YANDARRA is an Aboriginal word which roughly translates as "place of storms" and this work was written with images of desolate, windswept landscapes in mind, harsh yet in places containing great beauty and integrity.
Yandarra was composed in response to a long-standing request from the Sydney double bass teacher, Diana Ford, in 1998 and was specifically to be a piece of not-extreme difficulty for a wide range of bassists. There are distinct influences of Australian Aboriginal music, combined with aspects of more 'popular' music culture that are a feature of Matthew Hindson's compositional work, in general. The composer also believes that the sense of roughness and almost aggressive hostility, which is a feature of much of the double bass writing in the work, corresponds to much of the harsh Australian landscape.
Matthew Hindson has long had an interest in the double bass, part of which came from the influence of the Australian composer, Peter Sculthorpe, and Yandarra will hopefully go some way towards addressing the dearth of Australian music for double bass.
Funding for the composition of Yandarra was received from the Australia Council for the Arts - the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory council.
"Successfully evoking his native landscape, Hindson employs Australian, Aboriginal and popular styles, even nodding to thrash and death metal in the shrieking opening. Ossia indications keeps Yandarra accessible to players of all abilities which, along with the provision of orchestral and solo tuning accompaniments, should ensure its swift acceptance into the repertoire." (Double Bassist)
"It is a one-movement tone poem full of colours and descriptive narrative...it is easy to conjure up images of the great Australian outback, especially the stark harshness, but also great beauty." (Bass News)
"Yandarra is an expressive work that carries the player and listener on a journey across and expansive Australian soundscape." (ISB).
"I can probably count on one hand the number of Australian pieces written for double bass so it was surprising to meet the English bass soloist/teacher David Heyes who told me about Yandarra. David is also the man behind Recital Music, his own company which commissions and publishes new works for double bass.
The aboriginal word yandarra roughly translates as "place of storms", and Hindson explains that he wrote this piece "with images of desolate, windswept landscapes in mind, harsh in places yet with great beauty and integrity." The form of the piece seems to follow this description. A savage and aggressive solo bass opening is followed by a "tender almost mournful" eight bars. The main body of the work is rhythmic and pulsating with the bass at times imitating a didgeridoo.
Hindson acknowledges the influence of Australian composer (and former bass player) Peter Sculthorpe. Having recently been involved in recording a complete CD of Peter Sculthorpe's orchestral works with William Barton on didgeridoo, Yandarra seems to me unmistakably Australian.
Yandarra was written in 1998 for Sydney bass teacher Diana Ford with funding from the Australia Council. There are sections where the composer suggests the soloist plays an octave higher and the parts come with a choice of a solo tuning or orchestral tuning piano part..." [Ken Poggioli - STRINGENDO - Australian String Teachers Association