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Career Summary

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 01/09/2005
  • Bachelor of Music (Honours), University of Sydney
  • Associate of the Royal College of Music, Royal College of Music

Research

Research keywords

  • Australian choral music
  • Australian sacred and spiritual music
  • Torres Strait Islander music

Research expertise

My research has involved Australian church music and composition, especially in light of new liturgies over the past 20 years. The bulk of my research has been to develop a more identifiable Australian style of liturgical music, through both use of modern texts and through musical style. The compositions range from works suitable for performance in Cathedral or similar situations, through to some works suitable for parish worship. Eight settings of the Mass have been composed, ranging from simple cantor-style settings through to settings for choir, orchestra, organ, hand-bells and congregation. Similarly, I have written many works set to texts from "A Prayer Book for Australia". Many of these works include parts for congregation, whereby (as in the Mass settings) the choir part may be fairly substantial, whilst the congregation part remains as an integral part of the music, thus allowing the involvment of all present to actively be a part of music through worship.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
190406Music Composition100

Awards

Honours.

2014Vice President
Guild of Church Musicians Australian Council (Australia)
Honorary appointment as Vice President of an Australian church music institution

Administrative

Administrative expertise

Co-ordinator of "Creative and Analytical Studies in Music 3", overseeing students' progress through their academic studies at the Conservatorium. Chamber Choir- includes organising 4 overseas tours since 2000, and recording and manufacture of 5 compact disc recordings.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Academics. Chamber Choir. Organ

Teaching expertise

In academic areas, specialise in teaching of harmony and aural, whilst also teaching music history and orchestration at various stages. Teaching also pipe organ to students of all levels. Also taking Chamber choir, which specialises in modern works, including a substantial amount of Australian works.

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2008Matthias PV, Battle Cry, -, Sydney, Australia (2008) [J1]

Battle Cry consists of performances by a classically trained choir of contemporary & rock pieces. This research seeks to redefine the role and perception of a choir. There is a widespread trend in music for the integration of diverse styles and creation of cross-over styles (e.g. compositions for traditional orchestra which incorporate Rock music styles). This integration has not fully reached the traditional choral music platform as the lines drawn between choral styles are usually distinct. The demarcation between choirs questions whether it is possible to create a choral sound and compositions that can stylistically accommodate Classical and Rock genres and be in line with mainstream musical trends? The vocal sound is informed by embodiment, as can be seen and heard in African choral styles, Kodaly and Eurythmics (Delcroix). Battle Cry borrows physical gestures usually found in popular music and musical theatre. Research has shown that movement combined with singing improves tone quality and expression (Peterson 2000). The arrangements necessitate an understanding of many styles. Purple Haze combines textures associated with Baroque split choirs and traditional blues. The songs Playing to Win, sung in a straight Rock style, and Bicycle with its allusions to the musical theatre genre, necessitate a performance style plausible enough to embrace multiple styles and genres in performance. Battle Cry has had airplay on ABC Classic FM and other national radio networks. 35,000 CDs distributed throughout Australia, with reviews in newspapers and online. There have been many invitations to perform the recorded works throughout the country.

2014Matthias PV, Singing the Mass, Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, Sydney (2014) [J1]
2011Choir TUONC, Matthias PV, This Land: Choral Music of Iain Grandage, Harold Lobb Concert Hall at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium., The University of Newcastle (2011) [J1]

Research Background Over the past 20 years Australian choral music has developed is own 'sound' and distinctiveness, differing from European and American models whilst also incorporating Indigenous sounds and Australian soundscapes. This Australian sound via composition has developed alongside the growth of youth orientated Australian choirs and their distinctive choral tone. Research Contribution The research identifies the specific compatibility of the vocal timbre of Australian singers and cultural and historical convergences; it provides an exemplar of the uniqueness of this Australian 'sound', differentiating itself from other choral traditions. The music provides the first integrated audio collection of these works by Iain Grandage, whereby uniquely 'Australian' qualities may be examined. Through analysis of compositional techniques which define the convergence, an overall picture of what may define Australian choral music is well defined. for example, in wheatbelt and shore, modes utilising the flattened 2nd are utilised – an interval which Henry Tate in Australian Musical Possibilities (1926) suggested he heard in the call of the butcher bird and could be the basis for a characteristic “Australian scale”(Skinner, 2006). Research Significance This recording identifies convergences between Western compositional style, Aboriginal song and sounds of the Australian landscape. It presents the only aurally documented evidence of these works, whereby they can be examined within the context of performance which was recorded in the presence of the composer.

2013Matthias PV, Australian Repertoire - Vatican Mass, St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Vatican City (2013) [J2]

Traditional Australian church music is often based on European or American styles. When music by Australian composers is integrated in this sacred context, the music is also strongly rooted in these 'imported' styles. This research investigates the possibilities of presenting Australian music for the mass in St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, whereby the music may have distinctive Australian qualities, whilst complying with the strict confines of Vatican performances. Church music in Australia has not attained distinctiveness in terms of integration of its cultural and Indigenous heritages. For example McGrath (The Renewal of Anglicanism, 1993) notes "too often in the past international Anglicanism has been seen as a safe haven for expatriate Brits in alien cultures or a gathering point for culturally alienated Anglophiles with a taste for Trollopian characters or Tudor church music". This research incorporates traditional music from Arnhem land (Marrkapmirr) and Torres Strait Islands (Oui tooli) with the Australian composer David Drury (Ave verum), with traditional plainsong as usually performed in the Vatican. The performance was presented by University of Newcastle Chamber Choir ('Echology') directed by Philip Matthias during the 12th Festival Internatazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra on 6th November, 2013. Of significance was the premiere performance by transcription of Oui tooli, as notated by Matthias and Islander Toby Whaleboat. Development of Australian sacred repertoire which has cultural conectiveness with Australia, over and above European and other influences. This research is significant in that Australian liturgical music has strong cultural divides, and the current research provides alternative solutions which are acceptable to wide church contexts.

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
1998Matthias PV, 'June Nixon plays the organ of St. Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne. Music of Roland Watson', Oecumuse Magazine, December 1998 (1998) [C3]

Conference (4 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2015Matthias PV, Whaleboat T, 'Revistalising Meriam Mir through Sacred Song', N/A, Australian National University, Canberra (2015)
2014Matthias PV, Whaleboat T, Grant C, 'Sacred songs from the Torres Strait Islands', Charisima of Dissonance, Melbourne University (2014)

Co-authors: CATHERINE GRANT

2013Matthias PV, 'Australian sacred and spiritual music: Preservation, cultivation and innovation', -, Ripon College, Oxford (2013) [E3]
2013Matthias PV, Whaleboat T, 'Sacred Songs from the Torres Strait Islands', Christian Congregational Music: Local & Global Perspectives, Ripon College, Oxford (2013) [E3]
Show 1 more

Creative Work (45 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Matthias PV, Singing the Mass, Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, Sydney (2014) [J1]
2014Matthias PV, Australian choral music, Victoria Hall, Geneva (2014)
2014Matthias PV, Australian Choral works, General Assembly Hall, United Nations, Geneva (2014)
2014Matthias PV, God is our refuge and strength, Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle (2014)
2013Matthias PV, Australian Repertoire - Vatican Mass, St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Vatican City (2013) [J2]

Traditional Australian church music is often based on European or American styles. When music by Australian composers is integrated in this sacred context, the music is also strongly rooted in these 'imported' styles. This research investigates the possibilities of presenting Australian music for the mass in St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, whereby the music may have distinctive Australian qualities, whilst complying with the strict confines of Vatican performances. Church music in Australia has not attained distinctiveness in terms of integration of its cultural and Indigenous heritages. For example McGrath (The Renewal of Anglicanism, 1993) notes "too often in the past international Anglicanism has been seen as a safe haven for expatriate Brits in alien cultures or a gathering point for culturally alienated Anglophiles with a taste for Trollopian characters or Tudor church music". This research incorporates traditional music from Arnhem land (Marrkapmirr) and Torres Strait Islands (Oui tooli) with the Australian composer David Drury (Ave verum), with traditional plainsong as usually performed in the Vatican. The performance was presented by University of Newcastle Chamber Choir ('Echology') directed by Philip Matthias during the 12th Festival Internatazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra on 6th November, 2013. Of significance was the premiere performance by transcription of Oui tooli, as notated by Matthias and Islander Toby Whaleboat. Development of Australian sacred repertoire which has cultural conectiveness with Australia, over and above European and other influences. This research is significant in that Australian liturgical music has strong cultural divides, and the current research provides alternative solutions which are acceptable to wide church contexts.

2013Matthias PV, Concert: St Paul's Cathedral, London, St Paul's Cathedral, London, London, United Kingdom (2013) [J2]
2013Scott NB, Matthias PV, Gallus J, Haec Est Dies (arranged for three telematically-linked pipe organs), The Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2013) [J2]

Co-authors: NATHAN SCOTT

2013Matthias PV, Concert: International Festival of Sacred Music, Rome, St Ignazio, Rome, St Ignazio, Rome (2013) [J2]
2013Matthias PV, Lord, for the years. Commissioned by Benetas for performance in St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. Choir, brass and organ, St Paul's Cathedral Melbourne (2013)
2013Matthias PV, Psalm 121, commissioned by Benetas for performance in St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. Choir, brass and organ, St Paul's Cathedral Melbourne (2013)
2012Walker S, Allan C, Matthias P, At lunch Soul Food. Sally Walker - flute, Christopher Allan - baritone, Philip Matthias - organ. Works by J.S. Bach, Gluck, Mozart., Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2012)
2011Choir TUONC, Matthias PV, This Land: Choral Music of Iain Grandage, Harold Lobb Concert Hall at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium., The University of Newcastle (2011) [J1]

Research Background Over the past 20 years Australian choral music has developed is own 'sound' and distinctiveness, differing from European and American models whilst also incorporating Indigenous sounds and Australian soundscapes. This Australian sound via composition has developed alongside the growth of youth orientated Australian choirs and their distinctive choral tone. Research Contribution The research identifies the specific compatibility of the vocal timbre of Australian singers and cultural and historical convergences; it provides an exemplar of the uniqueness of this Australian 'sound', differentiating itself from other choral traditions. The music provides the first integrated audio collection of these works by Iain Grandage, whereby uniquely 'Australian' qualities may be examined. Through analysis of compositional techniques which define the convergence, an overall picture of what may define Australian choral music is well defined. for example, in wheatbelt and shore, modes utilising the flattened 2nd are utilised – an interval which Henry Tate in Australian Musical Possibilities (1926) suggested he heard in the call of the butcher bird and could be the basis for a characteristic “Australian scale”(Skinner, 2006). Research Significance This recording identifies convergences between Western compositional style, Aboriginal song and sounds of the Australian landscape. It presents the only aurally documented evidence of these works, whereby they can be examined within the context of performance which was recorded in the presence of the composer.

2010Matthias PV, Jasmine and Wattle: The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir in China, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2010) [J2]
2008Matthias PV, Battle Cry, -, Sydney, Australia (2008) [J1]

Battle Cry consists of performances by a classically trained choir of contemporary & rock pieces. This research seeks to redefine the role and perception of a choir. There is a widespread trend in music for the integration of diverse styles and creation of cross-over styles (e.g. compositions for traditional orchestra which incorporate Rock music styles). This integration has not fully reached the traditional choral music platform as the lines drawn between choral styles are usually distinct. The demarcation between choirs questions whether it is possible to create a choral sound and compositions that can stylistically accommodate Classical and Rock genres and be in line with mainstream musical trends? The vocal sound is informed by embodiment, as can be seen and heard in African choral styles, Kodaly and Eurythmics (Delcroix). Battle Cry borrows physical gestures usually found in popular music and musical theatre. Research has shown that movement combined with singing improves tone quality and expression (Peterson 2000). The arrangements necessitate an understanding of many styles. Purple Haze combines textures associated with Baroque split choirs and traditional blues. The songs Playing to Win, sung in a straight Rock style, and Bicycle with its allusions to the musical theatre genre, necessitate a performance style plausible enough to embrace multiple styles and genres in performance. Battle Cry has had airplay on ABC Classic FM and other national radio networks. 35,000 CDs distributed throughout Australia, with reviews in newspapers and online. There have been many invitations to perform the recorded works throughout the country.

2006Matthias PV, The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir in ABC Live Broadcasts of the State and National Finals of the Choir of the Year Competition (2006) [J1]
2006Matthias PV, Choir of the Year. The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir (2006) [J1]
2005Matthias PV, A Song of the Three, HarperCollins Religious, Pymble, NSW (2005) [J2]
2005Matthias PV, Organ Recital. 18th October Scot?s Church, Melbourne, as part of the International Organ Concert Series, Scot?s Church, Melbourne (2005) [J2]
2002Spiers CJ, Matthias PV, Concert October 3rd Colin Spiers (Piano) Philip Matthias (conductor) Newcastle Chamber Choir, Spiers - Those Freeway Blues, Brisbane Choral festival, Brisbane (2002) [J2]

Co-authors: COLIN SPIERS

2002Spiers CJ, Matthias PV, Concert August 20th 2002 Colin Spiers (Piano) Philip Matthias (Conductor) Newcastle Conservatorium Chamber Choir Spiers - Dreamsong, Newcastle Conservatorium, Newcastle Conservatorium (2002) [J2]

Co-authors: COLIN SPIERS

2002Spiers CJ, Matthias PV, Concert October 2nd 2002 Colin Spiers (Piano) Philip Matthias (Conductor) Newcastle Conservatorium Chamber Choir Spiers - Dreamsong, Brisbane Choral Festival, Brisbane (2002) [J2]

Co-authors: COLIN SPIERS

2001Matthias PV, Celebration Mass, Self Published, Newcastle (2001) [J2]
2000Matthias PV, Choral Performances, BBC England, Manchester UK (2000) [J2]
2000Matthias PV, Organ Performance, University, Conservatorium (2000) [J2]
2000Matthias PV, Music by Monteverdi and Bach, Cathedral Festival, Christ Church Cathedral (2000) [J2]
2000Matthias PV, Music by Bach, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral (2000) [J2]
2000Matthias PV, Various Choral Works, University, Ewell, Canterbury, London, Manchester (2000) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital Chelmsford Carhedral UK, Chelmsford Cathedral UK (1999) [J1]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital of Austraalian Music, St Paul's Cathedral London (1999) [J1]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital Westminster Abbey London, Westminster Abbey London (1999) [J1]
1999Matthias PV, Restoration Celebration, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Cathedral (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Faure Requiem, University of Newcastle, St James Church-Sydney (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Music by Delerve,Peeters,Rivier,Koehne,Hovhaness, Schmidt, Faculty of Music, University of Newcastle (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital of Australian Music, University of Newcastle, Ewell Parish Church Surrey (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital, AUstralian Trumpet Guild, PLC Sydney (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Choral Music as Conductor, Faculty of Music, University of Newcastle (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Music of Clerambault,Franck,Saint Saens and Vierne, Faculty of Music, University of Newcastle (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recitals (artistic Director), University of Newcastle, Newcastle Cathedral (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital of Australian Music, University of Newcastle, St Asaph Abbey Church Wales (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital of Australian Music, University of Newcastle, Chester Cathedral (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Hymns included in "Together in Song", Harper Collins, Sydney (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Faure Requiem, Bach Cantata, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Cathedral and University of Newcastle (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Music of Grandage, Britten, Barber, Faculty of Music, University of Newcastle (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Tavener "Icon of Light", Faculty of Music, University of Newcastle (1999) [J2]
1999Matthias PV, Organ Recital, University of Newcastle, University of Sydney Great Hall (1999) [J2]
Show 42 more

Thesis / Dissertation (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2005Matthias PV, Renewing the Musical Tradition of an Australian Cathedral - Developments in Liturgical Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, University of Newcastle (2005) [T1]
2005Matthias P, Renewing the musical tradition of an Australian cathedral - developments in liturgical music at Christ Church Cathedral, (2005) [T3]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants2
Total funding$6,700

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2008 (1 grants)

The Guild of Church Musicians 120th Anniversary Conference, Canterury University, UK, 2/5/2008 - 4/5/2008$1,700
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Philip Matthias
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,70020082008
GNo:G0188607

2002 (1 grants)

CD recording University of Newcastle Chamber Choir$5,000
Funding Body: Australia Council for the Arts

SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$5,00020022001
GNo:36460621
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions8
Total current UoN Masters EFTSL1.1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL1.5

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20152017M Philosophy (Music)Principal SupervisorSing You Up My Country: Developing and Defining Synergies Between Australian Compositions and the Voices and Skills of High School Choirs
20152023PhD (Music)Co-SupervisorAnimating the Guitar: Developing a Voice Control Mechanism for Guitar Timbre and Expression Control
20142022PhD (Music)Co-SupervisorProcess and Product - The Phenomenulogy of the Solo Concerts of Keith Jarrett
20142018PhD (Music)Principal SupervisorWhat is the History of the Coastal Region of North Stradbroke Island and How Does This Impact on the Musical Development of Indigenous and Other Australian Children?
20142018PhD (Music)Co-SupervisorFuture Gazing: The Concert Musician in the 21st Century
20122014M Philosophy (Music)Principal SupervisorThe Development of the Viola as a Solo Instrument in Britain at the end of the 19th Century and the Beginning of the 20th Century
20122015PhD (Music)Co-SupervisorThe Polysynchronous Film Score: The Relationship between Music and Image/Narrative in Contemporary Scores for Silent Film
20112014M Philosophy (Music)Co-SupervisorThe Investigative Cellist and the Informed Audition

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2014PhD (Music)Principal SupervisorMusic in Context: An Exploration of Music and Dramaturgy
2014PhD (Music)Co-Supervisor"Out of the Shadows": A Biographical Study of William Turner (c.1651-1740), With Critical Editions of His Anthems and Services
2012PhD (Music)Principal SupervisorAn Investigation of Contrasting Approaches to Worship within Australian Baptist Churches to Explore the Role of Apollonian and Dionysian Concepts of Art Play in Understanding the Differences. A Case Study Approach
2007M Creative Arts (Music) [R]Sole SupervisorContext and Analysis of Organ Performances
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Dr Philip Matthias

Work Phone(02) 492 18928
Fax(02) 492 18958
Email
PositionSenior Lecturer
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaMusic
Office
CON314 ,
The Conservatorium of Music,
The Conservatorium
Cnr Laman and Auckland Street
Newcastle NSW 2300
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/philip-matthias
Link/Resources/Schools/Drama Fine Art and Music/Staff profiles/Matthias-Philip.pdf