The highpoint of the National Flute Association’s 40th anniversary annual convention in Las Vegas will be the US premiere on 11 August of Matthew Hindson’s outrageous flute concerto, House Music, as part of the closing Gala Concert in Caesars Palace. Soloist is Alexa Still, fresh from having given the Australian premiere in Sydney on 4 and 5 May. She will be joined by the convention orchestra under the baton of Ransom Wilson.
The NFA’s annual convention is attended by some 3000 flautists, so it’s an ideal showcase for one of Hindson’s most extrovert scores and which was described by the Financial Times thus:
‘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
'A flute concerto with a difference. Hindson is an Australian who has been melding techno dance music with more conventional genres.
The title House Music refers to the phenomenon familiar in clubland as well as the buildings we live in. While the first movement races manically round the kitchen, garage and workshop with the turbocharged energy of clubbers, the second evokes a margarita-sipping break at the poolside. This is the most original and appealing music of the concerto, with softly tinkling bells producing a windchime, harp sweeps suggesting trickling water and a languid flute solo.
Marina Piccinini was the dazzling soloist, fully in command in the lounge, nursery and games rooms too.'
Evening Standard (Barry Millington), 14 December 2006
'Hindson has apparently spent much of the last twelve years in researching the integration of all aspects of techno (the most-participatory form of electronic dance music) into contemporary art-music, and the results of his endeavour are there for all to hear in this new work.
Not that this is other than a fully 'composed' piece of music – written to push the soloist's stamina to the limit and to keep the orchestra, expanded with liberal amounts of percussion, on its collective toes. House Music referring to domesticity as well as hedonism, the first movement – following its hectic introductory cadenza – focuses on 'Kitchen, Garage, Workshop' in a tensile rhythmic interplay between soloist and orchestra…'
The Classical Source (Richard Whitehouse), December 2006
You can view extracts from the score here. For more information, perusal score, CD and piano reduction please contact us.