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Celebration of culture to counter insta-fame craving

19th September 2019

What if being creative was driven by a love of the process rather than for instant, instagrammable fame? That’s the concept behind a new single by QUT’s sessional academic and musician Dr Matt Hsu.

The one-man orchestra has just released Make Everything, a gentle celebration of the joy of making art over the disposable allure of fame. It’s a collaboration between Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra and lo-fi bedroom-pop maker apadalia (QUT nursing student Ashleigh Finlay) and Taiwanese indie fashion due duo LOOPY! who also illustrated the associated art work.

“I grew up in Australia with a heritage mix of Taiwanese and the Hakka nomadic people so I spent much of my childhood trying to fit in to the dominant western culture around me,” Dr Hsu said.

“In doing so I lost sight a little of my parents culture so in an effort to reconnect with my Taiwanese roots, I decided to re-connect with my heritage through a musical collaboration. The result is Make Everything.

“LOOPY!  sing a section of the song in Hokkien, a Taiwanese dialect that my parents speak. I like to describe the song as being dreamy lo-fi were it not for the intricate layering of 20 live instruments woven throughout.

“I also wanted to make a statement celebrating the contentment and reward of making things just for the love of it and why that is important. It’s a subtle counterpoint to the collective cultural hunger for instant fame and relevancy, lately distilled in social media and celebrity culture.”

Shot around Brisbane and Taipei, with locations including West End and the Taiwanese countryside, the video features the ethereal voices of Dr Hsu, apadalia, and LOOPY!.

Dr Hsu plays more than 30 instruments. Since founding Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra, he has worked with international artists including Tenzin Choegyal from Tibet, Kenta Hayashi from Japan and Ben Ely of Australian band Regurgitator.

He has also performed at BIGSOUND, toured Japan, and was nominated for a QMusic Award with his folk-punk band The Mouldy Lovers while in 2018 he performed at TEDxQUT.

Earlier this year Dr Hsu released his first album and it came with a difference. Rather than a traditional CD, The Shirt Album is organic, ethically made, and manufactured solely using sustainable energy generated from wind and solar power. The shirts come with a download code on the collar and Make Everything is now featured as a bonus track.

Check out Make Everything.

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Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151,

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901,

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