccinini for first performance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

notes by Matthew Hindson, 2006/2015

β€˜It shows you things that you never knew a flute could do – creating faux chords with harmonics, mixing air and notes, tapping on the keys, separate tonguings, quartertones.  And that is just the opening page. Hindson, who is Australian, wants to see if the rhythms and harmonies of techno music can be brought into the classical concert hall.  The result is bizarre but strangely compelling – long flute cadenzas that sound like avant-garde experimentation from the 1960s alternate with dance numbers for full orchestra with the volume turned up to maximum. Soloist Marina Piccinini showed off what she could do, as if asked to play the advanced guide to flautist’s technique from first page to last at breakneck speed … for once this was the living composer’s evening.’
Financial Times (Richard Fairman), 15 December 2006

CD Recording Available

House Music recording

The recording is available through iTunes, Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Other Information

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