Matthew de Lacey Davidson
Matthew de Lacey Davidson (born 1964) is a Canadian composer of concert, orchestral and chamber music who currently resides in Montreal, Canada. Studying in many countries, and integrating the works of numerous cultures into his work, Davidson's unique work reflects multi-cultural influences. He has studied in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. In addition to popular music, his work reflects influences of American, Asian, European and African vernacular or folk-music styles.
Davidson was born in Toronto. He studied composition with Jack Body at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; John Beckwith at the University of Toronto, Canada; and Salvatore Martirano at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. In addition, he also studied counterpoint and computer music with John Melby at the University of Illinois. He studied piano with John Powell, Bruce Greenfield, Philippa Ward, and Rae de Lisle in New Zealand; Lawrence Pitchko and Harold Heap in Toronto, Canada; and with William Heiles at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Davidson is a composer of academic concert music influenced by world music, and popular or vernacular idioms (such as jazz, early popular songs, and ragtime). He has written a body of work which includes music for piano solo, chamber music, orchestral music and electronic music. He has also composed a singspiel based on The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, and a chamber opera based on the short stories of New Zealand author, Katherine Mansfield.
Many of his works use direct transcriptions of non-western music from regions as diverse as Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Belgium, the United States, the Basque region, and Africa. These transcriptions are often combined with Frederic Rzewski-style pan-tonal variations, classical music forms, and polytonality. In addition, his work is less concerned with the creation of a specific style of his own, and more towards the conscious development of ‘appropriated’ musical material.
List of compact disk releases
Davidson has released 12 CDs to date.
- 2010: The Pianist Musings: Re-issue of performances of works, by Brahms & Rachmaninoff on Navona
- 2008: Talencourt: Music for Voice, Piano, and Strings, by Matthew de Lacey Davidson, Capstone Records
- 2007: The Graceful Ghost: Contemporary Piano Rags, Capstone Records
- 2001: Whippin’ the Keys: 75 years of Novelty Piano Ragtime, with Gary Smart, guest artist, Capstone Records
- 2000: On the Highwire: Piano Rags, Waltzes and Tangos by Donald Ashwander, Capstone Records
- 2000: Stolen Music: New Compositions, by Matthew Davidson, Capstone Records (re-release of original Mastersound album)
- 1999: Syncopated Lady, with Tomoko Deguchi, Capstone Records
- 1996: Stolen Music, Mastersound/Allegro
- 1996: Sugar’s Nightmare: Piano Rags to Jazz 1898-1995, Mastersound/Allegro
- 1995: Voodoo Queen: Piano Rags, Jazz, and Blues, performed by Matthew Davidson, Mastersound/Allegro
- 1994: The Graceful Ghost: Contemporary Piano Rags, Mastersound/Allegro
- 1992: Space Shuffle and Other Futuristic Rags, Stomp Off Records
List of compositions
As a composer, Davidson has received numerous awards, performances, and radio broadcasts in New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and Europe, and has received praise for his originality, meticulousness, and idiomatic writing for instruments.
- Canadian Music Centre. "Composer Biography". February, 2013.
- Matthew Davidson, "Composer Biography", SOUNZ, Centre for New Zealand Music (January 2013). Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Couture, François "Review", Stolen Music. Retrieved on July 11, 2012.
- American Composers Association "Composer Biography". Retrieved on July 11, 2012.
- Society of Composers, Inc. "Composer Biography". Retrieved on July 11, 2012.