Matthias Schack-Arnott is an Australian artist, composer and percussionist, whose works span live performance, public art and installation. Over the last decade he has been building unique kinetic systems to create visceral and visually compelling sound worlds.
Described by The Guardian as ‘visually and sonically exquisite’, Matthias’ works have been presented by major festivals and contemporary art spaces including Sydney Festival, Melbourne Festival, Illuminate Festival (Adelaide), RISING Festival (Melbourne), Supersense Festival of the Ecstatic (Melbourne), Arts House (Melbourne), The Unconformity (Tasmania), Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, La Comete (France), Spor Festival (Denmark),The Substation (Melbourne) and The National Gallery of Victoria.
Matthias has worked with many pre-imminent musicians including Steve Reich (USA), Claire Chase (USA), Unsuk Chin (Korea), Zeena Perkins (USA), Valerio Tricoli (Italy), John Zorn (USA), Liza Lim (Aus) and Steven Schick (USA) and as a performer has presented work internationally at the Barbican (London), Cafe Oto (London), Ruhr Triennale (Germany), Transart (Italy), Tage für Neue Musik (Zurich), Noordezon (Netherlands), Batteries (Geneva), Pioneer Works (New York), Kitchen (New York) and Form Festival (Phoenix).
From 2010-2018 Matthias was the Artistic Associate of Australia’s leading percussive arts organisation, Speak Percussion (‘virtuosic and adventurous’, New York Times). During his time with the company he worked closely with Artistic Director Eugene Ughetti in shaping the artistic program, including more than 60 commissions, many critically acclaimed interdisciplinary projects and performances in the world’s leading arts festivals.
Matthias’ recent work ‘Everywhen’ won ‘Work of Year: Electro-Acoustic/Sound Art’ at the 2020 Australian Art Music Awards. He has also been awarded the 2016 Melbourne Prize for Music (Development Award), the 2014 Green Room Award for ‘Outstanding Work by an Emerging Artist’ for his work ‘Fluvial’ and four Australian Art Music Awards for his work with Speak Percussion, including the 2019 ‘Performance of the Year’.
Matthias has also created new works with some of Australia’s most celebrated choreographers. He co-created ‘They Want New Language’ with Antony Hamilton in 2017 for La Comete (France) and recently collaborated with Lucy Guerin to create a large-scale interdisciplinary work commissioned by RISING Festival in association with National Gallery of Victoria.
Groundswell (2021), his first interactive public artwork, was co-commissioned by Sydney Festival, Melbourne Fringe and the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. This large- scale participatory work invites the public to activate an expansive world of kinetic sound. Groundswell premiered at Circular Quay for the 2021 Sydney Festival and will be a keynote event at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2021.
Matthias was commissioned by Naomi Milgrom to create an immersive audio-visual installation for the 2015 MPavilion in collaboration with Bluebottle. The work was experienced by thousands of people across its four month season in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens.
As a musician, Matthias has been a soloist and collaborator with many of Australia’s leading arts organisations, including Australian Art Orchestra, Chamber Made, Liquid Architecture, Topology, Clocked Out, Elision and Aphids, as well as both the Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
– Pendulum (2021)
Image: Keith Saunders