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Educational Resources

Matthias Schack-Arnott:


MotherTongue, MotherLand by Sunny Kim (lead artist, vocals, percussion), with Mindy Meng Wang (guzheng, vocals), Gelareh Pour (kamancheh, qeychak, vocals), Aviva Endean (clarinets, vocals).
Matthias schack-arnott stands on the side of a hill looking at camera

Matthias Schack-Arnott:

Image: Keith Saunders

Written by
Rosie Pentreath
Published on
13th April 2023

Begin by watching this excerpt of Tethering live performance.

- Watch 0:07 - 1:15. What are the objects/materials that make up this "sound display"? Individually or with a partner, list out as many items as you can see (or hear!). Have a short class discussion to find out how many "instruments" everyone observed.

- Watch 1:15 - End: Did you pay more attention to the VISUAL display of this work, or the SOUNDS it produced? What "mood/s" do you think this performance suggests? Did the visuals OR sounds OR both contribute more to creating those moods? Discuss with your desk partner/or in class discussion. 

Let’s get creative!

Creative Activity 1 - Sketches of Sound

Choose any indoor or outdoor space you like, and take a photo of that environment on your phone. Looking at your photo, draw shapes to represent what you see, on a piece of paper. E.g. If your photo includes trees, they could be represented with triangles and rectangles. Your drawings can be just loose individual shapes for now, such as the example below.

The New Zealand Landscape

Examples Sketches of Shapes

Have a think about what each of your shapes might "sound like". Think about whether your shapes seem to suit naturally produced or digitally produced sounds. Jot down your thoughts in a few words underneath each of your shapes.

Creative Activity 2 - Sonic Landscape

Create a "sonic landscape" out of your shapes from Activity 1 by following the 2 steps below:

  • On a blank piece of paper or digital drawing app, arrange your shapes into a simple structure, like a "2D model".

Example of Hand Drawn Model

These are Matthias’ drawings from Tethering:

Matthias Tethering Sketch 1

Matthias Tethering Sketch 2

Matthias Tethering Sketch 3

Collect the sounds you wrote down for your shapes from Activity 1:

  1. Find real objects, make sounds with them, and record those sounds with your phone OR
  2. Experiment with digital sounds on Soundtrap, GarageBand or your own chosen DAW, and save your sound clips OR
  3. Do a combination of the above!

Circle (Moving a magnet on laptop surface):

Dotted Lines (Opening and shutting window):

Rectangle (Stapling a piece of paper):

Spiky (Scratching a Hair comb):

Wavy Lines (Swishing around water in a cup):


Matthias uses CAD (Computer Aided Design) to visualise sculptural ideas and imagine how they might sound. Have a try recreating your drawing on Google Sketchup. 

Tethering CAD Version 01

Tethering CAD Version 02

Example Digital Drawing Model

Creative Activity 3 - Experimenting With a DAW

Record your collected sounds from Activity 2 into Soundtrap, GarageBand or your own chosen DAW. Play around with looping and layering the sounds to create a sound composition you think suits the "atmosphere" of your drawn landscape. (If you started off with digital sounds from Activity 2 already, get straight into the looping and layering!)

As a rough guide, your sound composition could last between 20-30 seconds. Turn your file into an MP3, and show your teacher.

Add some colour to your landscape drawing/ tidy it up to make sure it is ready for presentation. Check your finished drawing with your teacher.

Presentation of Learning

Project your drawn landscape on an interactive whiteboard or similar, and play your sound composition MP3 file in the background, so the audience can see and hear your "sonic landscape" at the same time. 

Show drafts of your initial shapes and sound brainstorming, and briefly explain your creation process.

If a live concert is not possible, alternatively recordings and drawings can be published privately via the school LMS, or on music/visual sharing sites such as Soundcloud, Google Drive or Dropbox. 


  1. Pick some sounds from your sound composition to be performed with real objects during the Presentation of Learning. Perform your chosen live sounds at the same time as the MP3 audio to add an extra "in the moment" performance element. 

  1. Turn your drawn 2D landscape into a 3D model by building it with real objects/recycled materials. Present both your 3D model and 2D landscape while playing your sound composition. 

Australian Curriculum Mapped Outcomes

Year 7 and 8 Music

Developing practices and skills - AC9AMU8D02

Reflect on their own and others’ music to inform choices they make as composers and performers about how they will manipulate elements of music and/or compositional devices.

Creating and making - AC9AMU8C02

Compose using the elements of music and compositional devices to communicate ideas, perspectives and/or meaning, and notate, document and/or record the music.

Reference: View here

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and create, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Low view of Australian Outback landscape with red dirt texture heavily feature and dry grassy hill in the distant background