Skip to content

Stygian Dream (2012)

Stygian Dream uses tiny intervals beating against on and other to create a mass of complex sound changing through the piece.

When composing Stygian Dream I often thought of the notes not necessarily in a harmonic sense but more in a physics sense, working out and accentuating the interference patterns to inform certain rhythms. For example the high string ostinato in the last section spells out, as close as is reasonably possible, the interference pattern created by the combination of the double bass and contra-bassoon. This rhythm is linked to each chord creating a sense of give and take within the music.

This scientific way of thinking about the piece also informed the harmony, creating dense, sometimes oppressive, spectral soundscapes that seem to twist naturally to something else.  Though driven by the physics of sound it is still a piece with its own logical progression and shape. Music must have such things.


Matthew Whiteside will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please tick the box below.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.