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The Femina 04:16
Annie 05:52
Foreboding 05:49
Escape 05:38


VIENNA DREAMING is a suite of music composed by Matt Keegan in dedication to his great grandfather, Heini Portnoj (1895-1984).  Heini grew up in the great music city of Vienna, Austria. It was here he enjoyed a burgeoning career as pianist and composer before his world changed forever with the rise of the Nazi’s.  The Portnoj’s were a jewish family so this meant all their lives were in grave danger. Thankfully Heini managed to escape the city with his wife Annie and her child Elizabeth. After an adventure in Singapore the family eventually ended up as refugees in Australia’s Tatura internment camp. They were released at the conclusion of the war and Heini went on to have a successful career as a pianist, accompanist and operatic singing coach in Australia.

Matt Keegan was commissioned to compose this music to commemorate Heini’s life by his Aunt and family historian, Julia Trainor. He was afforded some time as an artist in residence at the musicians cottage at Bundanon Trust to creatively develop the work.

A word from the composer…

“This project has provided me an important opportunity to indulge my love of composing and fully engage my skills as an arranger. Vienna Dreaming is written in the style of program music. I worked from a story board of Heini’s life and began sketching ideas to accompany that timeline. I ultimately decided to focus on the period in his life as a young adult leading up to and including his escape from Vienna. This must have been an incredibly shocking and life changing time. I composed the music from an imagined perspective of my Great Grandfather in private contemplation day dreaming about the key events during this period of his life. My sonic palette deliberately combined acoustic and electronic instruments to create an other worldly dream like atmosphere. This ethereal sound realm has been created to evoke general feelings and imagery rather than seeking to faithfully recreate specific sounds of the past.

I also made a point to work with some younger musicians for a change of style, sound and inspiration. We workshopped the concept and material for a long time before I committed to the days of recording.  Once recorded and edited, I subsequently arranged all the additional woodwind and synth parts and began filling out the orchestrations in a series of overdubs.  I used the single note piano to represent Heini himself. The last parts added were the saxophone and piano lead lines and solos.”


released February 1, 2018

All compositions and arrangements by Matt Keegan

Produced by Matt Keegan and Richard Belkner

Recorded & mixed @ Free Energy Device Studios by Richard Belkner

Mastered by Micheal Lynch

Edited by Miles Thomas

Performed by Matt Keegan’s Electro Acoustic Ensemble:

Matt Keegan - saxophones, clarinets - woodwind fx and synthesisers

Matt McMahon - piano

Dave Rodriguez - guitars & fx

Mary Rapp - cello

Hannah James - double bass

Miles Thomas - drums and percussion

1 - Vienna Overture

2 - The Femina

3 - Anni

4 - Foreboding

5 - Escape

6 - The Not Knowing

Artwork and animation by Zoe Young


Graphic design and layout by


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mattkeeganmusic Sydney, Australia

Keegan enjoys playing his sax all around the world! In 2011 he won the MCA Freedman Fellowship for jazz. His saxophone currently features in many bands including the Resurgence Band, 20th Century Dog, the Cosmos Band and the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. He has also performed with the James Muller Band, The Beautiful Girls, Jackie Orszaczky, Japan Australia Jazz Orchestra (JPN), Maroon 5 (USA). ... more

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