Behind the piano: Matt Tondut

Behind the piano: Matt Tondut

Today we’ll dig deeper into the mind of Australian composer Matthew Tondut. Enjoy!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I was born in Western Australia and though I have moved around the state a little over my life I have now settled about 15 minutes from the hospital i was born in.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I think I started “Playing” the piano when i was but 8 but was certanly attempting to play from as young as i can remember. I grew up in a musical household and was taught to read music by my Nan and my dad at home. As soon as I learned the basics i was hooked.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
Growing up watching my parents play the piano and guitar and also my Nan playing the piano it was just a ntural occurence for me to want to copy them and do the same.

How long have you been making piano music?
The majority of my time spent at the piano has been playing classical music or instrumental covers though i havent released anything of the sort. Composing and releasing my own piano pieces is something new for me and only something i have really started doing the last couple of years. I have used the skill set in other areas of music creation and am very thankful of the music foundation that piano has afforded me. 

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I actually found song writing and composition far easier on the guitar than the piano. I started writing folky ballads  when i was about 14 and entered an all ages songwriting competition where i placed 3rd. The process of performing the tracks publically and have the small amount of recognition was all it took to encourage me to keep going and keep creating.  

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I am so lucky to be part of an amazing community of very talented artists and freinds. There are so many composers around me that are a million times better than me that I look up to and am constantly inspired by. Jesse Brown, Peter Cavallo, Holly Jones, Angel Ruediger & Juan Maria Solare are but a few of the incredibly talented artists that inspire me. I am also a huge fan of Ambient music and often like to blend the two genres together when creating my own pieces, Jonathan Warman created an EP called Lull which really stuck with me and was also a direct inspiration for this piece.

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
Gymnopedie No. 1 by Erik Satie gets quite a few repititions in my house hold. Mainly because it is a really lovely piece but also because it is my wifes favourite so is often on the requests.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
All of them! I really don’t stick to any rules in my music creation process. I create what ever I feel like at the time and what sounds good to me. For me, if i think too hard on what I can and cant do with music then i will get stuck and create nothing or rubbish. Obviously there needs to be an understanding of composition which will make it easier to make a more harmonious piece at the end but on the same sense, treat it for what it is, a creative expression and do what makes you happy.

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
I have my own studio at home and do all my recording mixing and the majority of the mastering as well.

Whats your take on sampled instruments? –
I have a huge library of VST’s and am a massive fan of Native Instruments. I like and use both options. My piano isnt in my studio but is in my main living room which is quite open with high ceilings so recording on the main piano is nice but can also have its challenges. The main challenge of moving my recording equipment into the main living room and having it quiet enough to record.

The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
Great question! I guess the answer is My head, My Heart, My History and My Desires of the future. Or if that desont satisfy the mind of your son then the more literal answer would be From the speakers 🙂

Thank you very much for this Matt!

For more information about Matt, check out these links
Facebook / Twitter / Website / Spotify