Matt Stonehouse is a musician, composer and instrument maker based in St Andrews, Victoria, Australia. He specialises in Arabic and Turkish styles of drumming and is featured on more than forty albums of both local and international artists. In addition to percussion, Matt is a highly regarded guitarist, mandolin and mandocello player and uses these instruments when composing. This can be heard on his 2016 vinyl album release, ‘Rosie’s point of view.‘

In 2003 Matt undertook the first of four study trips to Turkey. During this research trip he spent an additional three months in Isfahan, Iran, studying with master musicians Sara Fotros and Feridoun Farahani. He also studied under Spanish frame drummer Javier Morielis whilst based in Scotland. In 2010 he studied Daholla (goblet shaped drum) with Ercin Kacaimamoglu in Istanbul and attended masterclasses with Levent Yildirim in Greece. 

Matt is the author of ‘Percussion of the Arabic world and beyond.‘  The books popularity was the impetus for creating the ‘fingers of fury‘ online darbuka and frame drumming school/community. This online school continues to be a hub for percussion students and professional musicians around the world. The website boasts almost two hundred tutorial videos and short courses in Arabic and Turkish styles of drumming and challenges the way students structure their practice routines.

In 2010, Matt directed and produced the feature length documentary ‘The Rhythmic East.‘ This self funded film crew traveled through Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Greece, filming and collaborating with local musicians from each region. The film gained two international film festival official screenings with a ‘directors cut ’currently being considered. 

Matt's recording credits as percussionist are both impressive and extensive. Internationally notable artists he has performed/ recorded with include- The Ross Daly quartet (Crete), The Tea Party (Canada), Coleman Barks (USA). In Australia his credits include the ARIA nominated album ‘Empires‘ by Latitude 37, Bashka, Mista Savona, Alwan, Van Diemen's Band, The Reefers and Orchestra Victoria. Matt has performed at music festivals such as Womadelaide, Cygnet, The National, Port Fairy and many others around Australia. Since 2013 he has been featured percussionist with Amanaska, a popular group touring Australian schools through the Musica Viva! in schools program. Amanaska has inspired thousands of primary level students across Australia by sharing their passion for playing music.

In 2016 Matt released an original album of instrumental works— ‘Rosie’s point of view’ features a collection of original instrumental compositions performed on mandocello, mandolin and frame drums. Synthesizers were later added by producer Chris Toro. The album was hailed as “a quintessentially Australian album” and likened to Pat Metheny’s electric counterpoint by Australian Hi Fi magazine.

In 2015 Matt was awarded an artist in residence at Dunmoochin artist colony in Cottles Bridge, Victoria. Dunmoochin was established by Australian portrait and landscape painter Clifton Pugh in the mid 50’s, since becoming home to many celebrated artists such as Rick Amor and John Olsen. Matt was offered the residency as a composer and then offered an extension as an instrument maker. In 2014 he begun part-time fine furniture studies at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking with Alastair Boell, later incorporating these techniques into the crafting of frame drums.

Following Dunmoochin, Matt was an artist in residence at Montsalvat Artist community in Eltham. He was based at Montsalvat until relocating his studio to St Andrews in the Nillumbik shire.
Matt is currently crafting high-end frame drums, facilitating workshops and freelancing as a musician.