Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum has announced it will present a digital series of performances from leading Australian guitarists broadcast from its major exhibition Maton: Australia’s Guitar – now running for an extended period until 31 January 2021.
The largest retrospective of Australia’s leading guitar manufacturer, Maton: Australia’s Guitar presents over 130 guitars, traversing the history of the company founded by Melbourne-born jazz musician Bill May in 1946 and drawing on more than 70 years of music.
Broadcast free, Maton Amplified – the limited music series will include on-demand performances by ARIA award-winning artist Diesel (Friday 30 October – 4.00pm); musician and multi-disciplinary artist Annie Hamilton (Friday 13 November – 4.00pm); Australian singer-songwriter Toby Martin (Youth Group) (Friday 27 November – 4.00pm); and multi-instrumentalist, actor, model, and songwriter, Zeppelin Hamilton (Friday 11 December – 4.00pm).
“Maton was the first major exhibition to launch at the Powerhouse following the reopening in June and we have seen a fantastic response from visitors,” said Lisa Havilah, Powerhouse Chief Executive. “Leading Australian and international musicians perform with Maton guitars and we are thrilled to present Australian artists through Maton Amplified.”
Maton: Australia’s Guitar opened to the public in July 2020 and is the first major survey of the Australian manufacturer, exploring the company’s beginning, its first models and influence on the music scene transcending through genres such as Country and Western, Folk and Classical, Rock and Roll, and Jazz.
A highlight on display from the Powerhouse’s collection is The Easybeats’ guitarist Harry Vanda’s Maton guitar which he used to write the song, Friday on My Mind. Also on display is Tommy Emmanuel’s first Maton, a Maton electric Mastersound MS500M and hand painted case; the first guitar Bill May made as a teenager; some of the rarest Australian guitars ever displayed, and instruments and amplifiers used in the heyday of Australian jazz, folk, rock and country.
The collection is part of the personal collection of Bankstown-based instrument collector Wadih Hanna. The exhibition includes original music by award-winning composer, musician and producer Nick Wales and DJ Johnny Seymour, performed by a string of musicians on instruments from this collection. The soundtrack titled MATON has now been released and is available to listen to at www.ditto.fm/maton.
“From its humble beginnings as a travel guitar from the backyard shed of the then long-standing foreman at Maton, Mark Malmborg, to where it is now, a permanent fixture in my guitar tool kit is quite a trajectory,” said Australian singer-songwriter, Diesel.
“My quest for an acoustic guitar that could rival an electric began and ended with the mini Maton. I feel it has taken a monumental role in developing me as a solo artist, all the while keeping up with the bombastic nature of my band. It’s been great being a part of what I believe to be the world’s best smaller scale acoustic guitar.”
Maton: Australia’s Guitar
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo (Sydney)
Exhibition continues until 31 January 2021
Free entry – bookings essential
Image: Maton: Australia’s Guitar – photo by Zan Wimberley