Matthew Horsley


Matthew Horsley (b. 1986) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer currently based in Castlemaine, Victoria. Hailing from Brisbane, he received a Bachelor of Music in percussion at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, studying with Dr Vanessa Tomlinson. In 2009 he relocated to Melbourne and has completed a Master of Music Performance (by Research) at the Victorian College of the Arts. He is currently undertaking a PhD in ethnomusicology at Monash University. Matthew has an avid interest in Irish traditional music, specialising in the uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes). As the recipient of a JUMP Mentoring grant, he traveled to Ireland in 2014 where he studied with renowned piper Mikie Smyth and performed a solo recital for Irish National Heritage Week. He is a regular performer on the Australian festival circuit and participant in the Melbourne session scene. His first uilleann piping album, Australian Waters, was released in 2015.  Matthew has performed extensively across classical, experimental, popular, jazz and folk genres, with artists such as Steve Reich, the Australian Art Orchestra, Speak Percussion, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ludovico’s Band, Topology and Clocked Out. He performs regularly with Irish traditional music trio Trioc, Balkan folk ensemble Anja & Zlatna and in a duo with recorder player Ryan Williams.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Spaces Without, for Flute, Bass Clarinet, Cor Anglais, 2 Percussion, and Electronics.

Spaces Without was composed for 5x5x5 at the Arts Centre Melbourne. It was designed to be heard in the Wirths Mural Walk, a narrow windy pedestrian tunnel that connects St Kilda Rd to the back of the Arts Centre. The electronic drone that underscores the composition was a field recording made in the space and digitally altered. Also woven into the composition is a traditional melody with a historical connection to the site. I like to keep it a secret but it shouldn’t stop you guessing!

Performed by: Thea Rossen (percussion), Kaylie Melville (percussion), Jennifer Timmins (flute), Emmanuel Cassimatis (cor anglais), Kenny Keppel (bass clarinet), Matthew Horsley (conductor).

Featured in Space Waves – June 2017, curated by Marlene Radice.