Baroquerie (2002)

for baroque violin and harpsichord

duration: 16 minutes (3 movements)

Faber Music publishing details

coming soon: a version for violin and piano

Audio Excerpt

Excerpt from the first movement:

Programme Notes

One observation on music of the Baroque period, particularly that of the Italian style, is that much of it is concerned with a kind of “happy virtuosity”. Works such as Vivaldi concertos or fast movements of Handel oratorios are examples of this. In contrast, joyful exuberance in contemporary classical music may be frowned upon in some circles, an attitude that I find slightly puzzling. After all, it seems to me that we have a lot to be happy about.

In Baroquerie, I have made reference to selected musical characteristics of baroque period, including the notion of “happy virtuosity”, and then have attempted to absorb them into my own musical style. The three movements each have their own character. The first movement is loosely cast as a Recitative and Aria. The second movement alternates between improvisatory solos for the two instruments and a melody above a gradually expanding ground bass. The third movement uses specific musical techniques from the baroque era, such as cycles of fifths, in a loose interpretation of ritornello form. The end result shouldn’t be listened to as a piece of baroque music, but rather, a work of contemporary music that may or may not contain some derivations.

It may interest some listeners to know that another of the initial ideas behind this piece was to integrate aspects of rock music into the work (i.e. Ba-Rock-ery). I found this very difficult, particularly taking into account the instrumentation of the work. Whilst this idea didn’t really eventuate in a substantial way, traces of this initial inspiration may be seen in some of the rhythmic figures in the second movement (soft rock guitar-type figurations in the harpsichord) and the virtuosic and overflowing nature of the last movement (volcanic rock).

notes by Matthew Hindson.

CD Recording Available?

    Not at present.

Other Information
Ian Potter logo
Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia for Andrew Manze and Richard Egarr with the financial assistance of the Ian Potter Foundation.

This piece will also become Violin Concerto No. 2 when time permits.

Each of the movements in this piece are suitable for performance as part of the mandatory topic for the NSW Higher School Certificate Examinations in Music 2.

Always on Time (2001)

for violin and cello

duration: 2 minutes

Faber Music publishing details

Audio Excerpt

Programme Notes

Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia on behalf of Sun Microsystems (Aust.)

Always on Time was written in early 2001 as a tribute piece to Russell Bate, the retiring managing director of Sun Microsystems in Australia. A group of five composers was approached to each write a short piece (1-2 minutes) that outlined some aspect of Russell Bate’s personality. The model for the idea behind this commission was a group of works in the mode of Hindemith’s Kammermusik no. 1., op. 24 no 1 (Very Fast and Wild).

Always on Time was based on the personal qualities of perseverance and puncuality, attributed to Mr. Bate. Hence there is a lot of striving towards a goal in the work.

This piece was composed whilst I was composer-in-residence at the Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, Paddington.

notes by Matthew Hindson.

CD Recording Available?

    Not at present.

Other Information

Score and parts to this work are available through Faber Music, or through Zephyr Music in Australia.

Basement Art Guru and other pieces (2004)

for solo violin

four movements:

  • i. The Big 5-0 (2 minutes)
  • ii. Basement Art Guru (3 minutes)
  • iii. 2+5 <> 6 (4 minutes)
  • iv. Repetepetition (2.5 minutes)

Each movement may be performed individually.

Faber Music publishing details, viola version of 2+5<>6 can be found here.

Audio Excerpts

The Big 5-0 (live performance by Alex Wood (2011):

Excerpt from 2+5<> 6:

Excerpt from Repetepetition:

Programme NotesBasement Art Guru and other pieces

      is a series of short compositional etudes, each one exploring a particular facet of compositional techniques.

The Big 5-0

      was written in honour of the 50th birthday of Fr. Arthur Ernest Bridge, and uses only the note-names FAEB (i.e. from his name).

Basement Art Guru

      takes as a starting point a theme by Australian composer

Stuart Greenbaum

      and rearranges it in different ways, much like an anagram rearranges letters in a word to form new words.

2+5<> 6

      is certainly a strange title for a composition. In this composition the intervals between simultaneous or consecutive note are limited to a minor second, a perfect fifth or a major sixth.


      takes as a starting point the process of repeating a section of material and either adding material to it or taking some away.

notes by Matthew Hindson.

CD Recording Available?

    Not at present.

Other Information

Balkan Connection (2004/5)

string orchestra

duration: 15 minutes

each movement may be performed on its own

Faber Music publishing details

Audio Excerpt

(the first movement played by the string orchestra of MLC School – ca. 4’30”)

Programme Notes

      i. Makedonsko Oro

ii. Nissyros

iii. Ciaciak

I have long been interested in popular music influences in my own music, and some people have made the observation that since popular music is the folk music of our time, I am in fact carrying on a long tradition of folk music influences in an art-music context. This work, Balkan Connection, takes as its starting point various influences from the Balkan region, specifically Macedonia and Greece.

The first movement, “Makedonsko Oro”, takes as its starting point a Macedonian tune of the same name, which is apparently very popular at weddings and similar functions in its original country. Many of the typical characteristics of Macedonian music, such as additive rhythms, modal harmony, accompaniment patterns and melodic harmonizations have been deliberately employed in this movement. However, there are also many interjections which are more free.

In contrast to the very vigorous opening movement, the second movement “Nissyros” takes a more subdued approach. The initial inspiration for this movement was that of an imagined old man, sitting on a verandah in Nissyros (Greece), singing a folk tune vaguely remembered from his childhood. Each repetition of the tune throughout the orchestra slowly builds to a large climax accompanied by strumming strings, before dying away once more.

The ciaciak is a traditional Macedonian dance, typically in 6/8, and very energetic in character. As the title suggests, the last movement of Balkan Connection takes the ciaciak as its starting point, though it in fact only appears very briefly in the middle of the movement. It is surrounded by other musical material characteristic of the Balkan region as a whole, including a section alluding to the Middle-Eastern occupation of these countries many years previously.

The first movement of Balkan Connection was premiered by the MLC School Chamber Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, May 2003. The entire piece was premiered by the Steel City Strings in Wollongong and Bowral, NSW, in May 2004. It has since been performed by The Queensland Orchestra, cond. Brett Kelly.

notes by Matthew Hindson.


None as yet.

CD Recording Available?

      Not yet. A live recording of the piece is available through the

Australian Music Centre library


Other Information

      This piece may be ordered through

Faber Music

      . The parts may be hired for performance in Australia through

Hal Leonard Australia


Finale Haiku

Last year some people wrote to the Finale mailing list with some suggested haiku poems about their favourite (or least favourite) music notation software.

Here are some of my contributions. Perhaps if you have some of your own (or perhaps even about Sibelius?), feel free to post them as comments.


Finale update released

Damn! More eye candy

Broken dreams: click, wait…

(Finale Selection tool)

Time to buy G5

Copy and insert,

Partial Measures selected:

Instant Ferneyhough

Teaching Finale:

“Use the time dilation tool.”

“The what…?” My heart sinks.

Some pages not working: working on fixing them – thanks for your patience