Rising star composer and violist Matt Laing took part in the Flinders Quartet’s Composer Development Program last year and the Quartet will premiere his new work , Out of Hibernation, in their first program this year. The composer tells us about working with the Flinders Quartet and studying with Brett Dean in Berlin.
Matt Laing. Photo © Sharon Gertner
What inspires you to compose?
Mainly just an interest in sound, and combinations of sound, and the evocative and expressive possibilities. I mostly work as a viola player, and that is a great way to learn a work as a whole, but in almost every context the viola part has a subservience to something else so often it can feel like, for better or for worse, you’re serving someone else’s vision. So from a creative point of view, with composing I know that it’ll be good or rubbish, but that’ll happen on my terms, and I like the creative responsibility of that.
Are there advantages or disadvantages to being a viola player when it comes to composition?
I think it’s generally an advantage, particularly for ensemble writing. Violists play music of every era, and so many...